DiscoverJust Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ Teen
Just Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ Teen

Just Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ Teen

Author: Heather Hester

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Do you have a child, teen, or young adult who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or any other beautiful sexual orientation or gender identity? Do you feel alone in your effort to support them on their journey or navigate your own? Heather Hester from Chrysalis Mama is here to transform the conversation around loving, raising, and empowering an LGBTQIA+ teenager as well as being a supportive ally to all LGBTQIA+ people. Since 2017, when her son embraced his sexual orientation as a young gay man, Heather and her family have felt every emotion, and have experienced dozens of situations ranging from heartwarming and humorous to terrifyingly life-threatening. She and her husband initially felt alone and overwhelmed, moving her to want to support others traveling a similar path. She discusses taboo topics and works to erase stigmas surrounding the coming out process and parenting an LGBTQIA+ teen. Heather's shows are both interview and solo offering a wide range of fascinating guests as well as her own episodes where she shares wisdom, stories, and strategies. Sitting in the top 2% of all podcasts, Just Breathe is relatable, educational, and warm. Heather's approach is based on four pillars - to Embrace, Educate, Empower, and Love - and most of all, to reinforce to all LGBTQ people, their families, and their allies that they are not alone!
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Podapalooza

Podapalooza

2022-01-1140:41

During a recent event, Podapalooza, I was fortunate to connect with two people that right away I knew I had to get them on the show. The first guest is Amy Zwaigenbaum, and she is a transformational stress coach. And we all know we can do with less stress in our lives. She discusses some of the stresses we as parents, especially moms are facing and a few coping strategies we can all use.My second guest is Joanne light and she really talks a lot about emotional intelligence and the importance of developing that as a skill. We are raising the future and Joanne works with parents to help their children develop resilience and empathy to become the leaders of tomorrow. About our Guests: Amy ZwaigenbaumNiche: Professional Supermoms over 30 suffering from stress-related illnessesI am a Reiki Master, Teacher, and Transformational Stress Coach who realized that society has taught women for longer than anyone can remember that they need to be a Supermom taking care of their homes, husbands, and children in addition to being professional career women to help support their families. This creates an impossible workload to accomplish that results in stress-related illnesses and a reduced enjoyment of life. I help people break free from stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and burnout. This is accomplished through individual and group coaching sessions, meditation classes, Cleaver Fever Cure classes, and workshops.Stress Relief tool: https://helpmestresscoach.comJoanne LightNiche: Parents of Tweens and TeensJoanne Light is a Parent Empowerment Coach, mother and grandmother, and retired College administrator and counselor. She earned her doctorate in education and counseling from Boston University and chose to further her expertise through a life coaching certification and a certification in training in Emotional Intelligence. Her coaching practice currently focuses on the challenges and strategies parents need to navigate their parenting journey. Through research and personal experience, Joanne continues to pursue her passion for heart-centered coaching and for contributing to raise the next generation. Her appearances on radio shows, podcasts, and summits have enabled her to share with a diverse audience.https://joannehlight.comThanks for Listening!!Click HERE for Heather's Coming Out Process Cheat Sheet!Are you looking for a new way to discover podcasts, music, meditations, and more...all on one platform? Check out Vurbl for a unique listening experience, one that you can curate and really make your own! Heather has just been named the ambassador for the LGBTQ category and is so excited to share snippets and playlists of her favorite content. Do you LOVE Just Breathe? Receive new episodes as soon as they launch, as well as Heather's monthly newsletter Small Exhales and other fabulous resources by:Signing up for her email list HEREReview Just Breathe HEREDo you want to help spread awareness and let others know they are not alone? Order Heather's new t-shirt(or sweatshirt or mug!) HERE!Connecting through Instagram and Facebook (@chrysalismama) and Twitter...
December 2021 - I thought it might be helpful to repost this episode (originally posted 12/2019). This time of year can bring out the best...and the worst...in all of us. What do you need to stay connected to yourself or have the energy and wisdom to create a peaceful, joyful home for the holidays? As we continue to shift and grow in this ever-changing world, I find that it can be comforting to hear a familiar voice or hear tried and true advice just so you can give yourself a tiny gold star. Lean it, listen up, and know that you are not alone!Appropriately timed, in this episode about surviving crises during the holidays Heather Hester shares another snippet of her personal story and gives seven strategies that worked for her. Her ultimate goal is for the listener to feel supported and like they have options and choices for working through tough times that happen to occur during this most wonderful - and most hectic - time of year!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
To celebrate two years of podcasting, Heather shares a few brief thoughts on gratitude and the importance of a gratitude practice as well as a few of her personal examples.Heather also teases what is coming in the next few months for her listeners - workshops, more personal ways to connect, and so much more! If you are not connected, click HERE to get on her email list!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
Aha Moments

Aha Moments

2021-10-2620:07

To celebrate her 50th episode, Heather talks about the biggest "aha" moments she has had personally and that she and Steve have had as a couple over the past five years.This personal and lively recollection touches on family, faith, being "good," the idea of perfection, and more! Heather also teases what is coming in the next few months for her listeners - workshops, more personal ways to connect, and so much more! If you are not connected, click HERE to get on her email list!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
049 - October is LGBTQ History Month. This interview not only honors history, but also teaches little-known facts and pieces of the time before Stonewall. In this episode, Heather interviews author, broadcaster, and gay rights activist Robert C. Steele about his book - Banned From California: Jim Foshee - Persecution, Redemption, Liberation...and the Gay Civil Rights Movement. Jim Foshee's story is as colorful as is it heartbreaking, and a powerful reminder of the importance of never forgetting the past. We see 70 years of LGBTQ history through the eyes of this gay activist. Instead of a dry, academic approach, Robert's reporting and telling of this story are captivating and allows us to experience LGBTQ history from a first-person perspective. Learn:* What the early gay liberation movement was like and how it paved the way for today's LGBTQ+ movement.* Interesting facts about the first gay publication in 1954 and the use of code words.* The levels of bigotry and homophobia gay Americans faced in the 1950s and 1960s and the typical consequences of coming out at that time.Read a recent Publisher's Weekly review of Banned from California on Heather's website.**We had some technical difficulties during this interview, so please be aware that the sound quality is not the usual.**Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews creator, producer, and director, Anthony Hand, who gives a sneak peek into his feature-length animated film (anticipated release Spring 2024) Maxxie LaWow: Drag Super-Shero. Anthony's background in product design in Silicon Valley along with his love and appreciation for drag and childhood affinity for comic books melded together to create this never-told-before story! Backed by both private investors and a fandom that meets at the intersection of LGBTQ+ culture, anime, and a comic book universe that other creators have yet to venture into, Maxxie LaWow first crowdsourced funding initiative just launched on September 15!See the amazing 2-minute adventure reel and learn more about Maxxie HEREWant to help fund this project? Learn more HERE!As queer creators, Anthony and his team are creating a unique film that will appeal to:*the queer community*fans of animation*fans of the superhero story*fans of dragAnthony is relatable and this unique and fun storyline is bound to leave you wanting to know more!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews Cara McNulty, DPA, President, Aetna Behavioral Health, a CVS Health Company. As a population health scientist, Cara is particularly passionate about our adolescents, teens, and young adults, supporting and advocating for them, and educating people of all ages on the importance of mental health well-being. Mental well-being is at the core of our health; separating physical from mental health only increases stigma.Heather and Cara discuss:* Suicide prevention and dispelling the myth that talking about suicide with your kids increases the risk. The reality is talking about suicide REDUCES the risk - having open conversations helps our adolescents/teens/young adults feel heard.* Asking hard questions takes practice, but it doesn't need to be perfect. Remember to embrace the messiness!* The importance of educating ourselves on mental health wellbeing."Without mental health well-being, physical health is impaired."Resources from this episode:* The Youth Risk Behavior Survey* Mental Health Awareness Guide for Parents and Caregivers (Aetna/CVS Health)* Suicide Prevention (CVS Health)* Mental Health Awareness Guide for Young Adults (Aetna/CVS Health)SPECIAL SPONSOR OF THIS EPISODE: THERAPPYDownload and try it for free today! Using the Cognitive Behavioral approach, Therappy teaches healthy coping tools for anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, and so much more. You learn to understand your behavioral patterns and change them in a healthier way!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews Robbin McManne.  Robbin is the author of The Yelling Cure, How to Stress Less and Get Your Kids to Cooperate without Threats and Punishments as well as the host of the award-winning podcast, Parenting our Future. In 2020 Robbin was named one of the top 50 moms in podcasting by Podcast Magazine!Robbin understands the struggle of parenting. Like so many of us, she’s experienced the life of the overstressed and overwhelmed mom – until she found the world of Peaceful Parenting that she now lives and teaches. She loves to share how to get more cooperation and better listening all while building strong relationships and connection with our kids. Heather and Robbin talk about listening to understand vs. listening to respond, affirmation vs. acceptance, and so much more!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this solo episode, Heather starts a new tradition - a quarterly Q & A episode! She starts with two questions and some profound thoughts shared by a listener. What parenting skills will help us 1. navigate challenges and 2. Empower our children in their process?"...I would like more on integrating true Christian beliefs. I was taught that it is an abomination & my theological world has been rocked." Heather details six skills to answer the first question. She shares her thoughts and personal experiences to answer the second, as well as wisdom from Susan Cottrell, Colby Martin, and Matthew Vines.Do you have questions?? Email me and I will answer in a future show!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this solo episode, Heather discusses depression and anxiety in great detail. She answers questions like:* What do we look for?* How do we know the difference between typical teenage development and more serious issues?* What coping tools will help my child manage depression or anxiety?* What kind of professional support is available?Here are a few of her favorite educational mental health websites:National Alliance on Mental IllnessNational Institute of Mental HealthThe Trevor ProjectHealthline - Mental Health ResourcesConnect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
Demystifying Pronouns

Demystifying Pronouns

2021-06-3039:21

In this episode, Heather and her 15-year-old daughter Grace have a thoughtful and enlightening discussion about pronouns. Grace has wisdom far beyond her 15 years, and yet is acutely in touch with the teenage experience. If you are curious about how to use pronouns properly and what they mean, this is the episode for you! Here are four tips from linguistics specialist, Dr. Kirby Conrad: 1.     Slow down! Plan your speech. Meeting another’s need sometimes means talking carefully and thoughtfully.2.     If you’re correct, LISTEN! Do not talk over someone if they are correcting you. Be humble and cultivate awareness.3.     Don’t make excuses. Period.4.     If you mess up, correct yourself briefly and don’t make a big deal out of it. You are human, it’s going to happen. You can listen to his podcast episode HEREConnect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews Trystan Reese, author of the brand-new memoir, How We Do Family. Trystan is redefining the idea of family. His memoir covers so many important issues, from trans pregnancy to adoption to LGBTQ parenting. More, it does so in such an inspiring—yet relatable—tone. Trystan’s voice shines through in the best way as he shares his story and lessons applicable to every family. Trystan and Heather discuss the value of "doing the work." Using Brene Brown's wisdom, "If my healing is dependent on your response to my story, I'm not ready to tell my story," Trystan shares the difference between doing work from a scar or from a wound. Simple yet profound.He has beautiful thoughts on allyship: "What allyship encourages us to do is to broaden the lens, is to use the power of empathy to see the world through other peoples' eyes and to be open and to be curious and to be humble; to hopefully move into seeing that we are all so deeply and profoundly interconnected to each other.Trystan's book, How We Do Family, is truly a must-read! Written in such a relatable way, you will finish it with a deeper understanding of the trans experience specifically as well as a greater empathy for all who are in the LGBTQ community in general.Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
The History of Pride

The History of Pride

2021-06-0216:11

In this episode, Heather shares an overview of Pride history, including the Stonewall Riots, why the pink triangle is a global symbol, and how the rainbow flag became the symbol for LGBTQ+ pride. She begins with the following anonymous quote:"LGBTQ pride was not born of a need to celebrate being LGBTQ, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn't a straight pride, be thankful you don't need one."If this episode piques your curiosity about the history of Pride, check out some of Heather's favorite resources:Websites* them.* The History Channel* BritannicaBooksGay & Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT RightsPride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality MovementWhat was Stonewall? (One of the "What was? Who was? books)Stonewall: The Definitive Story of the LGBTQ Rights Uprising That Changed AmericaWe Are EverywhereConnect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
This episode is a fascinating, eye-opening, and much-needed educational interview with Dr. David Huebner. Dr. Huebner is a clinical psychologist by training, and currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Prevention and Community Health at George Washington University (GWU), as well as the Co-Director of the Social and Behavioral Sciences Core at the Washington, DC Center for AIDS Research.  His research examines how discrimination from families, schools, and communities impacts HIV risk and other health outcomes among sexual minority adolescents and young adults. Recently he has been working to design and evaluate interventions to support parents of LGBT youth, with the goal of helping parents improve their children’s health and well-being. Dr. Huebner is also committed to supporting community organizations’ efforts to engage in evidence-based practices – he has served on several local and regional HIV prevention community planning groups and was the Chair of the National Board of Directors for the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN.)"They are learning about sex every day. Do you want to be one of the voices in that conversation?" This is just one of the powerful questions Heather and Dr. Huebner discuss. He also shares:* An in-depth education about HIV and how to prevent it.* The four "buckets" of sexual information parents should discuss with all of their kids regardless of sexual orientation.* What we need to share with our gay and bisexual boys specifically.* Why we need to strike "THE TALK" from our parenting repertoire.This interview is a very open discussion with LOTS of details! In fact, a portion was so detailed that Heather and Dr. Huebner decided to save it for bonus education. Stay tuned for how you can access it!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather discusses biphobia and the five most common LGBTQ+ myths. Like transphobia, biphobia is common in both the heterosexual community and the LGBTQ+ community, making it exponentially more isolating and difficult to combat. Heather shares facts and ways that we all can be good allies and advocates.She also shares the five most common LGBTQ+ myths and easy responses when you are faced with these myths.1. Being LGBTQ+ is a choice.2. Being LGBTQ+ can be "cured."3. The parents did something wrong.4. The Bible condemns being LGBTQ+.5. Being LGBTQ+ is contagious.Here are the links she talks about in this episode:Trevor ProjectDetailed definition of BiphobiaRobin Ochs websiteBisexual Index - BiphobiaBisexual Index - BisexualityStrong Family AllianceBisexuality 101Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews Andrew Jordan Nance, founder of Mindful Arts San Francisco whose mission is to provide literary and arts-based mindfulness instruction to youth at underserved San Francisco schools. He has been an educator for over 25 years and is the author of four mindfulness books. Mindfulness is such a valuable practice for all human beings, and Heather has found it particularly helpful over the past four years. Andrew shares practical advice on cultivating a mindfulness practice, as well as engaging stories and examples throughout the interview. A few of the topics include:* Understanding mindfulness as connection with the mind, heart, and the body.* Responding wisely vs. reacting blindly* Incorporating mantras such as: Today may I be kind. Today may I be focused. Today may I be curious. Here are links to Greater Good Science Center and Mindful Schools.Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews Rae McDaniel, founder of the online coaching community, The Gender Fck Club (awesome resources here), as well as Practical Audacity, a gender and sex therapy practice in Chicago.  They have been featured in The New York Times, Refinery29, and Women's Health. Rae ultimately believes that gender transitions can be an exciting time filled with exploration and self-discovery. They are on a mission to build a world where gender transitions are celebrated just like having a baby, landing a new job, or getting married. Rae shares:* Their experience of coming out as queer to unsupportive parents in rural Louisiana, and their journey to finding a supportive community.* What it means to be transgender and non-binary, including a primer on trans-affirming language and the gender spectrum.* Their advice to parents who want to be supportive but are afraid of making a mistake.* How your teen can find joy in their transition amid the reality that they may face rejection.**HUGE apologies for the poor quality of the initial intro - hang on for the 20 seconds or so, it gets better!** Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
In this episode, Heather interviews Richard Capriola, author of The Addicted Child: A Parent’s Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse. Richard has over two decades of experience working with adults and adolescents diagnosed with substance abuse disorders. The book includes an explanation of how drugs work in the teen brain, warning signs every parent should know about, what assessments and tests are important for a diagnosis and much more. This interview is a great primer for substance use and abuse!Click HERE to visit Richard's website for more information.Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
Heather responds to a listener's question about how to handle someone who is non-affirming with a tip and an example-filled "101" episode. She discusses the importance of word choice, gives several general tips, and three detailed examples based on the listener's situation, how to respond to a Christian family member or friend, and how to handle those who are homophobic.Heather references three powerful resources:Queer TheologyNathanial Totten Green blogletter on PFLAGConnect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
Hard Days Suck

Hard Days Suck

2021-02-1712:35

This short episode packs a punch! Heather candidly shares some recent experiences and her thoughts on hard days, as well as the serendipitous discovery of an article by one of her favorite thought leaders, Brene Brown. HERE is a link to Ms. Brown's website and HERE is a link to one of her podcasts, Unlocking Us.Heather also shares a mini-lesson on self-compassion, using an incredible resource from Positive Psychology as a guide. HERE is a helpful daily checklist!Connect with Heather: Solutions listed on her website: https://chrysalismama.com For the Language of LGBTQIA+ E-book, visit: https://learnwith.chrysalismama.com/book  Digital Coming Out Course for Parents - Text Ally to 55444 to get Heather's "My kid just came out and I'm freaking out!" Toolkit!
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Comments (3)

Cameron Jones

Eager to get into this. Thank you for clarifying that it's not just for parents. I think anyone involved in raising a child even if that's just part of an extended support community should have access to these resources.

Dec 1st
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L Walker

Such a great episode. Thank you!

May 8th
Reply

Autumn Torres

Thank you, thank you for this!! I learned so much!

Sep 29th
Reply