Bulgaria: Counselling for parents of LGBT children now available

Written by on November 21, 2017 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Bulgaria: Counselling for parents of LGBT children now available

Three Bulgarian NGOs are now providing free counselling for parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual or intersex children. It is the only offer of this kind in Bulgaria. The Glas Foundation, the Bilitis Resource Centre Foundation and the Youth LGBT Action Group teamed up to make this possible.

In December, the counselling will commence, the organisers say. A group for parents of LGBT youth will meet once a month, at first. Later, the NGOs involved want to extend their offers into other Bulgarian cities.

Simeon Vasilev, the Executive Director of the Glas Foundation, told The Sofia Globe that he and his colleagues had heard so many heart-breaking stories from LGBT friends. Some were asked to leave their homes after their coming out, others were facing aggression. Some Bulgarian parents even tried to have their LGBT kids “treated”.

These stories motivate the organisations to organise counselling offers and groups.

Parents who go to the meeting will be able to learn what LGBT really is, how they can do something against their fears and prejudice, and learn how to love their children unconditionally, while getting rid of their homophobia. In order to register, parents can write to the e-mail address help@glasfoundation.bg

The Glas Foundation also uploaded an online guide made in cooperation with the British NGO Stonewall, entitled “My Kid is Gay”, in Bulgarian, which can be downloaded here.

NGOs are also criticising existing Bulgarian laws, which do not list hate crime offences. Hate speech and violence against members of the LGBT community are wide spread, NGOs say.

The annual Sofia Pride Parade is being supported by western European ambassadors as well as their American and Israeli colleagues every single year.

Even Bulgaria’s neighbour Serbia, a non-EU country, seems to be more modern, in this regard. The first woman Prime Minister of Serbia, Ana Brnabic, who is also the first openly gay head of government in that country, recently took part in the Belgrade Pride Parade.

Simeon Vasilev of the Glas Foundation in Bulgaria and his team are committed. “We are constantly running awareness-raising campaigns, lobbying and broadening our networks of supporters,” he says. “I do believe the support groups carry the potential to create change in a couple of years time, in the attitudes of parents towards homosexuality.”

 

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