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  • Writer's pictureJacob Nakia

Co-exist and Support

As human beings, the desire to communicate and be accepted is ingrained in our DNA; this drive is apparent to anyone who has gone through puberty while attending public school. So, while not quite as noticeable during youth, do the relationships within our families bear an even greater weight to our development and success? In what manner are these ties affecting us positively or negatively, and do the familial bonds we form to support us in battling physical, psychological, or spiritual ailments as we move through life’s challenges?

father and son hugging

The relationship with our parents and family is consequential to our well-being; in a study conducted by Katarina Alanko consisting of over 1500 Finnish natives identifying in a wide array of sexual identities from cis-gender to gay and transgender, this very idea was questioned. Participants were asked a series of control questions to ascertain the strength of the relationship and the well-being between them and their parents, as well as the youth's well-being. It was found that regardless of individual differences in person or sexual identity, the youths who reported better relationships also showed higher quality of life. This article published by the Sage Journals clearly shows that maintaining relationships between children and their parents is vital… so how is it done?

Every day, more individuals are beginning to question the definition of who they are as a person and whether what we were taught as young adults regarding gender and the binary system is true for them. While the pursuit of discovering one’s self in our modern world is noble, what happens when the beliefs of another conflict with one’s own self-identity? Let me be clear: this topic is not about who is right and who is wrong. But how do people of opposing viewpoints coexist and support loved ones through the human experience we are all a part of? What is the most effective way to rebuild bonds with a family that no longer seems to be the same person that we grew up with while staying true to our personal beliefs?

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