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Should You Post About Your Kids on Social Media? 3 Considerations for LGBTQ+ Parents

Updated: Feb 12

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When our older son was just a baby, my wife and I eagerly shared our journey as lesbian parents with the world. We reveled in the joy of talking about our family, celebrating our love, and championing the cause of queer families. Our story found its way into a local queer glossy magazine, and we even graced the pages of Philadelphia's esteemed daily newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer.


After our family expanded with the arrival of our second son, we found ourselves standing on a stage on Independence Mall in Philadelphia at a PrideFest event in front of a crowd of hundreds, where my wife passionately spoke about marriage equality and the significance of embracing queer families. It was a moment of pride and empowerment that we happily shared with our community.


With the advent of social media, we embraced the opportunity to showcase our happy lesbian family on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. My mother-in-law, in particular, was thrilled to get almost real-time photos and updates of her grandkids. We were delighted to share our parenting journey and were proud of our boys and the unique individuals they were becoming. Fast forward to the present, and our kids have reached the age of majority.


Our younger son has embraced the world as a circus performer, showcasing his talents and passions to the world. On the flip side, our older son has grown more private. To our surprise and concern, he expressed dismay at the widespread sharing of his childhood on social media. He requested that we refrain from posting about him ever again. It was actually pretty devastating – our intention was never to cause him pain.


Naturally, we respect his wishes and now find ourselves in a position where our online presence is dominated by posts about our circus-performing son. Yet, as parents, we grapple with a unique challenge – we love both our sons more than anything and want to ensure that our online narrative reflects that love.


This experience has prompted us to reflect on the journey we've undertaken as parents, respecting our son's wishes, demonstrating our pride in both our boys, and sharing our parenting experiences authentically. It's a delicate balance, one that requires navigating the intricacies of online parenting, especially when your family is proudly part of the LGBTQ+ community.


While our sons harbor no personal concerns or embarrassment about having lesbian parents, all four of us recognize the broader landscape in which our family exists. LGBTQ+ parents must be attuned to the potential risks of homophobic backlash that can target our families. Being aware of these potential challenges allows us, as parents, to navigate the digital space with a nuanced understanding, ensuring that our children's online experiences remain as positive and supportive as possible. Our family's journey underscores the importance of fostering an environment that celebrates love and diversity while remaining vigilant against the realities of a world that may not always share the same inclusive values.


Jenn, Claire and Smirkus
Jenn, Claire and Smirkus

In light of our journey, here are the top 3 considerations for LGBTQ+ parents when it comes to sharing their minor child's photo online:

          

1. Respect Your Child's Identity Our older son's desire for privacy underscores the significance of respecting a child's evolving identity, particularly in the context of diverse family structures. Even if your child/children are little and enjoy seeing themselves in your posts now, there may come a time when they are not happy about it. Keep in mind your relationship with your future teen or young adult child.

2. Seek Consent and Communicate Our journey has reinforced the importance of open communication and seeking our child's consent when it comes to sharing their photos online, empowering them to make informed choices. Of course, while they are little, it's your job to make informed decisions for your whole family.

3. Safeguard Your Child's Privacy and Security Reflecting on our experience, we understand the importance of safeguarding our child's privacy in an era where digital footprints can have lasting consequences. Further, it's crucial to shield our children from negative comments or unwarranted attention that may arise due to our sexual orientation. 



Here are some tips for safeguarding your privacy:

          

  • Tailor your social media privacy settings to control who can view and interact with your posts. Restricting access to a trusted circle helps mitigate potential risks. 

  • Periodically review your friends or followers list to ensure it consists of individuals you trust. Remove any unfamiliar or unwanted connections to maintain a secure online space. 

  • Disable location services or geotagging features when sharing photos and be careful not to reveal too much information that could make your child findable and identifiable. This prevents unintentional disclosure of your child's location, enhancing overall safety. 

Our family's story highlights the evolving nature of online parenting for LGBT parents. It's a journey of love, pride, and adaptation, navigating the delicate balance between cherishing family moments and respecting a child's individuality in the digital age.


 

Claire Baker is a certified professional life coach. Through her coaching business, Practical Change Coaching, she extends her commitment to fostering positive change and empowerment within the broader LGBTQ+ community. As a loving and supportive parent, she strives to embody the principles of authenticity and resilience, sharing her experiences and wisdom to inspire others on their journeys toward happiness and fulfillment.


 

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