DES MOINES, Iowa — Local nonprofit the Q Exchange is working to make the metro more inclusive for LGBTQ+ parents and for families who have kids that identify as LGBTQ+.
The Q Exchange founder Jay Lott said they plan to do this by creating a Parent Connect Group.
Lott said the group is important because at least 27% of Iowan adults over 25 in the LGBTQ+ community are raising children.
The group looks to make that percentage feel more connected and supported by giving them an outlet to talk freely about issues impacting their community and, most importantly, their children.
"Children are struggling," Lott said. "We know that the LGBTQ+ youth experience [suicidal] thoughts at higher rates, so I think that working with the parents [and] strengthening the family structure is more important. So, that's where we're starting."
The organization's group meetings, which already have discussion topics lined up, will be peer-led. According to Lott, the first topic will be how parents can "protect their peace."
The group will meet once a month at first. As the months go on, Lott hopes to increase their engagement and allow parents to meet multiple times each month.
The first meeting is tomorrow, Aug. 30, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Polk County Central Senior Center. For more information on meeting times and how to get involved, check out the nonprofit's Facebook page.