Introduction There are two kinds of families. One kind of family includes relatives by bloodline and marriages. A young person has little choice about these relatives, no matter how good or how bad they are. However, anybody can choose to create another kind of family that is very special. With enough love, anything is possible. Love starts with the love of self, and then love can be shared with another person. You can have a long-term relationship based on love, and if you want, you can get married. When you add children, with more love, the family gets stronger because for anyone—LGBTQ or not. It is love that makes a family strong. According to the Family Equality Council, there are about 10.7 million LGBTQ people in America. About half of those identify as bisexual, and around 1.4 million identify as transgender. An astonishing 1.1 million of LGBTQ people are in a same-sex marriage in the United States. There may be up to 1.2 million more who are in a long-term, same-sex relationship but not yet married. Up to 4 million children live in a family with at least one parent who is an LGBTQ person. Many are being raised by a single LGBTQ parent. In the United States, about 200,000 of the LGBTQ married couples with kids have come out to be known to friends, neighbors, and schools as LGBTQ families. This number of LGBTQ families is growing. LGBTQ people are getting married more frequently, while the prevalence of marriages of non-LGBTQ people is going down. When compared to straight couples, same-sex couples are at least four times more likely to adopt children and six times more likely to take in foster children. Whom Is This Book For? This book is for any teen who is a member of an LGBTQ family or who has an LGBTQ parent or sibling. It is also for any LGBTQ parent and supporter of LGBTQ teens. Any person of any age or sexual

8 Love Makes a Family • Friends, Family, and Significant Others

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