Firstly let me just explain, I have a beautiful daughter who is a Lesbian, so do I understand some of what other parents or grandparents or relatives or friends go through in these situations when the children first come out? YES!! I understand the good, the bad and the ugly side to when your child first comes out.
I would like to say to the children that telling your parents in a text message is not a good idea as you are really not helping them understand or helping yourself. My daughter actually did this and I can honestly say I found this harder than her actually telling me to my face as I really thought we had a better relationship than that. So did I respond well to the text? NO I didn’t as I was so upset about the fact she sent it via a text that I was responding to that more than her telling me she was a lesbian.
The Truth is we all react differently in these kind of situations but most of all I would rather my child be 100% happy with who they are and what they want out of life than them to suffer in silence or feel bad about who they are they should never feel there alone. As their parents we protect them all the way through their lives so why not do that now when they need us the most. You need to LISTEN to them and try to understand this is who they are. Nothing has changed, it’s a part of that beautiful child you loved before those words were spoken. Don’t risk losing them forever!!
I remember my reaction was just awful at first but when I drove to pick my daughter up from school and she got in the car, we both sat there crying for a bit then we went for a drive to chat about things as I had a lot of questions because I didn’t understand, I actually thought I had done something wrong. Had I raised her to despise men because I separated from her father when she was 6 years old? Had I been too hard on her? What was silly is I kept thinking I’d done something wrong in the way I raised her. See, this is one of the first thoughts a lot of parents have (the Don’ts List again). It’s actually not about Us!!!!
Listening to them and talking to them is the best way to understand. Hug them, let them know you are still their number 1 supporter. You would in any other situation so why not now. I’m the first to admit I struggled at times meeting the first girlfriend she had and then introducing her as my daughter’s girlfriend to family or friends.
My daughter would actually just look at me and say ‘It’s alright mum just say friend when introducing her’. But I didn’t want her to feel like I was struggling, she always did though. Now I don’t even have a second thought about it as she is a grown woman now and has worked hard to buy her home with her girlfriend.
There are times things became very difficult for my daughter as her biological father would never acknowledge she was a lesbian and would just ask on every holiday she had with him if she had a boyfriend yet. This was his way of believing if he didn’t talk about it then it wasn’t true. It took him about 8 years before he now acknowledges his daughter and her girlfriend and now he visits her and her girlfriend on a regular basis and has rebuilt his relationship with his daughter.
Then her stepfather was and still is the worst for not accepting her for who she is. They were once very close as he had raised her from the age of 7 and now they barely speak 2 words to each other. This was very difficult for the entire house as his beliefs were so one sided and after years of disagreeing with him and protection mode kicked in. It became, at times, very distressing for both the kids as I would protect my daughter from cruel comments and also try to explain to our son that this is not the way to behave or respond. But as his father was very verbal about this topic it made it hard for our son to understand what all the arguments where about as my son and daughter are 7 years apart in age but are very close siblings. This almost destroyed our family, but I was never going to let that happen. Today things are better, only my daughter will never feel the same about her stepfather again. So please guys remember stop and think about your responses and if you truly want to keep your child in your life (this sort of behaviour belongs on the don’ts List).
When you had concerns that some people out there will treat your child differently this is also true it does happen unfortunately. Quick little story on this. My daughter and I and her girlfriend and my entire family were out one night having fun, we had all just jumped on to the dance floor having a marvelous time, until in the corner of my eye I spotted a young drunk guy having words with my daughter’s girlfriend. Well it went a little crazy from there, this particular guy had said some pretty horrible things, so my daughter jumped in to stop him saying any more and the guy decided that if she was going to have a go he would respond by attempting to hit my daughter. Bad idea. I have then stepped in and I wasn’t going to take his pig headed nasty attitude with the girls or myself. Well he decided trying to hit me was a good idea, which it was NOT, when I have an entire family with me. This had made me furious as I could not understand why this guy thought he had a right to criticize or even judge anyone but what it did show me is that this is just part of what my daughter and her friends had to put up with broke my heart to think people can be so nasty to my child!
This is where I say we as parents should always be there and support our children no matter what the situation is and remember people will judge and discriminate regardless so if we are there strength and support then they always have someone that will guide and give them the power to stay strong and be happy and most of all love them unconditionally. My children are my world and I know I could never turn my back on them.
I always try to remember the times I needed to talk or just needed my parents and yes I needed my own mum to talk to about all of this and because I was fortunate enough to have an absolutely amazing mum she helped me process things with her unconditional love and our entire family support my daughter in every way possible so don’t be afraid of what you don’t understand in that moment. Just Listen, hug, love, unconditionally.
I hope this helps any parents out there so you never have to face losing your children to lack of understanding. And I hope any young adult children struggling to tell their parents that this might help you as well.
From a loving parents point of view.. Lynn is a consultant at the Oh Zone Adult Stores and is more than happy to speak with other parents who may be experiencing the same issues.