For almost two years she’d been living off campus near UCLA. I’d begun to see a difference as she was becoming more and more “artistic.” Her clothes, hair, associates and conversations were not the same as when she left home. I chalked it up to becoming an independent woman and finding herself. I honestly had no idea that she was gay.
I pretended to accept it. I smiled and gave her a hug, tears welling in my eyes. I hoped she read that as joy for her new found freedom of self. All the while she was sharing, I thought to myself, well at least she doesn’t “look” gay. But I could feel myself falling into an abyss of disappointment, depression, loss and questioning my role in her being queer. My question to you isn’t what to do about my daughter, it’s how do I cope. I want to be authentic, open and accepting, but all I can see is how it affects me. What will my friends say, what about grandchildren, how can I accept a person in her life that is not the opposite gender. I’m not as sophisticated as I thought. Help this Mom of a Queer.
Queer Shmeer, being gay is no big deal. Get over it! Everybody’s doing it! It’s probably just a phase! Yada, yada, yada! Look, no matter who you are, what people say, and how liberated one thinks they are it is common to be apprehensive about the lives of our children. We live in a world that pays lip service to acceptance and tolerance, all the while muttering behind the backs of those who aren’t in step with social norms or expectations.
We have advanced to a state where we realize that being queer is not a choice. This is lost on those who want to believe that this “fact” is just an opinion. I contend, that if you look at it on a base level, who would intentionally set out to enter into an unaccepting world to face ridicule, danger and prejudices by choice? Yup, I’ve heard the stories of experimental teens and how they dabble in sexual exploration. That is not the same. One is temporary experimental the other is their life.
What you feel is honest. You may be an understanding, accepting and tolerant person who simply doesn’t want homosexuality in your family. Fine for your neighbor’s kid, but not yours. Why is that? Simple, because overall we are not an understanding, accepting, tolerant, society…. yet! Your daughter is gay. You talked, you feel some kind of way that is uncomfortable that you want to shake.
As a species we are moving in a direction of human acceptance. People, all over the world are raising their voices to ask that humans be judged by their character, not gender, color, sex, religion, race or any other barriers put up to separate us from others. Oops, I almost got on my soap box to preach on intolerance. I digress.
Your daughter has had time to wrangle with her feelings. You need time too. There is support for you to wrap your head around your emotions. There are welcoming arms to embrace you. Remember, although her life is not the one you envisioned, you have the power to change your vision and get on board.
Talk to her, talk to others. Maybe you will be another beacon of light in the fight for tolerance and acceptance. The world aches for warriors in the war of equality.
Links to support services: