So my dd came out - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
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And I would love some advice. I think I've handled it all quite well. I am trying to get her to slow down on telling the world though. She has a medical diagnosis that effects her social skills....similiar to ASD.

 

Ironically this comes about when I am going through my own questioning. I've questioned my sexuality a few times in my life. How can I help my dd when I am confused too. 

 

I would also like to know what words are pc and what aren't so I can educate my older kids.

 

Thanks

Kara


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#2 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 04:36 PM
 
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No advice here, but  I felt bad reading and not posting.  It sounds like you are being thoughtful of where she is in the process which, imo, is what matters.

 


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#3 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 06:45 PM
 
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Hi! I'm not sure what advice I can give, but I wanted to chime in and say that my mom and I are both queer. She came out first, so her awkward questioning came about during my awkward teenage years--oddly enough, it made it easier for me to come out when I did, about 10 years later. I'd already been to every lesbian stereotype from the early 90s possible (consciousness-raising, bra-less, chemical-free folk concerts, drag shows, gay weddings, you name it) so I felt like I could jump right in to being comfortable with the parts of queer culture that I identify with/enjoy. It's kind of fun now, if a little odd. But it's really nice to have someone so close who understands all of the issues that come with being LGBTQ (and we can go to Pride Sunday services and church picnics together!).

I guess I'd say to just be supportive of her, and let her know that her feelings are perfectly normal, but that she might want to keep it private with strangers. On the other hand, there is something to be said for being out and proud in all situations (I'm not always, though I try to be as much as possible). She just needs to understand that some people won't like it and that they might be mean if they know.

For your own journey, just remember that all kids have to come to the realization sooner or later that their parents are people, and people are quirky, unique, fallible, and any manner of other things they might not like to think of their mom as being. I had to deal with it with my mom, and in other ways I had to deal with it with my dad. And both of their wives. So just do what you think is the right thing for you to do, and as long as you love and respect your kids, it's ok to ask them to love and respect you back, even if you're not totally sure what you're doing or if they don't like it.

As for your other kids, I think that saying that some girls like boys, and some girls like girls, and so on will probably cover it. Anything that makes you cringe ('homosexual lifestyle' comes to mind) should be avoided. But on the whole, they've probably known for longer than you have (it's easier to tell your sister than your mom) so I doubt that will be a big deal. If you want to explain the way people might react to her coming out, I'd rely heavily on the words 'prejudice' 'bigotry' and 'jerkface' as those are all PC and appropriate. I hope that helps! Good luck to you both--like I said, it's been kind of a strange situation at times, but it's made my mom and I closer, and it's really nice to have that internal, familial support especially for something that lots of kids get kicked out of the house or made to feel inferior over.

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#4 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for your replies. I've seen this day coming since she was little. I just didn't expect it to be when she is so young. She is 16, but on the immature side in a lot of ways. I don't care if she becomes the type who is very open about being a lesbian. I just want her to learn a bit more about herself and the culture before she does. I also want her to know about what kind of bullying she might be in for and how to handle it well.

 

I almost took her to the Pride parade in Boston, but I thought it might be a bit of culture shock with her coming out so recently. A friend went and brought her a t-shirt and a gym bag that are very subtly gblt youth pride. She could wear the shirt at school and only another gblt kid would know.

 

My other old daughter doesn't think my 16 is really lesbian. But she does think her sister is acting wierd, sitting too close to her and stuff. Those too are not at all close :(. My friends have also not had any suspicions. It's been a "shock" to everyone, but they have all handled the news well...even my mother which was really shocking.

 

Thanks for listening. 

Kara


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#5 of 9 Old 06-23-2011, 09:25 PM
 
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Hey Kara, 

 

What prettyisa said is all wonderful advice, but I just wanted to let you know that you have support here whenever you need it.  Being there for your daughter and being willing to talk about it is huge, and I'm willing to bet that a number of us folks here in Queer Parenting wished our parents handled our "coming out"s in such a way - myself included.  

 

It sounds like her condition is complicating matters, but you know her better and you obviously know the condition better than any of us.  The best advice I have is just to treat everyone involved gently.  Your other daughter may struggle with it, as well as your 16 year old may be gung ho one day and hesitant the next.  Support dialogues from everyone who has an opinion they want to share - everyone needs to feel like they matter.  

 

As far as your own journey, just remember that we are all different and that you need to treat YOU gently, too.  It's harder when you're a mom to think of just yourself, so your journey may be longer and/or more challenging than your DD's.  

 

Regarding terminology, I always found "lesbian life partner" to be a horrifying phrase, but maybe that's just me.  I also don't really like the word "lesbian", I prefer to label myself as "gay" because I prefer the word.  Whatever words she uses to describe herself should be words you also use.  As Isa mentioned, "homosexual lifestyle" is awful, in my opinion, but then again I find the word "homosexual" to be too clinical and cold anyway.  

 

Best of luck to you with your family, and also with yourself.  Again, we are here anytime you need support!

 

-Sunsets


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#6 of 9 Old 06-24-2011, 05:52 AM
 
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Great advice from everyone here, and congrats to you on being such a great, supportive parent.

 

A couple organizations you might check out for resources- PFLAG (parents and friends of lesbians and gays) has materials for parents who want to support their kids in the coming out process. And GLSEN (gay lesbian straight education network) has lots of "safe schools" materials that may be useful as she comes out to her classmates.

 

Good luck!


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#7 of 9 Old 06-24-2011, 09:56 AM
 
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I came out at 15 and I wanted to tell the world!  I went to a very small and diverse high school (less than 500 students) and I felt the need to tell just about everyone.  I even tapped a kid on the shoulder in the lunch line and told him I liked girls.  He was one of the few kids I actually didn't know!  I don't recommend this course of action.  It felt good to get it off my chest but it opened me up to potential problems when I was already in a very vulnerable state.  I eventually chilled out a bit but that was after I had to switch to a much less accepting high school.  I wore rainbow throughout my school years as a way to silently state that huge, newly identified part of myself.  I did have a lot of problems in the less accepting towns I lived in.  School staff were not supportive and kids were mean in and out of school.  In order to protect herself she'll have to find that happy medium between yelling it from the top of the mountain and keeping it all locked up inside.  I had bad reactions from my parents and other close adults in my life.  Neither of them understood or thought it was really part of who I am (they are both fine with it now, 11 years later).  They wanted me to keep quiet and especially not tell my grandparents or other family.  I felt like because they didn't understand they didn't know how to treat me all of a sudden.  Gay kids still need rules about who can stay the night in their room and they still need the dreaded sex talks, especially because it most likely won't be covered in school.

 

As for what is PC, anything a person decides to call themselves is appropriate.  I liked lesbian when I first came out.  But I no longer feel like that label fits me like it used to, so I prefer gay, queer, or dyke.  But, it's not okay for anyone to use any term in a negative manner, conveyed through context or tone.

 

Sexuality is a fluid and ever changing part of who I am and I've recently dealt with some interesting and unexpected aspects of it.  It helps to have someone close and nonjudgemental to talk to but that can be hard to find.  If you don't have someone like that to talk to, a therapist might help you on your own journey as well as understanding your daughter's.

 

If Boston's pride is anything like Chicago's, it's more of an adult party than anything else!  I bet there are some groups or smaller scale events that would be more reaffirming and less overwhelming for her than Pride could be right now.  I second the PFLAG and GLSEN suggestions.  There are probably local colleges that have LGBT groups that might have events or suggestions for you.  It's good to see normal people who happen to be gay doing normal people things and something like a PFLAG picnic would give that.

 

Good luck and keep asking questions!

-Jenn

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#8 of 9 Old 06-24-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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Also, not sure where you are in Massachusetts, but if you're near the RI border, Providence has a great organization called Youth Pride, Inc. Boston may have something similar, but I can vouch for the quality of YPI, having volunteered there when we lived in Providence.


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#9 of 9 Old 06-24-2011, 10:49 AM
 
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I take my kids to the Boston pride parade every year.  Even in the rain this year (and last?) and they enjoy it.  The candy and necklaces they come home with don't hurt!   I am always suprised at the number of youth marching.  Tons of school and church groups.  Lots of advertising from large corporations and the occasional bars/clubs with half naked folks, but, imo, perfectly suitable for kids.  (although one teacher did ask me what we did over the weekend because my 3 year old shared that we "watched boys dance in their underwear"  and her twin countered with "some girls too!" )

 

Obviously it is too late now but I felt very empowered and normalized after my first gay pride when I was about 18.  I didn't know anything about block and after parties then, only the more formal events, and loved every minute of it.  I think it is fine for you to be honest and tell her your not sure the best way to be supportive because you want to keep her protected.


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