How do I help my gay daughter accept herself? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 02:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't usually join internet forums, but I have a problem that I can't talk to anyone in my real life about. I could really use some help with this. Also sorry if this is in the wrong spot; I'm new.

 

Yesterday I used my daughter's laptop to get onto the internet, and she had this LGBT forum page opened up. So I found out my daughter is gay, which is not the problem. I want to be clear that I don't love her any less for this. What worries me is some of the things she wrote in her posts (I know I probably shouldn't have snooped, but I was shocked and concerned). She calls herself a "freak" and "disgusting" and says that she hates herself and never plans to come out. It broke my heart to read that. I'm worried about her. I need to help her see that it's okay, but I don't know how. I want to just hug her and tell her that I know and love her, but I'm not supposed to know. Would that push her further away? How do I approach this subject and help her accept herself? I'm terrified that I'm going to lose her. Please help.

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#2 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 02:45 PM
 
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How old is your daughter? I would consider getting advice from a professional to handle this as best as you can. But you sound like a wonderful supportive mother and that alone will be a huge help to her! Sorry I am not of more assistance.
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#3 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She is 19. I don't know why I didn't think of this until now, but I can try contacting PFLAG to ask for advice.

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#4 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've just emailed my local PFLAG chapter asking for advice also.

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#5 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please, can anyone help? I need as much advice as I can get.

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#6 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 07:26 PM
 
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Well, I worked at PFLAG for a while so that would have been my first advice :)

 

My second advice would be to talk to your daughter.  I am in NO way a psychologist or an expert so this is only my opinion, but it seem like she could use some loving support right now.  Just tell her you stumbled on her forum post and that you want her to know you love her and that she is none of the things that she fears.  Self harm is a real concern for GLBT teens and I wouldn't feel comfortable just maintaining my silence.

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#7 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 08:05 PM
 
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I was a queer teen.

I would fess up and tell her that you stumbled upon her forum and that you are 100% OK with her being a lesbian.

Tell her that she will find LOTS of friends and people who accept her.

Tell her that, even if it doesn't seem so, she will meet people and find love, etc.

 

Help her to connect to queer youth groups in your town or city.

Help her maintain privacy and secrecy for now if you do not live in a safe place for her to come out.

 

Link her to this website:

http://www.itgetsbetter.org/

 

It is a website of video messages from adult gay, lesbian, trans etc people sending video messages to queer youth letting them know that it does get better. That the teen years can really suck. But being a gay/lesbian/trans adult can be really fantastic.

 

And then keep telling her that you love her. Dont say "no matter what". To a lot of people, that can sound like "I love you even though you are gay...which can mean I really wish you weren't. She already wishes she wasn't, so it doesn;t help to think that her mother wishes she wasn't.

Say "I love you. I love everything that you are. And I will love whoever you love". Tell her that you will always be there to support her through everything.

 

And then link yourself to PFLAG and go and continue to go. Eventually your kid will come around and know she has an ally.

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#8 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the wonderful advice. I think I'll have a talk with her a little later on tonight, once her dad and brother leave for a party they are going to. That way we can have some privacy, and we won't be interrupted. I just hope she's willing to talk to me.

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#9 of 13 Old 07-18-2013, 09:12 PM
 
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I will be sending positive your thoughts your way.
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#10 of 13 Old 07-19-2013, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night was emotionally exhausting, for the both of us. I sat her down, told her about finding her forum post, and told her that I love her and that it is okay. She broke down (which made me break down) and I just held her as we both cried. She was so scared and upset that she started trembling when I told her that I knew. I just let her cry it out, then we had a talk about how she felt. At first she just listened as I tried to reassure her. I tried telling her that there is nothing wrong with being gay and that she is not "disgusting" or a "freak" for being this way. Then she told me that she can't help but feel ashamed and dirty every time she thinks of another girl in "that way." She thinks that she has no hope of finding love. I asked if she would to go to PFLAG and she said she wasn't ready for that, so I didn't push it. I understand that she wasn't ready for any of this. Although, I think she was at least a little relieved to finally be able to let some of her fears out.

 

I hated seeing all the pain she had been hiding, for who knows how long, but at least things are out in the open and I can help her find acceptance. I just wish she believed that she is not sick for liking girls. She is such a wonderful girl; I can't believe that she would hate herself so much because of this one small aspect of her identity. This will be tough and might take sometime, but I will make sure I'm there for her every step of the way. Thank you all for the advice and encouragement. I think I'll try to go to PFLAG meetings, even if she isn't up to it yet, so that I can learn about how I can support her better and so I can get a little support as well.

 

Thank you, thank you so much for helping me. I was panicking about what to do, and my mind kept going to the worst case scenario--"What if she tries to self harm or kill herself?"

 

I also emailed her a link to the "it get's better" website that colsxjack suggested. Hopefully it helps.

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#11 of 13 Old 07-19-2013, 10:12 AM
 
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Thanks for updating! Wishing you and your daughter all the best.
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#12 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 02:09 PM
 
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Where is your daughter getting these notions that being gay is dirty and wrong? You seem very accepting of homosexuality, so surely she has grown up in a house where being gay was ok. So where is she getting this? Did she attend a religious school? Are other family members less supportive? Do you live in an unsupportive part of the world?

 

Part of getting her to accept herself may have to include cutting unsupportive people or environments out of her life. You may be able to help with this.

 

All the best.

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#13 of 13 Old 07-20-2013, 04:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichelleZB View Post

Where is your daughter getting these notions that being gay is dirty and wrong? You seem very accepting of homosexuality, so surely she has grown up in a house where being gay was ok. So where is she getting this? Did she attend a religious school? Are other family members less supportive? Do you live in an unsupportive part of the world?

 

Part of getting her to accept herself may have to include cutting unsupportive people or environments out of her life. You may be able to help with this.

 

All the best.

We are a Catholic family living in the South, so we are surrounded by intolerance. We sent her to a Catholic school. My husband and I are accepting, but his family say very homophobic things whenever we visit.

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