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My daughter just came out to me

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seekingright2013 posted 7/19/2013 11:53 AM

Hi, SI -- I am a little feeling verklempt.

My almost 19 year old daughter came out to me this morning -- she was very low-key about the whole thing, very casual. I took my cue from her, and just told her that I would always love and support her, no matter what.

I told her to let me know how I could support her going forward, in terms of her coming out to the rest of the family -- I don't think she's really thought about this.

I sent her some helpful links and told her I was there whenever she wanted to talk.

She seemed pretty in control and matter-of-fact about the whole thing.

I have suspected this for some time so I was not surprised.

I am concerned about her telling her dad because he is very bigoted and somewhat homophobic. (We have been divorced for 11+ years). I just told her I would be there for her for whatever she wanted me to do, but that I would let her take the lead on when and where to tell him. I did tell her I thought she should tell him though.

I'm going to the next local PFLAG meeting.

I'm pretty liberal and non-religious so I was surprised to find myself crying this morning ! I don't know why. This was out of my daughter's sight & sound (after she had gone to work).

She is a rising college sophomore with good grades, steady friends, etc so I don't feel that worried about her. Also, thank goodness we live in a more open and tolerant time.

Any wisdom for me, SI? Hugs welcome too.

lieshurt posted 7/19/2013 12:03 PM

I think you handled it well. She knows you accept her and love her and that means everything. A friend of mine came out to his family when he was around 20. His mother didn't say anything and his father disowned him. Another friend of mine came out when he was 19, his mother hasn't spoken to him since.

tushnurse posted 7/19/2013 12:07 PM

Good Job Mom.

You cried, because you know that this will not be the easiest path in life. Just like I cried when I finally had a diagnosis of ADHD for my son. It was the acceptance that for a while part of life would be more difficult.

Love and support is all you give. She's lucky to have a mom like you. Does she have a special someone in her life? Make sure she feels welcome around you as well.


authenticnow posted 7/19/2013 12:08 PM

Your daughter is lucky to have such a supportive mom. I can imagine how scary that must have been for her. To have to defend your identity, your being, your sense of who you are, IMO, is sad. She knows she has you on her side, whatever she may face .

Good luck at the PFLAG meeting. I'm sure you'll get lots of support there.

seekingright2013 posted 7/19/2013 12:45 PM

Thanks so much for the supportive and encouraging responses !! Gosh this site is so great. Thank you all.

Thanks especially for saying I'm a good mom. I really try and worry that I am not good enough. Probably a common feeling amongst moms. It helps me feel relieved to get good feedback, thanks.

I do love my daughter so much and want the best for her.

Sad in AZ posted 7/19/2013 12:51 PM

You did good, mom. You may have been crying from relief that it was finally out in the open and there is no longer need to wonder.

In any event, continue to support and encourage her authenticity. You two make a good team.

amitheow posted 7/19/2013 12:55 PM

I've also heard that people cry because it's the death of a dream you had for her and that dream is what society considers the "normal family" ... white dress, wedding, births of their kids, the family portrait with the man, woman and their 2.5 kids ...

and now reality is going to look a little different. Now that you have confirmation you have to mourn the old dream for a little bit.

You'll be ok!

timeforchange posted 7/19/2013 13:01 PM

For me the fact that she was low key and matter of fact shows how much she trusted you to handle this like a champ!!!!

She clearly knew she could count on your love and support. Good job.

I share an office with a gay colleague. Her parents refuse to accept her sexuality.... It is really sad to see.

Please don't feel guilty about your moment of sadness ... Sometimes we need to let go of one vision of the future for our children and then replace it with another. And that adjustment can provoke a little sadness.

Hugs to you

KeepCalm_CarryOn posted 7/19/2013 13:13 PM

Just wanted to say GOLD STAR!! I've had too many friends come out to their parents and be rejected. I think you handled the situation perfectly. And as amitheow said- you cried because you're grieving for the societal norms- the expectations of the white dress and all that, but remember, she can still have all that! It may not always be the easiest path for her, but with a mom like you in her corner, she'll be just fine!!

foxglove posted 7/19/2013 13:14 PM


As the proud mom of a gay son, I can honestly tell you, there has never been a better time to be gay.

It sounds like you handled this very well. She wouldn't have come out to you if she didn't have confidence in your reaction. When my son came out to me, it was a little overwhelming at first because you realize that it is not a lifestyle that they chose and that despite growing acceptance, there are still alot of ignorant people in the world.

Your tears and the emotions that accompany them are very normal. When my son first came out to me, it was a pretty big shock and my first thought (selfishly) was that I'd never have grand kids, but five years later, he's 25 years old, successful college graduate and with his partner for 3 years. It's not going to look exactly like I imagined, but he can still have a wonderful and satisfying life. There is no reason why he cannot have a family.

It took a while for my son to come out to his dad - another three years. He is out to my family, but not my XH's family. I've tried to gently encourage him, but he knows that I support whatever decision he makes in this regard, because there is alot of fear of rejection.

Talking with other parents is very helpful. You'll get alot of information and support.

Take care-

hangingontohope7 posted 7/19/2013 13:15 PM

I agree, you handled this perfectly.

Not exactly the same thing but when my brother came out 6 years ago, I cried too. It truly wasn't that much of a surprise but I felt scared for him and how society would treat him.

Its wonderful that she has you. I hope that when the time comes to tell her father, it will go well.

KVille posted 7/19/2013 16:49 PM

When my son came out to me I wasn't surprised and I am very excepting but I understand the crying. Mostly for me I had seen the news of young gay men being beaten and killed. I did not want that for my son, I did not want him to have to live a life where other people might do this to him. There are times I was so scared but after all this time (I think 10 years ) all is well. He leads a great life has a very nice professional job that I am so proud of. He travels on vacation to many places around the world alone and with friends and has never had a problem.
All will be good for you, You are a great mom for being there and supporting your daughter

nowiknow23 posted 7/19/2013 19:00 PM

Oh, honey - what a gift you have given your daughter with your love, acceptance, and support. Would that all gay kids were given such firm ground to stand on when they come out.

Big hugs for you and your DD.

Gottagetthrough posted 7/19/2013 20:19 PM

You did a great job mom

Just keep going with your gut and supporting your wonderful, beautiful daughter. Sounds like you have raised an amazing woman thus far!

Grace and Flowers posted 7/19/2013 22:12 PM

Fantastic job, seeking!

I'm glad you're going to PFLAG. I've been a member for years. You've done everything "right"'d be amazed how many parents/relatives just cannot cope with the news.

Be aware that there might be several PFLAG chapters in your area. I love my group, but I know that if I hadn't "clicked" with them, there are other groups.

I marched in the St, Louis Pride Parade this year with our three local PFLAG chapters. It's one of the most moving experiences I've ever had. Working at the PFLAG booth after the parade, was surprised at how many people had never heard of us...and at the number of young people who unfortunately did not have parents as loving as you.

Since you know her dad may not take the news well, I know your love and support will mean even more to your daughter.

If you have any questions about PFLAG, you can PM me any time!

kernel posted 7/19/2013 22:12 PM

Great job seeking! As others have said, your daughter felt safe in telling you because she knew you loved her no matter what. I can understand the crying too, because it isn't the easiest path even in these safer times.

One thing I have heard from gay friends - they do not appreciate that people are "tolerant" of them, as if they are the uncivilized beasts in the room. It is a phrase that implies "less than." What they want is just the same as straight people - to be accepted and loved as they are. Just like you did with your DD. ((seeking and DD))

seekingright2013 posted 7/22/2013 13:36 PM

Thank you so much for the encouraging and supportive posts ... I appreciate each & every one! A special thanks to the parents of gay children who posted ... It really helped to read your positive words. On to pflag Thurs. night !

(((((SI community ))))

h0peless posted 7/22/2013 14:43 PM

When my oldest sister came out to my Mom, her first reaction was to ask if she and her partner had thought about adopting a baby. Unfortunately, my Dad was an asshole about the whole thing and continues to be that way.

Thank you for being so great about it for her. My poor sister held it in until she was 28 year old. For my siblings and I, it was probably the most obvious secret ever but my parents were surprised. She still hasn't, and perhaps never will, come out to the extended family.

Anyhow, it is amazing what my Mom's supportive reaction did for her. It's also heartbreaking to see what my dad's reaction has done. Good for you for being such a great mom.

purplejacket4 posted 7/22/2013 22:59 PM

As a gay person I will tell you that you have NO idea how much your wonderful appropriate reaction will help her in the future. Kudos to you!

caregiver9000 posted 7/22/2013 23:23 PM

I think the crying is just emotion coming out. I cry at lots of things that I am not sad about. I am famous for crying in the movies, especially the animated stuff.

Good job mom. Families come in all shapes and sizes. Love is what makes it a strong family.

(((hugs))) cause hugs are always good.

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