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User Topic: My daughter just came out to me
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 11:53 AM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 119 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Member # 14003
Default  Posted: 12:03 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

Walk away from anything or anyone who takes away your joy. Life is too short to put up with fools.

Posts: 13810 | Registered: Mar 2007 | From: Houston
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 12:07 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.


Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 8714 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
Member # 16024
Default  Posted: 12:08 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

Take up your space (and do it well).

"That's the thing about pain, it demands to be felt."

Posts: 38057 | Registered: Sep 2007
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 12:45 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 119 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Sad in AZ
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 12:51 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20289 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
Member # 4691
Default  Posted: 12:55 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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!

Old Timer, Just here to help
My screen name is: Am I The Ow? - Not Ami the OW.

Because in my situation I didn't know if I was the OW at first or if I was being cheated on. Found I was being cheated on.

Posts: 5085 | Registered: Jun 2004 | From: Texas
Member # 27454
Default  Posted: 1:01 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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

Me = BS aged 43
2 boys, 13 and 9
DDay 1/19/10
Confronted him 2/16/10
Finally Divorced 8/29/12

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

Posts: 726 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: Expats in Europe
Member # 33374
Default  Posted: 1:13 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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!!

You are not dealing with rational people or situations. Normal thought processes won't work...story of my life.

Me- BW, 28
Him- fWh, 34
Mostly R'd, minus a few scars...bought a house and got a puppy...And baby makes 3! She arrived August

Posts: 2030 | Registered: Sep 2011
Member # 21791
Default  Posted: 1:14 PM, July 19th (Friday)


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-

Me (BS)47
XH (WS)53
Married 21 years
Divorced 2/19/07
Two sons 21 and 23 in college

Posts: 1462 | Registered: Nov 2008 | From: Northern Michigan
Member # 20024
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

Me: BW
DDay #1 Tried R
DDAY #2 Divorcing

Burn everything love then burn the ashes.

Posts: 247 | Registered: Jun 2008
Member # 29071
Default  Posted: 4:49 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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

never ever getting back together

Posts: 167 | Registered: Jul 2010 | From: North Carolina
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 7:00 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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.

You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana

Posts: 25754 | Registered: Aug 2011
Member # 27325
Default  Posted: 8:19 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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!

Posts: 1401 | Registered: Jan 2010
Grace and Flowers
Member # 34431
Default  Posted: 10:12 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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!

I'm Happy, not Sad!

Posts: 1176 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: US
Member # 27035
Default  Posted: 10:12 PM, July 19th (Friday)

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))

"On particularly rough days when I'm sure I can't possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100% and that's pretty good."

Posts: 5271 | Registered: Jan 2010 | From: Midwest
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 1:36 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

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 ))))

BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 119 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Member # 36697
Default  Posted: 2:43 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

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.

Posts: 1736 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Baja Arizona
Member # 34262
Default  Posted: 10:59 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

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!

Me: BS 45
Her: fWS 48 (same sex partner)
Together: 18 years now (both MDs)
OW: meh so what 40s PhD
DD1: 10/30/11EA; DD2: 11/10/11 Had ONS; TT until 12/26/11; broke NC 6/12; NC again 7/12; R-ish

Posts: 2242 | Registered: Dec 2011 | From: Great Southwest
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 11:23 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

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.

Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5859 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
Member # 209
Default  Posted: 11:51 PM, July 22nd (Monday)

Seeking I just want to say that I am so happy to read what an open and loving mom you are to your daughter. Not all parents react in this way unfortunately. Your daughter is very lucky to have your support.

[This message edited by click4it at 11:51 PM, July 22nd (Monday)]

Me: 42
Two boys: 17 and 14
Divorced 12-13-05
d-day 10-02-01

Laughter will cure life's ills. Have you had your laugh today?

Posts: 25628 | Registered: Jun 2002 | From: California
Member # 31094
Default  Posted: 10:57 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

You did well, Seeking.

I'm so glad your daughter has a supportive and loving mother.

So many gay men and lesbian women do not.

(((((((((Seeking and Family))))))))

Posts: 3419 | Registered: Feb 2011 | From: NWPA
Member # 26893
Default  Posted: 11:29 AM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Do you feel closer to her now? If you suspected, that must have felt like a bit of a rift to you. Maybe it was relief. Maybe it was a little preemptive grief/fear that it might make life harder for her. Most likely it was "allergies", or "something in your eye."

Just treat her the same as you always have -- I'm not a lesbian, but I have bipolar disorder and bascialy from the moment my parents found out about it (when I was 30) I ceased to be a person to them and now it's like I'm just some paper stick figure with a "bipolar" label stuck to me. So, you know, she's not your lesbian daughter. She's still just your daughter.

You did well.

BW 38, 5 kids
Dday Dec. 2009

Posts: 4034 | Registered: Dec 2009
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 8:14 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Everybody, thank you SO much for all the supportive and thoughtful replies. I have read this thread over & over. I have tears in my eyes right now ! (Yes, *cough*, allergies no doubt )

I appreciate the theories on why I had tears, and I think they are ALL correct.

Also thank you so much for the personal stories shared about children and siblings who are gay.

The last few days have been good with my daughter, we are going along as normal, but I have taken a few opportunities out of the blue to hug her and tell her I love her.

I made a special breakfast Sunday and we had a great time out on our screen porch. We had bacon I am a vegetarian (usually) so that was a really special treat. My younger daughter actually asked, "Did somebody die ????"

Anyway, I have not brought up anything with my older daughter -- no additional discussions -- just life as usual + a little extra affection.

I am sure the PFLAG meeting will be good for me too.

I wanted to say also, that I am so grateful for this community on SI. Both my parents are dead, and I have no family in this area. I have a couple of close friends nearby who have been supportive, thank the good Lord.

But the initial *alone* feeling when she told me -- that was hard. I think I was really missing having a partner. I felt like I didn't have anyone to turn to. That's not accurate though. I had my friends and SI too.

Thanks for being there. (((SI)))

Now I have to go take some allergy medicine

BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 119 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 8:23 PM, July 23rd (Tuesday)

Dammit. I'm going to need some of that allergy medicine too.

You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana

Posts: 25754 | Registered: Aug 2011
Member # 6687
Default  Posted: 4:38 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

Aww, I cried as well when my DS came out, for the variety of reasons discussed here. Partly it's just an emotional moment. Your child telling you... insert any large fact about themselves... it's like they're sharing something about themselves as an individual, as a person that is growing beyond the little child we knew every inch of, bathed, fed, measured in the doorway.

And a part of it for me (I also knew already, so it wasn't a surprise) was that it was something big and innate. Not just a choice of partner, like this is Joe/Jane, my boy/girlfriend -something that might or might not last, but a real piece of themselves that is forever, part of their makeup. It was emotional for me to have that forever-piece brought into the light and introduced to me - his Mom - because it was so important, so much of a piece of the child I love. It made my heart feel vulnerable, to have this piece click into place. Not in a bad way, but in the way you have to be vulnerable to know and love someone dearly.

You sound as if you treated that moment so respectfully by matching your daughter's low-key delivery and reminding her of your love and support, which I'm sure she didn't doubt but in those moments... well, she probably still needed that reassurance even though she knew it would be there.

I'm so glad there are mothers like you who make their children secure to be who they are.

When you go to a PFLAG meeting you'll meet even more! I'm curious to know how you like the meetings, too. My son went with me to several, and he said he'd been really afraid it would be a bunch of parents comforting each other over the tragedy of having gay or transgender kids! DS was motivated to confess his preconceptions to the amused circle of attendees after realizing they were all there to raise money, brag about their children in the best way parents will, and talk openly and with such understanding and personal experiences to anyone who struggled with acceptance or fears.

Posts: 3195 | Registered: Mar 2005
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 7:12 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

My ex is now openly gay.

Back when we were actually speaking to each other, after D-day, we did sit down a few times and actually try to talk. Really talk.

He said that he knew from a young age that he was attracted to both men and women. I guess his feminine side showed as a child, and I believe it was his Mother's 2nd husband (she had multiple...) called him a fag and would beat him. Then being teased in school and called a fag didn't help. With serious FOO issues, he buried it. Married me. Then cheated on me until he was outed 17 years later.

I'm not saying his choices are because of how horribly his parents treated him, but it certainly didn't help. Now that he is out, they haven't disowned him, but he isn't close to them either.

I think the way you handled it is amazing.

me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings

Posts: 4186 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Member # 2766
Default  Posted: 11:36 PM, July 24th (Wednesday)

We want our children's lives to be as easy as possible, and generally being gay can be a more difficult route. But, not accepting them, as they are, makes their already more difficult road even more difficult.

Thankfully things are not as difficult as they were decades ago. One can come out and still be able to work and socialize. They will still run into people who have problems with accepting them...but that is not as prevalent as before.

In my core group of girlfriends we have one gay girlfriend. We get together a few times/year, without spouses, usually dinner at one of our homes, plenty of wine and laughing, sleepover, breakfast then back to our lives. Since our gay friends "spouse" is also a woman we said to her "why don't you bring her along"...and she said "nope, this is a no spouse event, so she can stay home. :) We adore her, can talk about her being gay without hesitation, but don't really even think about it.

I hope your daughter is able to find a life like that...where everybody knows she is gay, and really don't care about it. It's one facet of who she is, but there is a whole list of other attributes that make her who she is. Once people get used to the idea it will not be something people will even think of when talking with her.

Posts: 2594 | Registered: Nov 2003 | From: Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada
Member # 15300
Default  Posted: 9:17 AM, July 25th (Thursday)

You handled the situation perfectly, Seeking. You're a great Mum.

I have to tell you, I love my "gay" cousin a whack more than his straight Bay St., Gordon Gecko brother! Or his sister who nastily outed him during a family dinner squabble. He was nicely trying to show her that she needed to value herself more than running around with various unsuitable men. She told him (in front of their Mother and other family members)that was fine advice coming from a guy who fucks guys. Ooops.

At that time, my kids (one of each) were 12 and 13. I sat them down for a chat, explained to them that they could be gay, straight, or knitted and purled, and their Mum would love their socks off no matter what. I underlined that they could talk to Mum about anything, including sexuality, and I would listen without judging. I can't think of anything more cruel than parents who reject a child because he/she doesn't conform to the parents' ideals. Years ago, I knew a gay man who killed himself by setting himself on fire. You've got to hate yourself a lot to do that. No way would I ever chance my children feeling that way about themselves if I could help it. But then, according to some folks, I'm "a bleeding liberal".

Age: 64..ummmmmmm,, hell born in 1947. You figure it out!

"I could have missed the pain, but I would have had to miss the dance." Garth Brooks

Posts: 7285 | Registered: Jul 2007 | From: Toronto, Canada
Member # 37991
Default  Posted: 11:33 AM, July 26th (Friday)

Thanks again for all the wonderful support and feedback. I appreciate everyone's comments so much.

I wanted to give an update. I went to the PFLAG meeting last night and it was AWESOME.

It was a very small meeting -- one other parent and the facilitator (and me), but it was so powerful. We just talked about everything. It was so helpful to hear the other mom talk about her relationship with her daughter, who's been out for a long time -- 15 yrs-ish.

They gave me great support and just hearing their stories gave me ideas on how to talk to my daughter and how to listen too.

Anyway, I look forward to going back and I wanted to recommend PFLAG to anyone in a similar situation. Wow! I felt like I had been to a fabulous therapy session afterwards. I guess I had

Thanks again to everyone reading this thread and commenting

BSO, 53
exWSO, who cares
DD: 11/18/12
DD2: 11/21/12
Kicked him to the curb 11/21/12
“I tramp a perpetual journey.”
― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Posts: 119 | Registered: Jan 2013 | From: Red State SE US
Member # 38020
Default  Posted: 12:09 PM, July 26th (Friday)

Your daughter is so lucky to have such a loving and supportive mother.

I'm sure that when your daughter was born, this is not at all what you envisioned. Don't feel guilty at all.

The important thing is that she is doing well (sounds like she is) and that she knows she is loved and supported. Your daughter is a beautiful person and her sexuality doesn't define her.

I have been cheated on by 3 different men, and I have more DDays than anyone ever should. I am here, just trying to pickup the pieces.

At least the current man "only" cyber-cheated.

"Love means never having to say you're sorry."

Posts: 840 | Registered: Jan 2013
Topic Posts: 31