Last night, however, I stumbled on a tweet that sent me down the rabbit hole and left me saddened and feeling “shook”. A user @TheBloggess tweeted about her lesbian daughter coming out to her, and that her response was pretty much “ok, but could you hand me the syrup?” Her blog post about it was really well written and discussed the impact of coming out to family and how they handle it. Honestly, I thought her reaction wasn’t bad at all, in the sense that it was so normalizing but I found her thoughts on how it was such a big deal to her daughter, yet not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things so touching. It was a great post. Another poster, @RoseyTea4Me commented “To any person who didn’t get a good reaction from their mom, there are lots of mamas here, including this one, who can give you words of support and love. You are enough and wonderful just as you are”.
Tweets from other moms, including myself, began to appear, also wanting to give support and love to any of those folks who had come out and gotten a less than positive reaction from parents or siblings. After all, our family, especially our parents, is supposed to be our safe place, but it’s an unfortunate happening that many people who come out get a less than loving reaction. What I wasn’t fully prepared for, was the depth of how bad it could get. People belonging to the LGBTQ community began thanking those who offered kind words, support, and just basic Mama Love. Some of them decided to share their experiences.
One person shared his mom told him she should have aborted him. One woman shared her mom called her a “greedy slut” when she came out as bi-sexual. The comments kept coming. Other people didn’t go into detail but you certainly got the sense their “coming out” had been pretty brutal. A search online will show you the horrible reactions people got from their parents. Such a defining moment in these peoples’ lives, ruined by the very people who were supposed to love them the most. I went to bed saddened. I woke up thinking about it. I’m sitting here still feeling shaken to know that people got that response just for being their true selves, when their true selves weren’t hurting anyone.
Growing up, my childhood wasn’t perfect, but I consider it to be a good one. At the very least, I never doubted I was loved or supported in who I was. At the very core of my life, I knew my parents would have my back. Sure, I suffered with self esteem issues. I suffered stupid mistakes because of that. But at the end of the day, I knew I could simply be who I was. I’m always shocked when I see moms who don’t support their children, or who are abusive in any way. I’m not a perfect mom by any stretch, but at my core, my love for my children is unbreakable. Their happiness is my happiness.
I never looked at those being LGBTQ as a big deal. I still don’t know why it is. It’s just people loving each other, and the more love there is, the better. I remember in high school my friend came out to me. My response? “Ok. I mean, you’re my friend, so whatever makes you happy is find by me”. When my gay friend got married, I showed the pictures to my kids and we oohed and ahhed over them. I was careful when i discussed the future with my kids that I left the door open that when they grow up and fall in love, all I want is someone to love them as much as I do. I believe both of my kids are straight, but if the time comes that it turns out they aren’t, I’m ok with that too.
I saw an article where women attended (I believe) a pride event and offered free “mom hugs” to those who needed them. The response was wonderful, yet sad, as people came up to get a supportive hug and a positive few words that perhaps they hadn’t gotten from their parents since they came out.
My message, to any of you who got a bad response to you making such a brave decision to come out:
You are enough. You are the perfect you, and there is no other you. Be the happiest, truest you that you can be. If you need a huge, some kind words, there are a sea of us mamas out here who will give you those kind words and a hug if you need one. You are important, you are amazing in your own right, and you deserve to find the love you need from who you need it from. If your parents didn’t give you the response you needed, that has everything to do with THEM and not you. Many of them will come around and be your champions again once they have time to process. If they don’t, you can choose your circle, choose your family, and choose the life you feel you were destined to live. If you need a kind word, find me on twitter @Messy_Housewife. The post I saw last night showed tons of mamas from around the world, all willing to give you some support and kindness. We, as mothers, sometimes need to step in where other mamas have faltered. Sometimes, we need to be available and open for kids when they are down and help them back up. To those in the LGBTQ community, we’re here, and you are not alone.