He waited 20 years to speak.
Parents knew long before but it took him years to tell.
Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your initial reactions.
My son was 25 before he actually told us he was gay. We knew long before then,but it took him that long to tell us. He was afraid my husband would be disappointed in him for what ever reason. I don’t believe we gave him one. He knows we love him unconditionally. We’ve said it to all our children.
What concerns did you experience over the first weeks or months? How did you deal with them?
When my son was around 5 he sang a song for me one day. He put on a show. That day in my heart I knew he was gay. I can not explain it,it was just I knew. Never said a word to him till he was 17. My husband and I asked our son if he was gay and he told us NO!!! Even got mad at us for asking,but I still knew. We waited almost 8 more years for him to tell us. But he did and we are all good. Sometimes they struggle with it more than the parents.
Has your child come out to other family members over time?
If yes, who, when, and what was their reaction?
He has come out to everyone in the family. He has 3 sisters who love him. He has a nephew who adores him. And he understands his uncle is gay. He is 10 now. No difference to him (ahh innocence ). He did not come out to his 94 year old grandma. Her health was failing and she was a devout Christian. He brought his partner at the time to Christmas and a wedding,but she never said a word. I still wonder to this day if she knew and just loved him anyway,no matter what her church said. Anyway that’s what I hope.
What is the hardest thing about knowing their LGBTQ identity?
That he is in a higher risk to become ill. Infected by someone being careless. And that he has to struggle against bigotry and ignorance. He does NOT have the same rights as I do.
What are some challenges have you faced concerning your LGBTQ child? How did you deal with these?
My husband and I came from a very small town. He was a big jock and I was four years younger. So when these people here we have a gay son they automatically think my husband was crushed. My son played all the sports. Swam competition and was good at it. Right thru high school. He was with the band of misfits I called them. It was like the breakfast club. There were 7 of them…ALL GIRLS. He never dated in school. That was a huge hint there.
What is the best thing about knowing your child's LGBTQ identity?
That he is finally able to live his life true to himself. When he finally told us it was like he flew up up and onwards. He’s had some heartbreak, but I know the right one is out there for him.
Knowing what you know today, would you want your child to “stay in the closet”? Why?
Absolutely NOT!!! No person can be happy if they are not being true to themselves. Life is extremely short. We do not know when are last day her is live and let live. And love IS love.
What would you say to other parents learning the LGBTQ identity of their child?
I have had friends come to me with this (situation). I say it’s going to be alright. They are still the child you loved yesterday when you didn’t know. Listen to them and try to understand it is not a CHOICE they are making. It’s how God made them. Just love them. It might not be your normal, but it is theirs.
What would you say to youth coming out to their families?
I know how scary this must be for you. But your parents might already know,or have a feeling.
Remember it’s scary for them too. You are turning what they know upside down,and that’s ok. We are adults and should be able to handle that. But some can’t and that is what breaks my heart,and every parent who loves their child with no conditions not even on who they love.
And too family might not always be blood. Sometimes your friends as you get older and mature can certainly be your family. That’s true for everyone actually. I know it is for me.
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