Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your initial reactions.
My daughter is 11 and for about 2 weeks told me she needed to get something off her chest, but she was nervous because she didn’t want “anything to change and wanted everything to stay normal.” Two nights ago while snuggling in her bed she held my hand, asked me to close her eyes, and said “I’m gay.”
My immediate response was, “that’s all?” I hugged her and told her all that matters to me is that she finds someone to treat her like the queen she is. I feel like I did everything “right” and have been supportive of her privacy, wishes, validation, etc.
What concerns did you experience over the first weeks or months? How did you deal with them?
I have always maintained I would love my kids no matter what. I have LGBTQ friends. I am open-minded. And I am ashamed and appalled at the thoughts I am having. I am sad, but I can’t verbalize why. I know my daughter is more than who she is attracted to. My son is straight and I don’t give that any thoughts during the day. But now I can’t stop thinking about my baby girl and how I feel like I’ve lost her somehow. I don’t know why I can’t stop crying. I’ve reached out to other parents of LGBTQ children, but their children are much older, and my daughter is only 11.
I feel so lost.
Has your child come out to other family members over time?
What is the hardest thing about knowing their LGBTQ identity?
Everything. Not knowing how to be a mother to a gay CHILD. She’s only a child, and she told me she’s “gay but a-sexual; relationships are ok but nothing beyond that.”
I felt like I was prepared for “normal” 11-year-old conversations. I have read so many posts from LGBTQ people who verbalize the exact moment their parent said the wrong thing/ reacted the wrong way and how that negatively impacted their entire lives. I am terrified I’ll somehow do the wrong thing.
What is the best thing about knowing your child's LGBTQ identity?
I am so proud that at the age of 11 she has been able to verbalize exactly who she is and how she feels. She’s always had amazing self awareness. I am in awe of her strength and bravery. And maturity!
Knowing what you know today, would you want your child to “stay in the closet”? Why?
What would you say to youth coming out to their families?
It’s ok to be scared. You will always be loved. ALWAYS.
100K-500K, 20-29, 20-29, 20s - 30s, 30-39, 40-49, 500K-1 million, Arkansas, Bi-sexual, Canada, Connecticut, Father, Featured, Florida, Gay, Gender Fluid, Illinois, Lesbian, Mother, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Older Teen (16-19), Older Teen (16-19), Oregon, Over 1 million, Pansexual, Pennsylvania, Pre-teen (12 & under), Pre-Teen (12 & under), Rural, Texas, Transgender, Under 100K, United States of America, Wales, Written, Young Teen (12-15), Young Teen (12-150