Topic:

I’m ok; my family is not

I have suspected that my (now 14-yr old) daughter would belong to the LGBTQ community in some way for a long time. Her first “relationship” (she didn’t want to “date” until she was in high school) was with a girl. Now she is dating a ftm trans boy. He is a wonderful kid and my husband and I really like him! (Very polite, attends sports and school events, visits with family, calls us Mr.&Mrs, etc.) But I come from a very conservative family. We have always stressed to our kids that we love them. Period. But how do I explain the junk they hear from extended family? I don’t want to cut off family that I already rarely see. But I know I’m not going to change the way they think. They love my daughter and they don’t know about her dating life yet. Do I need to spill all her personal details? Or can I somehow explain to her that…I don’t know…family that we love can say stupid stuff? Anyone dealt with this? Any advice??

Support for parents of LGBTQ Forums Discussion Forum I’m ok; my family is not

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Moderator 2 months ago.

  • Author
    Posts

  • L.Flowers
    Participant
    #2546

    I have suspected that my (now 14-yr old) daughter would belong to the LGBTQ community in some way for a long time. Her first “relationship” (she didn’t want to “date” until she was in high school) was with a girl. Now she is dating a ftm trans boy. He is a wonderful kid and my husband and I really like him! (Very polite, attends sports and school events, visits with family, calls us Mr.&Mrs, etc.) But I come from a very conservative family. We have always stressed to our kids that we love them. Period. But how do I explain the junk they hear from extended family? I don’t want to cut off family that I already rarely see. But I know I’m not going to change the way they think. They love my daughter and they don’t know about her dating life yet. Do I need to spill all her personal details? Or can I somehow explain to her that…I don’t know…family that we love can say stupid stuff? Anyone dealt with this? Any advice??


  • Moderator
    Keymaster
    #2547

    This is such a common situation, and very tricky! It is wonderful that you are thinking about how to ease your daughter’s experience of family member’s beliefs and comments. Some parents do distance from family members during the period of time when extended family is not yet aware, and so continues to express beliefs or ideas that are unintentionally hurtful. However, there are a couple things you can do to help your daughter feel loved and affirmed even in the face of these comments.

    1. If your daughter has not yet chosen to come out, you can speak up and respond to these comments in ways that are supportive of LGBTQ people (without outing her). For more information about this, see Speaking Up: Independent Actions.

    2. You can have the “people say stupid stuff” conversation with your daughter, as you mentioned. The benefit of speaking with her privately about what she may hear is to help her put the comments into perspective and avoid taking them personally. In other words, you can help her understand that these comments likely stem from an individual’s long-held, possibly unexamined ideas and and viewpoints, and may not have anything to do with feelings about her as an individual. It may also be helpful to reiterate that you do not agree with the statements and if she ever wants to discuss what she hears with you, you are open to doing that.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Contact Us