My daughter is bi. She waited a long, loooooooooooooooong time to come out to us, an absurdly long time. She genuinely thought I didn’t know and was anxious about what I, of all people, might say, LOL. Yeah, you read that right. Me. She was floored by how anti-climactic coming out to us was. I could’ve told her that I knew she was bi since she was 8 and said she wanted to marry nSync AND Britney Spears. If that wasn’t a big enough clue, I might’ve figured a few things out by the time she campaigned her high school to allow s/s couple tickets for Homecoming and Prom — and then took her first girlfriend (who I wasn’t supposed to acknowledge as her girlfriend since I wasn’t supposed to know my daughter was bi yet) as a s/s couple to the dance. So yeah, not exactly a shocker. I knew, but I never pushed. I thought my daughter knew how I felt, what I believed (I’ve never suffered from a lack of shut up about my beliefs), and she would come to us when she was comfortable, in her own time.
She’d worked herself into quite the state once she finally decided it was time to fess up, though. Of course, it didn’t matter to us. The only thing I care about and have ever cared about is that my kids are loved, respected and cherished by who they fall in love with. Race, gender, age, religion, where they are from or how much money they make is irrelevant. Frankly, I’d have bigger problems with political affiliation than anything else, but I might even possibly be persuaded to accept That Ultimate Evil as long as the tragically misguided soul treated my daughter like the Princess she is.
A lot of kids don’t have that.
My daughter’s first girlfriend risked being tossed out on her ear by her family if they found out. Not exaggerating.
My daughter’s second girlfriend wasn’t out to her parents, either. Her parents were supporting her through college and she couldn’t gamble on losing that.
It kills me that any child or young adult would feel compelled to hide who they are inside to the people who love them (or should love them) most and if you think it doesn’t slay me that my own kid was too afraid to tell me what was in her heart — for years — you would be wrong. I supported my daughter’s fight for s/s couple ticketing for school dances, but that was just a fight I knew about. What about the struggles I didn’t? The sneers at school. The hateful remarks. The bullying. My daughter didn’t feel she could come to me with that. She suffered through it without her parents to lean on. Both of her ex-girlfriends still do.
That’s why I support the Trevor Project. LGBTQ kids and young adults can call when they need that shoulder to lean on. 200,000+ cries for help have been answered. TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND. Please consider donating to the Trevor Project, which has the only 24/7 LGBTQ crisis intervention and suicide prevention program nation-wide. And please, talk to your kids. No, I mean it. TALK to them. In the end, my daughter waited years to tell us because she was afraid what people at church might think might be more important to us than she was. She was wrong, but it’s my fault she felt that way. I’m the Mom. It’s my duty and my privilege to make sure my kids know they are way more important to me than any church, any job, any anything. I failed at that.
Don’t fail at it too. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t assume they know. Make sure they do. Talk to your kids.
Today, I’m giving away a copy of my Riptide short story, Foreshock, randomly selected from comments below until 9:00 p.m. EST on May 20th. All of my royalties from Foreshock are being donated to the Trevor Project, but I’ll also add an extra $50 to this month’s donation, in honor of my daughter. From a humbled but grateful parent.
If YOU need help…
You are not alone. You are important and you are perfect exactly the way you are.
Click on the Hop Against Homophobia badge below to be taken the blog hop’s home page to visit 200+ other LGBTQ rom authors, reviewers and publishers who are taking a stand against homophobia to support the LGBTQ community for the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, May 17th.