Good Afternoon Munchkins!
After really enjoying writing the last two ‘Let’s Talk About…’ blog posts over the past few weeks, I thought I would add another one to the little series we’ve created here. Today I will be writing about a topic very close to my heart: having a gay parent. This is an issue that seems to become more common the more I hear about it and the more I research it, whereas in the beginning I really did feel like the only one going through it. I will be speaking about the issues I’ve faced, my acceptance of it and other people’s reactions (which is probably the worst, so I’ll go into most detail about that).
So my history of this has a massive backstory (as per usual!). My Mum was with my Dad for nearly 15 years before meeting a woman and coming out as a lesbian with this women, who she had an affair with. My main issue with my Mum coming out was it was really informal and the fact my Mum was having an affair – I think a lot of people think I had an issue with her being gay when it was, in fact, the way she did it. How you come out has a massive impact on how people react, by the way. She then had that girlfriend and is now onto another one who has recently moved in with us, because she’s a good egg. I found it difficult to accept it in the beginning, but I think it was because I had to cope with my Dad leaving and this new ‘step-mum’, as she made me call her. The first 18 months of her being out was definitely the hardest, but now we’re absolutely fine around it. I was never homophobic and I would hate to think I could have the capability to be just that, but it was very difficult to see my Mum (who I had know pretty well for 14 years!) go from men to women, literally overnight. But I have friends who are gay so the idea itself wasn’t too difficult for me to comprehend.
I’ve found telling people that my Mum’s gay actually a really awkward experience. As I’m planning to start part-time work soon and college come September, I’m going to be meeting loads of new people who I will have to tell, should we form that close a relationship. I’m really worried about what people might ask me, but I have the answers and I’m not one to quieten down if I have an opinion! I’ve had people ask if it’s a midlife crisis, if I was a test-tube baby, whether I had an inkling to the fact she might be gay when I was younger, and I know to expect more as I go through life. I really don’t mind answering these sorts of questions (depending on how people word them, of course) because I know if it was the reverse, I would have a massive list of questions for them myself. What would grind my gears is if people ask really explicit, unnecessary questions because there is this whole stigma around lesbians and they’re used in the porn industry etc., but I can assure you that my 44-year-old mother will not be featured on Porn Hub, thank you very much!
Homophobes have also become apparent since Mum coming out, especially in the family. One of her uncles has been quite blatantly against her sexuality, including not speaking to us at his own daughter’s wedding. I’ve kind of got to that point where I don’t have time for homophobes and, as much as they anger me, I would literally rather hold the door open for them to walk out of my life, because I really don’t need them here. I think it does upset and anger me more than it does my Mum, but that is because I am so passionate with my beliefs! I’m a massive supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, as I’m sure you know by now, so I’m not going to even associate myself with people like that.
So I’m just going to give some pointers or advice to those who may have just learnt that their parent is gay because it’s as much of a difficult time for you as it is for them:
- Just be calm. They’re still the same person they were as they raised you (no matter how old you are) and, as far as I’ve noticed, doesn’t mean they change personality-wise at all. They’re still your parent.
- Support them. They are your family and nothing will change that, so it’s better to support them even if you are struggling because it will be beneficial to all of you in the long run. I’ve also found it could bring you closer, as well.
- Treat them as you’ve always treated them. This kind of follows from the first point but there is no point in changing your way around them (i.e. treading on eggshells) because they will sense your awkwardness and then they will feel awkward themselves.
And there we have it (I think!)! I hope you have been able to take something from this blog post – I feel like I haven’t covered everything, so please don’t hesitate to ask me for any more advice I may have missed out on! If you’re going through this or have gone through this, please comment down below with your story because I would love to find someone to talk to about this properly, instead of just in a little blog post!
Thank you so much for reading and I’ll see Tuesday,