LGBT Child here...(32 Posts)
Part time lurker, first time poster, and not actually a mum, but I hope you guys will be willing to help me here. Discovered your site after a uni coursework task involving various politicians appearing here was set, and have been lurking since then.
I've found these boards to be a really interesting read, and since the LGBT forum appeared, wondered whether to post or not. However, after reading the other thread here, I've become curious as to how mums feel upon discovering they have a LGBT child. I'm a lesbian (although I prefer the term gay) women, and came out to my parents aged 17 (I'm now 20) after I was devastated by my then girlfriend moving to Australia. I've had nothing from support from both my mum and dad, but at the same time can't help but think there must be some thoughts about it that they're not sharing with me. They wouldn't dream of saying something that might upset me, but I feel like I need to know if they have any queries/worries about my erm...situation?
So, mums (and dads) out there, please answer as honestly as you can; how would/do you feel about having a child who came out as LGBT?
I(we)think our Ds2 is gay,he's 16,DS1(20) and DD(22)also think he is gay....i don't give a fig and neither does his Dad....my only worry is that he is a bit of an innocent and has been bullied at school over the years,he was always prime bullying material......life's hard enough without all the shitbags picking on people for being gay.......he hasn't said it to us but all the signs are there.....i'm sure he will(if indeed he is)in his own good time.
Hi - even if your parents are positive and supportive, they might still have worries about how your life will be as a lesbian. That wouldn't mean they're not ok with it, but just that parents always worry about their "children", even when they're not really children any more!
I have a 16yo son, pretty sure he's straight, but I think I can imagine what I might worry about if he was gay.
I'd be more worried than I am for a straight teenager about them managing to find someone to love and settle down with, just because the probabilities seem worse IYSWIM? Finding someone who is right for you is tricky enough when you can assume (wrongly of course) that the whole of the opposite sex is a potential partner, so I'd assume it must be trickier when the "pool" is smaller and you'll not know who is even potentially interested.
With a boy (probably not the same worry with a girl?) I'd be concerned about him meeting someone exploitative, who was "only after one thing". Unfair of me no doubt, and probably what parents of girls worry about anyway when they're straight!
Thanks for your honesty guys, it's been really helpful to read. It's really nice to hear a point of view that's not concerned about presenting any worries/doubts like I feel my parents would.
AMumInScotland, you're exactly right about the "pool" issue - If someone could roll out some system of being able to tell if someone was of the same persuasion, it'd be a whole lot easier
I was in a state of complete shock when my young adult DS told me he is gay. The idea had only occasionally crossed my mind and always been ruled out. Now I can't believe I misread the clues. I worry that my son may experience prejudice and discrimination throughout his life. Things will be tougher for him than for some others. I just hope he will always have family and friends who care for him. As far as I am concerned as a parent I now feel incredibly protective towards him, a bit like I did when he was a little boy, but at the same time I know I have to try to go on as if nothing much has changed so that he can go on leading his adult life knowing we are still behind him. As a parent I feel quite lonely in this situation as I wouldn't want him to know how churned up I have felt.
My sister (step) is gay and when she came out everyone was really supportive but whilst I will ask what her girlfriend is like my Step dad and older generations will say things like oh she's seeing her friend and seem slightly uncomfortable with labelling her as gay/lesbian. This may be due to my other sister (step) being very against her sexuality as she is deeply (mildly insanely) religious and perhaps they don't want to cause any more rifts.
I do however think it's quite strange that these things aren't talked about when the other sister isn't around - as if it's still slightly shameful or embarrassing. My mum seems to be the most normal about it and will talk to her just like she would to me about her love life and things.
I think her Dad is more protective of what people say/think about her which is perhaps why he doesn't publicise it. I only knew when I was about 14 having visited her house when she was living with her ex and figured that they only had one bedroom and one bed. Was a bit confused and then my Mum told me.. didn't seem odd though. It was just like Oh OK that's why she never brought a bf home!
My sister and I are quite close and so we joke around a lot. I don't think that there is any reason for my Step Dad to be as protective as he is because she's very well together and would answer anyone back who gave her any sh*t!
The only other reaction I can remember is a feeling of disappointment at the apparent lack of children her sexuality would bring the family, not that gay people can't have children but she isn't in any way maternal anyway - she loves kids but also likes to hand them back! The perfect babysitter and Aunty (which she's hopefully about to become as I've just discovered I'm pregnant!)
If my child turned out to be gay I wouldn't mind at all!
My Daughter is 18 and is gay. I really dont care! I love her girlfriend as you would a childs partner that is a good decent person. My eldest Daugher has just come out of relationship with a man that beat her up, I would rather gay and happy child anyday!
They have girlfriends that have just had a baby, I know they will go down this route in a few years time too, if not sooner!
My younger daughter who is 3 said the other day. "H & V, they love each other very much" I said "yes they do!" Phew, thats that question sorted then!
divster it's lovely that your 3 year old seems to have it sorted however if she didn't have a clue, how/when would you have broached the subject??
This is theoretical because ds is only seven but I don't think I'd be bothered. I have plenty of gay friends so it's not something 'unknown' like it might be for a very religious family. My only concern would be that he might face prejudice and bullying.
One of my friends had a civil partnership ceremony a couple of years ago. It was very moving - he comes from an Irish Catholic family and his mother had struggled with his coming out. She was so very happy to be at his wedding, said it was a day she thought she'd never see. Somehow having an official ceremony made it all OK for her.
Remember when I was a kid, a friend of my mother's saying she'd never have children and her own mother was very sad about it. I didn't realise at the time but this was because she was gay and having children in a lesbian relationship just wasn't possible at that time. So good that things have moved on.
I started the subject really, we were going through all the family names (there are alot of us!) and I said H&V live together, thats when she said they love each other.
I have other younger children that will grow up to know H&V love each other, it will be normal in there eyes. That they are 2 girls dont matter, and so it shouldnt.
If I was now telling them that its wrong and not normal, then thats what they would grow up believing.
I am in a position where I can teach them its ok, or I can teach them its wrong!
Congratulations on your pregnancy
Thanks divster, your approach is lovely but had your children not clicked that they are together (I honestly thought my sister and her gf were just friends for a few years!) what would you have said to make them realise it?
I can remember realising there was something unusual about my mother's friends when they moved house right across the country - up to that point I'd thought (in as much as I thought about it at all) that they were flatmates. When they moved together because one got a new job, I realised they were 'living together' in a different sense.
I was about 12 or 13 and asked my mother 'are X and X lesbians?'. She said 'why don't you ask them' which was not an option - can you imagine how embarrassing!? But gave me a pretty clear indication of the answer anyway.
Didn't change my opinion of them at all, it was just surprising - AFAIK none of the other adults I knew back then were gay.
Edam - I had pretty much the same experience with my sister!
Looking at family and friends, I think there may be some "but will we get grandchildren" anxiety.
That's not an exclusively gay issue, of course, but if you're an only child or your siblings are in no hurry to reproduce, it may be on the list, so to speak.
If ds ever comes out (he's seven, this is theoretical) then I will be hinting about our friend who has fathered two gorgeous little girls. Dh's old boss, the girls live with their two mothers but ex-boss is a devoted father who just happens not to live in the same house.
Ds is only 3 so i´m another theoretical one but I really REALLY wouldn´t mind if ds turned out to be straight or gay. I think you do just worry about different things. If he´s straight maybe I´ll worry about him getting a girl pregnant when they are too young, if he´s gay I imagine I would worry about other people´s prejudice (wider family and strangers).
we have several G/L friends and one (L) couple are married and have children. DS hasn´t made any comment at all so far. I have talked about how x and y have two mummies (when its come up) but its all a bit over his head. At his age (3) I just try to keep my language broad without overdoing the pc speak it i.e. saying that marriage is between two people not specifying man and woman etc.
But then he still thinks he can marry me when he grows up so tbh I think all these concepts are a bit much for him yet. That or I really am not explaining myself well..
We have a lot of gay friends, and DH works in a creative industry, where there are lots of quite flamboyant characters.
We have spoken about how we would feel if either of our DC's were gay, and it would not make one iota of difference to us. My parents would be fine, but DH's mother would be a nightmare.
We found out this summer that DS1 is gay. He is 18.
No matter how much I thought I would never mind, it was a real shock and it took me quite some time to come to terms with it.
However, I realised that a lot of the issues I had with him being gay were selfish ones - e.g. what about me: will I ever have grandchildren?
This site was really helpful
One of the writers here made the comparison with my shock to that of a bereavement, in that you grieve for a life you thought you were going to have. As a parent it's inevitable that you plot out your children's lives - he was going to meet a nice girl, settle down and they would have grandchildren.
Now I have come to terms with it, I'm just glad that he's happy. We found out he was gay because he has a boyfriend, and they have now been together for just over 6 months.
But I still have to confess to worrying about him. The UK is a relatively tolerant society, but it doesn't mean that he can be openly gay. He can't walk down the street holding his boyfriend's hand, like he would if he had a girlfriend.
And foreign travel is always going to be a concern - and indeed there are some places where it would be very unwise for him to travel as an openly gay man.
I worry about his safety and sexual health. HIV is spreading at the fastest rate amongst young, gay men. DS1 assures me that they are careful - and I have to trust/believe him and hope that he is safe. I don't like what I read about (male) gay promiscuity - although I also know that my real knowledge of this is probably very heavily biased by what I have read in the media.
Ultimately I can't help still minding about it - no matter how glad I am that he is happy. I will never, of course, tell him that. DH and I have been very clear to DS1 that we love him just the same, and will continue to be there for him - it changes nothing in that regard.
Interestingly, when I've told friends/family, one of the questions that I'm often asked is how DH feels about it. Somehow the father of a gay man is expected to find it harder to deal with than the mother. That puzzles me. Thankfully for us all, DH feels the same as me - we share the sadness in private. We would never dream of being anything other than supportive to DS1.
Sadly, DS's boyfriend hasn't had the same experience. His parents are divorced; his step-father threw him out when he found out he was gay, and he daren't tell his own father.
So if you feel that your parents aren't telling you everything, your instinct is probably right. But if my experience is anything to go by, what they're not telling you is something you just don't need to know - other than recognising that it may involve a whole load of worry/fear/concern about you! But then that is our job as parents - to worry about our children.
It's still early days for us with DS1 - and he is someone who is very private and introspective anyway. I hope, one day, we will talk more about his sexuality - but that time isn't right quite yet.
Maybe you can talk things through a bit more with your parents if you feel the need? I'm very glad that your parents have been so supportive and accepting of you - but you do need to allow/acknowledge that they may also have their own concerns and reservations which they may or may not wish to share with you.
jazz412 - my 16 yo was just told her sister is gay, and it was dealt with. No biggy, gay friends at school. Gay is not a big issue.
BIWI - I understand your worries, lets just hope for the rest of there lives they come across open-minded people xx
Gay is definitely not a big issue for their peer group, thank goodness. DS2 was very matter-of-fact about it when we told him "it makes no difference", was what he said.
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