This is a true story. I always thought I was the type of person to support my children as long as they were happy and weren’t out in the world hurting anyone. But as I began to see the signs that my daughter may very well be a lesbian, I began to question myself deeply. I’ve heard stories and know that other people react terribly to their children when they come out to their parents, even throwing them out of the home and sequestering them in private schools for the mentally ill. I knew I could never be like that. Yet every fiber in my being wanted it not to be true. I can barely utter the words, “I think my daughter is gay.”
Research told me how kids and young adults feel about being gay, how they hate themselves and try to deny it to themselves. Many even start having sex with the opposite gender just to prove to themselves that they are not gay. The drastic behavior so many gay teens and young adults go through was in my book, evidence that they were not making a choice to be this way. Gay teens and young adults have a 75% higher chance of drinking and doing illegal drugs before the age of 21.
I’m pretty sure one of her friends is gay. It’s pretty obvious with the way she dresses and her short boy-like hair and the way she struts. But my daughter doesn’t look or act like that. As much as I resent myself for it, I don’t want her hanging out with her gay friend. Logically I know that it’s not contagious, but maybe she’s just a little confused or curious and if she hangs out with her straight friends more, she’ll go back to liking boys. If she ever liked boys. Come to think of it, she’s never been impressed with a boy for as long as I can remember.
I want things for my daughter. I want a wedding and grandchildren and a life that other people won’t judge her constantly for living. I want her to go to college and have a career and be proud of who she is. Who knows what her future might be like if she is gay?
I went to a very close friend of mine and I confessed my fears. She told me the worst thing I can do is press her before she’s ready to talk about it, but how can I wait that long? I find myself questioning everything she does and taking everything she says as though she is trying to send me a coded message. My friend says that the one thing gay kids worry about the most is that their parents will stop loving them and end up resenting them or trying to fix them. I can’t stop loving her, but shouldn’t I get her help?
All the signs are there. The way she looks at her friend when they are together and the way she passes boys like they are invisible. She gets all dressed up and does her hair when her friend comes over or they go to a movie, but when boys drop by she’ll sit and talk to them in her pajama pants with her hair a disastrous nightmare. I don’t believe in going through my children’s belongings, but I read a note that her friend gave her in school. There was nothing explicit, but it was much more emotional and coy than any note I ever wrote to a girl in school. I would have written something like that to a boy.
I am desperately trying to convince myself that I could accept her as a lesbian, or whatever she confessed herself as, but I am afraid I may fail her. What parent would want this for her child? It’s not normal. People will mock her and judge her for the rest of her life. She’ll never have children. Or if she does then she will have to explain why she’s not normal to her child and everyone else around her. She’ll have to work harder to get ahead because everyone will be uncomfortable around her. Maybe she needs professional help.
I have been a good mother. I truly do not understand what I did to create this in her. She has never been sexually abused and her father has been loving and attentive and has encouraged her to grow into a beautiful young woman. I am sure that we have been better parents than most. Why would she do this to us?
My Mother Thinks I am Gay
I know that my mother suspects that I am gay. She’s been trying way too hard to get me to go out on a date and has told me I spend too much time with my gay friend, Allison. I probably do, considering that she is my first girl friend. I was hoping that my mother wouldn’t figure things out until I did, but I guess I have been too obvious or something.
I used to think something was different about me, but I wasn’t sure what it was. The girls in school were way into boys when we were twelve. I thought they were stupid and boring, but I always liked my friends that were girls, sometimes a little too much. I often thought that I was just in a phase or something, or maybe I was hoping I was in a phase.
When I realized that Allison and I were not just friends I got really scared. I didn’t want things to be this way. I wanted to be normal. Allison and I have had these feelings for each other for almost two years, and I only accepted it about three months ago. I hate that I feel the way that I do about her and I would give anything to change it. I went to my guidance counselor at school. I was pretty sure that my mother would freak out completely, and I think I was right considering how she’s been acting lately. She’s always commenting that she thinks one of my guy friends likes me and how I should go out with them. I told her Danny and I were going to the movies and she even lifted my normal curfew until she realized I was talking about Danny Oberman, a girl. At that point she cut my curfew by two hours. She knew.
I’d like to feel like I could tell her, but what am I supposed to say? “Hi, Mom. So it seems I like girls and I if I ever get married there will be two brides.” That probably won’t go over all that well. She expects normal things from me. She talks about how I should be thinking about going to college and landing a good career and getting married and having a family. It’s not like all those things won’t happen, they just won’t happen with a man.
I hear the way people talk about it, like being gay is some sort of disease or something. I don’t want to be like this. I’ve tried pretending that I am not like this. I slept with a guy not that long ago. Sure I like him, but I can’t like him the way he likes me. I felt like being suffocated. It made me nauseated and I couldn’t breathe and I felt like I was giving away something that didn’t belong to him. I haven’t gone that far with Allison. I don’t have to. The emotional connection we have is real and strong and I don’t need physical sex to know that this is how I am.
My mother will probably never forgive me. What she will never understand is how badly I never wanted this for myself, and how hard I tried not to be like this. Sometimes I’m so afraid how she would react I’d rather just be dead than face her as who I am. I’m not sure how she figured it out, but she did. Maybe we can just go on pretending that everything’s normal. It will only be a couple more years before I can move out on my own and maybe by then she’ll have forgotten.