I am a lesbian and have always been a lesbian. At the same time I have had girlfriends who have come out later in life as lesbians and who have come out as bisexuals. (I wish to add that I have not had that many)!
Having been a lesbian for 15 years + (not wanting to show my age too much) I wanted to answer some questions that have been asked of me and my partners over the years. I also want to add that these are questions that those in the LGBT community often worry about themselves.
When a young person or adult comes out to their parents there are a number of questions that the parent may have:
1. Q. How will my son or daughter know that this is not just a phase?
A. Let me state with a great deal of certainty that if your son or daughter has ‘come out’ to you or told you about their new same sex partner that this will not have been an easy decision to make. It is quite likely that this has been playing on their mind for some time and that telling you may have been the scariest thing that they have ever done! If there was any doubt in their mind they would probably not have told you. So presume that it is not a phase.
2. Q. If my son or daughter tells me that they are ‘bisexual’ are they just desperate to find someone?
A. As with the above answer this will not have been easy to tell you. If they are desperate for love, finding love as a heterosexual is much easier than finding love as a bisexual.
3. Q. I won’t be able to be a grandparent now?
A. Heterosexual couples often struggle to conceive children. The percentage of couples in fertility clinics who are straight massively outweigh those who are not. This evidently leads to the fact that gay couples can of course conceive in a variety of ways including fertility treatments within clinics, using donations, surrogacy and lots more. Furthermore, at least when they do have a child you will know that it has not been a mistake!
4. Q. How do I tell my friends that my son or daughter is gay?
A. In case you did not know this is the 21st Century and 2013 has been the year of Gay Marriage globally. This I hope would tell you that it is not only legal to be gay, but gay couples now also have equal rights in their relationships.
There are a few ways to tell people. You don’t necessarily need to tell anyone unless they have a partner, in the same way that you don’t announce their heterosexuality. If they are in a relationship tell people that they are. Also if you are confident and supportive, it is very likely that those in your life will be too. Remember in most cases people mirror anxiety. If you appear unsure and anxious so will others.
5. Q. I am worried about the discrimination that my son or daughter may face?
A. Firstly, the worst discrimination that they can face is from you! So I would recommend that you are extremely supportive, and then if they do suffer from any prejudice, at least they will know that their parents are behind them 100%.
Secondly, as a child I was bullied before I came out for all manner of things ranging from my choice of clothing to my acne! People like to pick on people, full stop. If they do face discrimination luckily the laws of the Western world will protect them in the same way that they protect those who suffer racial abuse. We would not stop black people giving birth and finding love because of potential discrimination that they may face!
The more that parents accept their children’s sexuality as normal, the more that those around them will too.
6. Q. Who will pay for the wedding?
A. Traditionally the bride’s parents pay. The great news is that in a gay marriage there are no rules. So if you have a daughter and have always been dreading the day that she tells you she is marrying a man, then this could be your lucky day. Maybe they will go halves, maybe not! But at least you may not have the same financial implications.
7. Q. Is my son or daughter gay due to a previously bad marriage or relationship?
A. Many people come out later in life due to all manner of reasons. This is a blog post in itself (note to self). The fact that they may have been gay and were too scared or unsure to come out, hence the heterosexual marriage, may explain the ‘bad marriage’. Another reason could be that the ‘bad marriage’ allowed them to reflect on the decisions that they previously made in their life and perhaps they were trying to do what they believed to be the ‘right thing’.
Let’s imagine your daughter, for the sake of argument, suffered from a violent relationship by a man, she could just as easily wish to escape with another man who is kind and sweet than she could to a woman. If she ‘comes out’ with a woman it is likely that she is either a lesbian or bisexual.
8. Q. As a gay parent did I make my son or daughter gay?
A. Many gay people have straight parents. They came out as gay.
9. Q. My religion tells me that being gay is wrong?
A. If we followed religion in every single way the world we lived in would be very different indeed. We would never masturbate, we would stone our disobedient children to death, there would be no divorce, no tattoos, we would never eat seafood and we wouldn’t have sex before marriage amongst many other things. Before judging your son or daughter for being gay (which may I reiterate is not a choice), you may wish to reflect on whether or not you have followed your religious text religiously.
Plus, religion does state that you should accept.
10. Q. What does my son or daughter do sexually?
A. There is not one rule for all. Many straight couples do not simply assume the missionary position. In fact those who do are probably desperate to try different moves. Lesbians and Gay men can have meaningful sex and wonderful orgasms too. All you need to know is that they are most likely having a whale of a time. Maybe you should consider how much satisfaction you get in your sex life first.
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