Mom: “what do you want from me?” Child: “acceptance”
I am going to do something a little atypical for me. I am going to post something I wrote on my face book status as my blog post today. I will write more about the conversation I had with my mother tonight, but for now, this is as far as I have processed it. The sentences are disjointed and the flow isn’t so hot- but I feel a little disjointed myself tonight- so alas you, my dear readers, get the mess. More on this when I can gather my thoughts in a more articulate way.
I had a devastating conversation with my mom this evening- the first time she actually said to me out loud that it would have been easier for her if I was a heterosexual and that my “lifestyle” was a sin and that it was my choice to live that way…..and yet my mom is the one who left the conversation crying saying that I wasn’t being fair to her- when I told her that what she said devastated me.
When she asked me what I wanted from her, I said “acceptance.” She said she would still love me but she was standing firm in what she believed. I asked her to consider the possibility that maybe she could be a christian and accept the LGBT community. I told her I knew people who identified as chrisitians and were able to see that the LGBT community was a beautiful reflection of God. I asked her, *for me*, to consider the possibility that she could have both, she could have God and accept her daughter. That maybe, she could be willing to see that sexual identity is something we are born with and that all love is from God-not just heterosexual love.
Her response: ” you said I should have been there for you when you were terminated from your job, you said I should have been there for you when people were bullying you- well I think you are the bully now- telling me that I have to change.”
In a way, I left the conversation relieved- hugged Adam and took a deep breath. And yet, some how, I left the conversation feeling bad because my mom started bawling uncontrollably- so, I stood up for myself and ended up feeling sad that I made my mom cry -how does that work?
I want to say this to the parents of LGBT children: tell your children you love and accept them- be there for them- listen to them. and for those amazing parents who do, like my best friend John’s parents and my in-laws- thank you- your love and acceptance helps soften the blow when we face discrimination from others. And to those parents who do not accept their children- those parents who walk away from their children, I implore you to think about what you are doing/saying- and how it affects your children-even as adults our parents can still hurt us.
I am thinking of all the teenagers tonight who do not feel accepted by their parents. I feel sadness from the way my mother spoke to me and feels towards me, but I am blessed to be an adult who is confident in who she is, who lives in a community where I feel safe, and loved- this helps cope- but my heart worries about those people who don’t have that support system- I am thinking of the kids who call into the Trevor Project this evening- know that you are not alone- there are many many adults who love and support you- I am so very sorry if it is not your parents- but know that you are not alone.