The Three Best and Worst Ways to Respond When Your Kid Comes Out to You
National Coming Out Day is coming up on October 11 and is often celebrated all week. October is also LGBTQ+ History Month. For many of us within the community, this is a celebratory time! We get to reflect on the joy we have found in coming out to ourselves and our loved ones, allowing us to live beautiful, authentic lives.
If you have a child that has been trying to figure out how to come out to you, the most important person in their life, National Coming Out Day might be the nudge they need to share their sexual orientation and/or gender identity with you.
If your kiddo is anything like mine, they told allllll of their friends and even social media, before they told me. Their Mother. Yeahhhh. Just kidding, it really is fine now. But at the time, I remember feeling pretty upset that I didn’t get to hear about it first....
The first time I felt it was in the first grade. I had just moved to a new city and I was painfully quiet. My parents didn’t make it easier because they always pointed it out and told me I needed to break out of my shell more. We were immigrants and didn’t have the privilege to have time and energy to dedicate towards talking about our feelings. Mom and Dad both had to hustle at the salon in order to pay off the debt that they got into by opening this new business. Dad spent hours every day on his feet, snipping at people’s hair while breathing in the nostalgic and disgusting fumes of this magic paste that helped them hide their natural hair color. Mom skipped meals, hunched over in the back room feverishly tending to people’s faces, making them look and feel the most beautiful they’d ever felt before. While she herself was swallowing guilt and shame and becoming an expert at holding back tears whenever the...
I was raised to be a good girl — to follow the rules, respect my teachers, and obey my parents. Doing these things made me feel worthy. So over the years, I kept doing them.
I respected my bosses, obeyed the church leaders, and submitted to my husband.
I wanted to be good. I wanted to do things the right way. And from the time I was a small child, I understood that the right way didn’t come from inside me. It came from others.
I was raised to believe that nothing good lived in me. That I was a filthy sinner to my core, and left to my own devices, I was worthy of eternal torment. This was terrifying. And I believed it wholeheartedly from the time I was a small child staring up at my Sunday school teacher.
I learned that my own inner voice was not trustworthy. The heart is deceitful above all things, I read in the Bible. The scriptures told me that a wise man listens to advice. So I got advice about everything. Where...
The 1980s saw Michael Jackson's "Thriller" ruling the charts, TV viewership soared with the "MAS*H" finale, and high school sweethearts Dave and Cheryl did exactly what society expected them to do - get married, buy a house, and start having kids.
The youngest of two I found myself constantly grappling with a sense of inadequacy. Not quite funny enough, not quite skinny enough, not quite successful enough... not quite enough.
Growing up in a world where conformity seemed essential, I yearned to fit in, imitating my older sister's hobbies and obsessing over pop idols like the New Kids on the Block. However, my pursuit of acceptance often fell short, leading to relentless bullying and a persistent feeling of being not quite right.
It wasn't until seventh grade that I experienced a pivotal moment that challenged societal norms. I met AJ, a confident tomboy who sparked an undeniable connection within me. AJ introduced me to a world I didn’t even know existed. I had never...
By Debra Jo Borden
Intersections: Bio/Adoptive/Foster Mother, Latter-day Saint, Educator, Cisgender, Female, Heterosexual (Rated with Kinsey Scale), Preferred Pronouns (She/Her/Hers, will accept They)
*When referencing deities, the use of capitals is a cultural practice of respect. I was taught to pray using Thee, Thy, and Thou and it is my opinion that the gender-neutral, modern use of They/Them fits in with that practice quite nicely. This article is written with the intention of respect, but I acknowledge that I likely still have unintended bias embedded within my commentary. I have experienced privilege in my overall life and in my church-related endeavors as a white, cisgender, heterosexual female, married in the temple to a husband who supports me (temple marriage being the highest obtainable honor for meeting all sexual purity standards deemed by the church in LDS Purity Culture). Finally, I have been immersed...
Growing up I had no idea that you could go from being perceived as a girl to a boy. When I finally realized it, I didn’t think it was an option for me. At the time, there was one other kid at my school who was trans, and they weren’t in the best place mentally. I tried to turn to the internet, but what I found was mostly hate.
The trans community in movies was portrayed as prostitutes, dead, or hated. One movie that stood out to me was “Boys Don’t cry.” It was a movie based on a true story where Brandon was raped, and his girlfriend was forced to look at his genitals and then they were both killed. In reality, they also had a friend staying there that was also killed.
Another was "Pet Detective". In the movie main character realized that he’d made romantic contact with puking, forcing himself to puke, plunging his face. Later he literally and forcefully strips Ventura to reveal her as a “man” and the entire police department...
I grew up in a small town just west of Indianapolis, Indiana that didn't tolerate differences. I was taught through abuse at school and scripture at church that I was irreparably broken, and that how I was born was inherently "bad" or "wrong." They made my sexuality out to be a thing I was afflicted with instead of a natural aspect of existence, and that disembodied a part of my identity and turned it into something they said could be removed. I wasn’t a gay man, I was sick with homosexuality and Jesus was the cure.
In secret, I tried to pray away my sexuality. I cried myself to sleep regularly, begging God to heal me or at least explain why he was unmoved. I was told that God didn’t answer prayers when someone lacked faith, implicating that I was a bad Christian. I needed to try harder. I also heard that God’s silence could sometimes be the result of living in sin. If that was the case, how could I get Him to answer me when my entire existence was sin...
I came out as bisexual when I was in High School to my friends but my parents would take me years to tell them. I always knew that I was not considered “Normal” in society's eyes when I was 8 years old. I had a crush on the very first boy of what I thought was my dream...but something seemed odd about it. I was always hanging around boys in my class and had very few girls as friends. One of them ended up being my first kiss with my neighborhood friend. I would invite her to my house all the time and even to my 8th Birthday. On one of the occasions, I remember her asking me if I knew what kissing was. I said only from movies and she wanted to know what it was like. So, we kissed and it was a little awkward at first but when I look back on it….it was very innocent.
Jump forward to high school where I started making art and watching a lot of tv shows. One of them was Xena which inspired me to create my own stories as I got older. I had boyfriends through my...
I joined a networking group last month. At our first meeting, a tall blond woman asked me "Oh is homophobia still even a thing? I'm surprised you run an entire organization that is fighting it. I thought the younger generation didn't even care."
October is just right around the corner, and with National Coming Out Day drawing near, we want to do something special for you.
As a foundation, our goal is to encourage and lift you up. So this October, we want to bring visibility and validity to every queer experience - we believe that all coming out journeys are valid and need to be shared. If you let us, we'd love to share yours with the world.
Whether you've JUST come out, are thinking about coming out or have been out for years, we want to share your story in whatever medium or form of expression comes most naturally to you.
Every story is different, some experiences are unexpectedly easy and some have unexpected and lasting consequences. Whatever your journey is like, it's definitely worth sharing and deserves to be in the spotlight.
That's why we organized Emergence, to celebrate the different coming out stories from the community and bring attention to queer experiences. Share your...