As Pride Month 2021 comes to a close, here is a review of the most commonly asked questions from parents of LGBTQ+ kids.
Not being out with your parents is very common in the LGBTQ+ community. The coming out journey begins with being out to yourself, and depending on the environment you're being raised in, it can feel unsafe to be authentic even to yourself, let alone your parents. The more comfortable a child is with their own identity, the more likely they'll come out to their parents.
Obviously, parents and caregivers influence that comfort level. But home life can be very accepting and the child might still struggle to accept their identity themselves. It’s a very personal journey, which can feel disconcerting since we’re their parents. We wiped their bums for goodness sake! We feel heavily...
The LGBTQ community is having a collective realization and it involves you.
My daughter and I were driving in the car when the Dixie Chick's song Gaslighter came on. She asked what it meant and I explained that gaslighting is what happens when someone hurts you, but when you call them on it, they refuse to apologize.
Instead, they say things like "You're being really sensitive!" or "You took it that way, that's not my fault. I wasn't intending to be hurtful." Or the BEST is "I never said that. I think you're imagining that."
Overall, gaslighting creates a sense of confusion, of not being able to trust your gut or the validity of what people say and mean. If you notice your LGBTQ co-workers, family, and friends, looking at you a little strangely, there's a reason.
We're having a collective moment of realizing that while 80% of our nation says they support us, 50+% voted the opposite of that. Their words and their actions are not adding up.
So we're questioning everyone...
When I was 38 I had to come out to my Dad. He was 72. I had been married to a man for 18 years, I had four of his six grandchildren. I can't imagine the bombshell that was for him.
My Dad was born in New England and he spent his entire childhood there, son of an accountant and the local Masonic lodge leader. After high school, he joined the Coast Guard. After that he was an ironworker, building almost every bridge on the seacoast.
There's an infamous story, happened way before I was born. He and his crew were working in the 70s on a skyscraper in Hartford, CT. On their lunch break, they unwittingly wandered into a gay bar. You can imagine how that went down. The cops were eventually called to break up the fight and Dad was thrown in jail. My mom left him there for the night. (I LOVE THIS STORY, my dad was in JAIL, you guys.)
In an effort to save their marriage which was on the rocks from the...