Alex is 14, and six months ago, they told their parents that they are bisexual and non-binary. Alex came out in the greatest way, setting up a scavenger hunt for their parents, which ended in their closet (of course) where the bisexual pride flag was hanging. Alex’s parents were so happy that they felt confident enough to come out, and especially that Alex was trusting them with this vulnerable information. Alex’s parents gave them a huge hug and said “we love you no matter what.”
But now it’s six months later. Alex and their parents haven’t spoken about it much since. Alex feels awkward bringing it up again, but they’re really not sure who else to talk with about what they’re experiencing. They’ve asked their teachers to use they/them pronouns and some were good about it. They got a lecture from their English teacher and that didn’t feel great. But Alex wasn’t sure their parents would want to hear about...
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...
I am battling my own ghost. How do you fight yourself? You know all your best moves. You know how she’ll react to any given situation. And when you emerge the victor, have you actually won? Because you just trashed yourself.
My ghost is beating me right now. My 18-year-old son and I went on a walk last night. He leaves for college in two days and I wanted his opinion on how to handle a situation with his 12-year-old sister. We’re not communicating well and I can’t figure out how to fix it. With four kids in total, I needed help.
“It sounds familiar, Mom,” he said. “I think she’s at the point where I was just a few years ago. I didn’t know how to communicate with you in a straightforward way. I felt like I had to strategize and plan so that I wouldn’t get in trouble. I think she hasn’t learned she doesn’t have to do that anymore.”