Every parent who’s shared a portion of his or her journey in this summer series knows that it’s just that – a portion. A very small portion. So many feelings go unspoken in these posts. What’s written and bravely shared with the rest of us doesn’t begin to convey the whole story for these moms and dads. Especially as Christians, we’ve grown up not discussing, and therefore not understanding so much of what our LGBTQ children go through. Therefore, parents have a tremendous learning curve, fraught with fear, and most often experienced alone because they don’t feel safe in sharing, even with those closest to them. So please know that there’s much more to the story than what each of these parents has written, and simply listen closely to their hearts. Here’s another post from a mom.
Being a lifelong Christian and part of the Church of Christ meant I had never considered that my child could be gay. Yes, I had gay friends and I loved them and sought to include them and let them know that they would always be part of my life. Extended family members? Yes, but not my child. I was a loving mom. An attachment-parenting mom who stayed home and homeschooled and avoided immersion into too much contemporary culture. I actively, lovingly parented and was involved in my children’s lives. They wouldn’t have the emotional emptiness I was told was at the root of choosing to be gay.
But here we were: “Mom, I think I’m gay.”
I thought those words were the beginning of the end, and I also thought they said something about me. I must have done something wrong as a parent. There had to be some magic formula that I had missed because of my own troubled childhood and lack of relationship with my mom. I tried to listen more than I talked because I didn’t want to say anything hurtful. I didn’t want to hurt my beautiful daughter: the one who made me a mom and who was the first to be my heart walking around outside my body.
Instead, it was a new beginning. What I’ve learned over the last thirteen years is that my daughter told me that because she did know that I loved her and because of what I had done right as a parent. Some people are gay. I don’t have to know why that’s true to know that it is true. I didn’t decide to be straight; I just am. She didn’t decide to be gay; she just is.
And I am thankful.
I am thankful for her honesty and how it taught us to have difficult conversations with grace and love. I am thankful for the home she has created with her wife and the safe harbor they have provided for others. Her life may be different from what I pictured, but it was not my life to create anyway. She is still a beautiful wife, loyal friend, loving daughter, and will someday be an amazing mother.
And I am thankful.