My 14 yr old daughter told us she is gay yesterday

LovingMomma's picture

Our beautiful , talented, caring, loving, daughter told her daddy and I she was gay yesterday. She first told me while her dad was at work, & I watched her struggle to say the words to me ;( I held her told her I loved her and that a part of me has always known. I reminded her that God doesn't make mistakes and nothing changes she's still my daughter. We both cried I believe her tears were of relief , but I think mine were and still are of fear (I won't tell her that)! She has not had a girlfriend nor sex, but she knows she's gay. I accept that!!! I sat down with her to tell her Dad there were more tears and his response was basically the same as mine. I'm trying my best to say the right things to her, but I have this overwhelming fear for her and even her 3 younger sisters (ages 13, 11, & 8). I want to protect from the cruel in this world she will surely face. I want to protect my other daughters from the back lash they will surly receive from other kids at school and possibly even family. I have all this fear inside (I refuse to share with my daughter bc I don't think it will be fair to make her feel bad for wanting to be who she is). We live in a small town & my kids have gone to the same school their whole lives. I'm not even sure if I'm making any sense right now and I realize I'm rambling....I just feel like I need to get this all out at once. The tears I have been crying have nothing to do with being ashamed of my baby girl. To tell the truth I don't know why exactly I'm feeling half the things I am. Confused, hurt, pity, fear, & it feels as if my innocent 14 yr old grew to an adult in less then 24 hrs. Do I hide these fears from her? Do I ask her what I want to when I want to? I have already told her it's her choice and only hers to decide when she wants to come out to the world, but do I ask her to let her 13 yr old sister know first? Her sisters very best friend is a preachers daughter & I don't know how their family feels about this subject. Is it even fair of me to consider my other daughters feelings??? I know this sounds silly but I feel like I'm the only one on this planet right now going through this.....crazy right?? As I told you my words are rambling the same as my thoughts are!!! I should also mention she told me she doesn't know of any other kids at school who are gay. We do have 3 ( 2 distant cousins on my side & my husband has an uncle) family members who are gay , but all much older and I My daughter doesn't even really know them so I don't think she'd feel comfortable talking to them. Should I even ask her if she wants to talk to anyone? I wish I knew all the answers, the right things to say, why I feel so guilty for feeling the way I do ;( I do know I love my daughter very much, I know she was born this way, & I know she is 100% normal!!! I found this site just by googling "My 14 yr old daughter told us she was gay" and I started reading some other parents questions & concerns. Not sure why I decided to create an acct and write this yet , but I hope in time I figure that out. Enough of my mixed up thoughts and questions for now. Thanks so much for reading and please if you have any positive advice I would greatly appreciate it.

Comments

angel syndrome's picture

Hi! You're not alone in

Hi!
You're not alone in this. When I first came out to my parents, they had similar fears for me, even though I live in a queer-friendly urban centre. This site (http://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/info-for-families-with-an-lg...) can give you more information about what your daughter is going through.

As a parent, the best thing you can do for your child is not to treat her differently because of her sexuality, and provide a safe space and open communication.
Also:
- Assure her that this does not change how you feel about her and that you accept her unconditionally.
- Avoid disclosing her sexuality to others without her consent and knowledge, including friends and other family members. Coming out is an extremely difficult experience and should be done on her terms.
- In regards to your other gay family members - I would jot down their contact information and let her know it's available, should she want it.
- Your daughter is very young, and may not know the answers to all your questions. If there is something that you want to ask her, do so in a neutral, safe space; likewise, let her know that you're trying to understand her better, and that it's okay if she doesn't have the answer.
- It unfortunately happens, particularly in small towns, that other teens will not disclose their sexuality due to fears of bullying, ect. As of such, it may be a while until she meets other LGBTQ* individuals.

In regards to her safety:
- Again, any disclosure of sexuality should be done on her own terms, with people she feels safe and comfortable with.
- Lambda Legal (http://www.lambdalegal.org/know-your-rights/youth) provides legal information for issues that may affect LGBTQ* youth - familiarize yourself with this information and have her back.
- Unfortunately, many schools do not provide gay/lesbian/trans/* sex education (though, fortunately, lesbians have a very low risk of transmitting an STI). As for anyone having sex, notions of consent and communication with her partner are important to understand.

Best of luck - as times goes on it will get better for both of you.
Hope this was helpful.

LovingMomma's picture

THANK YOU

Thank you for your advice and feedback. I will check out those sites you have recommended. I can't wait to get to the other side of this seemingly never ending battle in my head. I will continue to remind her daily how lucky I am to have her as a daughter & that she is loved......as I always have. Again Thank You for your response you will never know how much I truly appreciate it!!!!!

jeff's picture

Usually...

There is a bit of a role reversal in this moment, since she got to take her time, sort through her feelings, get to a place where she accepted things enough to tell you... and then you sort of have to take it all in and try to process it in an instant. So, by all means, don't be too hard on yourself. You said all the right things.

You can address the fear without making her the center of it. By saying you do worry that other people may see her differently, and that concerns you, and she probably already pushed through some of those same issues and feelings herself already. I know the parent-child dynamic seems a bit off kilter right now, but let her guide you through how she views it, what she's ready to do, and sort of get you up to speed.

At some point, she can come out, tell people, or anything else on her own timetable, so just talk with her to see what she wants to do, and then figure out how to support her in doing it. Some times kids tell their parents first. Other times, they already told friends and such, and then work up to the parents.

If you feel you want to talk to other parents, you can see if there is a PFLAG chapter near you (http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2). Your daughter can attend those meetings, as well.

If anything, be happy that your relationship with your daughter led to her wanting to be open and share her life with you, even while you are both sorting it out. Just give her a blanket statement of support, and then you can decide as a family (or you, your daughter, and husband, for now) how to proceed.

And, once that support is locked in, realize she will still be a teenager and do a bunch of stuff that annoys and bothers you, but that it has nothing to do with her sexuality, but is just her age. ;-)

Fear is a natural response to the unknown, so get up to speed on what you can, but realize that you can't make the world perfect for her. You can only try to be perfect for her in it. And, that's usually enough.

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

LovingMomma's picture

Thank You

Thanks so much for taking the time to read and then give back some insight. I truly appreciate it. Just been going through the motions and reading a lot about other families who have been through the journey ours just started on. It's good to know what I'm feeling and thinking is normal. I plan on taking it one day at a time until I work up the courage to attend some of the meeting I've been reading about. I know if my daughter had the courage to come to her dad and I we will certainly have the courage to do whatever it takes to make our family stronger.