I'm A PFLAG Mom

Posts Tagged "Parenting"

Source: Washington Post

Question from lovemyself09

So about 3 months ago i came out to my parents and they were really disappointed. They took me to a psychologist and honestly i was getting tired of them pointing at me and sayibg many homophobic things that i just told them that i wasn't really gay (lesbian) that all i wanted was their attention. I know i'm gay. i've always been and i'll always be. i came out to a friend who is also gay. But i just want my parents to accept me the way i am, i'm living a lie. i wanna be who i am. help!

That isn’t uncommon. I be a lot of people reading this are saying “I did the SAME thing!” Your parents think there is a way to make you straight- perhaps shaming you, or denying it, or dragging you to close-minded, homophobic counselors.

Do you have a long time before you’ll be independent from them? You may want to wait until you’re out of their house to come out again. Or, have a heart-to-heart and explain that you tried to not be gay in order to make them happy but it just doesn’t work like that. Explain that they can “not allow” you to be gay but you simply ARE and it isn’t going to change. They could keep you from being happy until you are away from home (and come to terms with parental rejection), or they could accept and celebrate you as the real person you are.

As usual, I recommend PFLAG.org for support material for them and for you. You can download pamphlets on different queer-related topics. Ideally, you could get them to a PFLAG meeting but until the, print some of their things and see if they will read them

Question from Anonymous

I told my mother about a year ago that I was gay and she still does not accept it. I told her about my girlfriend and she told me to get rid of her so I cannot have any communication with my girlfriend anymore. I can't see nor talk to her and she's the one I truly love. What do I do.

"Get rid of her"? How very harsh! See some of my other answers on this subject. Parents plan out their kids’ lives and that includes them being straight-cis people. Get her support: PFLAG, keep the lines of communication open, don’t sneak around because getting caught could be pretty awful. Family counseling would probably be useful. Your mom needs to realize that she can’t make you straight by keeping you away from your girlfriend. You may want to mention that you are a lesbian now and will be in 5 years, 10 years, etc. So keeping you away from your gf will just make you miserable between now and when you find your NEXT gf. She can wait till you graduate from HS and leave home, but it won’t make you straight. She should know that it COULD, however, make you depressed, drop out of school, engage in high-risk behavior, and generally feel abandoned by the woman you need most in your life (her). Ask her, given your sexual orientation, what she expects from you.

Question from Anonymous

I am probably not the most typical person to ask you questions but im Elliot(FTM) and my parents are very un-accepting of the fact i like girls to the point I'm afraid to tell them that I am Transgender and prefer a different name and male pronouns. What should I do? My parents are not religious either so I don't understand why they are so against me being happy with who I am.

Actually, you ARE.  Many parents begin to plan their kids’ lives before they are even born. They continue to develop their hopes and dreams as their kids grow up. Eventually, they start doing that with their grandkids. The grandkids they also assumed they would get and that would live nearby. 

ENTER REALITY.

Our children don’t owe us anything. They didn’t ask to be born. You chose to have them. The real goal is to raise kids to be who they truly are.  If you love and nurture them, they will become authentic loving adults. THAT is your reward. That is the REALITY.

Few parents have a baby identified as a boy or girl and keep an open mind about their eventual gender identity. Most parents are FLOORED by the news that they have a transgender kid.

The GOOD news is that there are more and MORE parents realizing the joy in having a transgender kid. Many of us (parents who chat on the support group TransYouthFamilyAllies) express our appreciation that our wonderful beloved kids wouldn’t be who they are if they weren’t trans*. We love them as they are, and they are trans*. We wouldn’t change them. We all wish the rest of the world felt as we do and it breaks our hearts when our kids are hurt by a transphobic and generally anti-queer society. We would do anything to spare them that pain. 

Your question of what to do about YOUR parents? For one, you don’t know how they will react to your being trans*. They may be in denial — hoping that you will knock it off  and be the straight-cis daughter they think they’ve raised.

Get resources from TYFA, PFLAG, and other places that could help them and also give you ideas of how to approach them.

Stay true to yourself. Be yourself. Be PROUD. 

Question from Anonymous

I want to ask if you would be a pflag mom for students and other LGBT people who have parents that do not accept them for who they are. I am only 17 and I need someone to be my adult support system...

You probably need someone in real life. Find a PFLAG group in your area and go to the meeting. That is a good place to find caring parents who may love to be your support. I’m sorry that the adults in your life aren’t responsible and loving people. There are a lot of PFLAG moms and dads out there- your local PFLAG might have some more ideas too. ♥

Question from Anonymous

I'm a mom to a great 10 yr old! He likes "traditionally girl" toys, shows, boy bands & activities. He is very feminine in his speech & mannerisms. I love him to the moon & back & think that he is perfect exactly the way he is. His cousins are in town & about the same age & it's been AWFUL! Teasing, mocking, shaming, judging. This is the 1st time this has happened & we are heartbroken. I talked to their mom & she denies her kids are assholes! What do I do? How do I protect him from his own family

Your question makes me so sad. People sometimes where bullies come from - there you go!

 You child is lucky to have a mom who cares so much about him as a human being. Good that you realize that he IS perfect the way he is. I know that different family dynamics could make it uncomfortable for you to speak directly to those kids, but your kid’s emotional life and possibly self-esteem depend on you. Tell those asshole kids that their teasing will NOT be tolerated at all. If you have to take your kid and leave, or ask them to leave, just do it.  You can’t protect him from his family but you can stand up for him. You can also let him know that bad behavior isn’t acceptable even if it comes from family. There is no law saying anyone has to take abuse from people- even if they are family. Do you care more about being polite or being a good role model for you kid? You stand up for him and he will learn from you what not to tolerate from people. 

Question from ourmindmechanic

PFLAG Mom never heard of this term, could u explain ? thanks in anticipation bru

There are a couple of definitions out there. The stereotype is of the “overly enthusiastic” moms of gay kids who border on embarrassing (ok, sometimes they go off the edge!)  People with homophobic and rejecting parents often long for a “PFLAG mom” but people with PFLAG moms sometimes wish their moms would be a bit quieter about their acceptance. The term became popular with Debbie, the PFLAG mom in Queer as Folk. I may have a lot of equality and rainbow themed buttons but I do NOT wear them on a VEST!  I have marched in more than one Pride parades however.

I acquired  the label after I  founded the first (and only) PFLAG group within 100+ miles of our town, and my son started the first GSA at his high school.  I have kept the label because there is some truth to it. I know my son - and my straight cis- daughter - have been embarrassed by my outspokenness on more than one occasion. 

What it means in reality is a supportive parent (there are plenty of PFLAG Dads out there too!) who is a member of Parents Family &  Friends of Lesbians and Gays. I’ll add some photos to give you an idea of what people generally mean when they call someone a “PFLAG mom”. In addition, we  will often be a surrogate mom to queer kids rejected by their own parents.

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