Sex Kitten Q&A: Lesbian Daughter?

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I'm pretty sure one of my daughters is lesbian. I have tried to open the door and let her know that her father and I will love her no matter what. She still won't open up. What can I do to make it possible to talk about the possibility of her being lesbian? She's 22 and living on her own.

I'm pretty sure one of my daughters is lesbian. I have tried to open the door and let her know that her father and I will love her no matter what. She still won't open up. What can I do to make it possible to talk about the possibility of her being lesbian? She's 22 and living on her own.

Concerned Mom

A few weeks ago, sitting in my motherís car after a trip to Costco, she looked at me and asked me what my ďsecretĒ was. I knew she was asking me to tell her I am gay, as she has done in this same manner several times before. I cracked a joke, changed the subject and later had to ask myself why it was so hard to tell her something she clearly already knew. In my case, I just couldnít get the words out of my mouth. I couldnít look my mother in the eye and say ďI am gayĒ because I feared that in that moment, everything would change. Or maybe nothing would change and Iíd be stuck living in this world where my girlfriend is still only my roommate.

Each gay person has their own reasons for being in the closet and for finally coming out. Sometimes itís easier to pretend or ignore it; itís easier to say nothing at all than to have to justify your sexuality to people you fear might never understand. One of my own biggest fears in telling my religious and often prejudiced parents is that they will ask me to change, to be something I am not and can never be. Even though I know they will love me no matter what, there is always this seed of doubt lingering in the background, born from past experiences.

I have every tool I need to come out to my parents and yet I still have misgivings. Perhaps your daughter doesnít have everything she needs. Maybe she lacks supportive relationships or needs someone to role play the entire conversation for her so she can practice talking to you and her father (a year ago I couldnít even imagine telling my parents, but I have since had twice-monthly sessions with a counselor to help me through my reservations). Maybe she just needs more time. Even when itís clear that we will be accepted, there are so many reasons we may feel uncomfortable talking about our sexuality.

One thing to remember is that she will never come out to you until she has come out to herself. Itís very possible that she is unsure of who she is, is unsure of whether or no she is a lesbian, bisexual or just curious (or neither). To come out to yourself, to admit you are gay, is a struggle. So much of society tells us that homosexuality is wrong and when you're starting to think you are gay, there is still an intense amount of shame and guilt that can take over. Once she gets past this (assuming your suspicions are, in fact, true) then perhaps she will make more of an effort to confide in you.

In my experience, the single biggest worry a gay child has is whether or not they will be loved. Nothing is sadder and more frustrating than having to think about your parents, the very people who are supposed to love you unconditionally, not loving you. My advice for you is, if anything, just to love her. Love her regardless of her sexuality. You donít have to force her to come out to you, but keep the door open and work your open-minded attitude into normal conversation. These days itís easier than ever to have a conversation about being gay, as gay rights issues are abundant in the news. Use that as a jumping off point. Recently my mother and I discussed gay marriage without any sort of feeling like we were trying to have a conversation about my own sexuality. We were just two people talking about current events, and though she expressed opinions different from my own, I felt comfortable telling her what I believed. This might be the easiest way to go about it.

I hope this helps. There are so many ways to answer your question because there are so many reasons why your daughter might be unwilling to come out to you. The best thing you can do is remain open and willing to talk without pushing her to do something she may not be ready to do. Clearly youíre on the right track by letting her know your love is unconditional. Thatís all any young person can ask.

If youíre looking for more resources, try some of the following links:

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Always My Child: A Parent's Guide to Understanding Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning Son or Daughter

The Coming Out of a Lesbianís Mother

GOOD LUCK!

(And read my review of Different Daughters.)

 

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GaŽlle's Room

Lesbianism 101: A look into how lesbian sex actually works, and why it works so well. There will be very dirty, naughty, delicious sex. There will *not* be "lesbian bed death."


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