Your Gay Child Needs These 3 Things From You

If your child is gay and you're feeling lost and angry, this is for you.

I’m not a parent and I don’t intend to be one even though I love kids. I’m gay (I use this as a generic term and because personally I feel that it has a less negative connotation than lesbian) but I don’t see the need to have kids because I wouldn’t want my child to ever have to go through any form of discrimination, any mocking like “oh! your mom/dad is gay!”, “oh! you have a mom and a dad, 2 in 1!.” My child doesn’t need any of that . I don’t want to put any other human through any possibility of discrimination or allow them to be the subject of mockery. I’m writing this based on my personal experience and what I sometimes wish I got from my Mom.
It probably doesn’t matter which part of the world you’re in, as long as you’re gay, there will be some kind of discrimination and judgement, however minimal it may be. It will never be easy to walk a different path from the rest. It’s always difficult to be the minority.

So, your child really needs these 3 things from you.

1. Acceptance & Understanding

You need to accept them for who they are. You need to understand that being gay is really not a choice. I mean, who wants to choose the difficult path? Who wants to be deemed “abnormal”? Who wants to be mocked at?
If being gay was really a choice, nobody will choose it because people love to take the easy way out. Why would you sign up for a path that will bring you pain? Why wouldn’t you want to just be “normal” because it’s so much easier?
Being gay is not something that you can control. You can’t control your feelings. You can’t control who you’re attracted to. Just like how you fell in love with someone that your parents are against. Can you stop yourself from feeling for this person just because your parents say no? It just doesn’t work that way. We can’t control our feelings and who we are attracted to. There are no boundaries in love, feelings and attraction. There’s no “right” kind to be in love with, to feel for, to be attracted to. When you love, you just love. If you’re attracted to someone, you’re just attracted. Whether it’s right or wrong, the feelings will still be there. Yes, given time, these feelings may go away. Yet, there’s no guarantee that the next person that we love is the “right” one.
People often fall in love with the wrong person. Be it a heterosexual relationship or not, it can still be wrong. It doesn’t mean that you will fall in love with the “right” person. It doesn’t mean that heterosexual relationships are all “right” and will last. So homosexual or heterosexual, they are all the same. It can be just as right, or just as wrong.
If you cannot accept your child, it is very likely that your child will not accept themselves. As much as my parents love me, they have never ever openly announced that they accept me.
This is actually one of my greatest wish, to be openly accepted by my mom. My Mom and I, are very close. What she thinks of me, means the world to me. Somehow, it affects my level of confidence. Because my Mom is not confident of me as a daughter, it makes me less confident because I cannot fully accept myself. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming my Mom, and I understand her. Being brought up in a more conservative era and family, it is difficult for her to be fully accepting. 
It has been 20 years. I would say that her level of acceptance has gradually increased over the years. From saying that she’d disown me, to accepting that I shop from the male department when I go shopping with her. But 1 thing has not changed over these 20 years, is that every single month when I go for my hair cut, she still nags at me. There are times when I still get scolded if my hair is too short for her liking. Every month, she will still go on about how she wishes she’d be able to see me with long hair before she passes on, that this is her biggest wish.
Being unable to fulfil her wish makes me feel inadequate. Like I have failed as a daughter. There are times that because of not being fully accepted, I cannot fully accept myself. I do not have the confidence and courage to truly be myself. I mean, I am myself, but sometimes I do think why can’t I just be like any other “normal” daughter. 
What you think of your child, means the world to them. It will shape how they think about themselves. Being gay is difficult and it is definitely not a choice. Nobody would intentionally choose the difficult route. Your child wants to make you happy too. Sometimes, there are just some things that are beyond control. If you can accept your child, it will make their journey so much easier. It would make them a much more confident person. Because they are not abnormal! It’s just that they are attracted to the same sex.
My dad doesn’t say much in general. My Mom, on the other hand, is also my best friend. I tell her everything, well almost. I tell her everything except for my relationships. I wish I could tell her EVERYTHING. I wish she understood what I actually feel and am actually going through, but I can’t. 
I wish I could explain to my Mom exactly why I am the way i am. I wish I could tell her about my heartbreaks, my crushes, who I’m attracted to, what are my “types”. I wish I could tell my Mom when I feel uncomfortable in certain surroundings and environment, or around certain people. I wished my Mom asked if I was ever discriminated against. But I still can’t and I won’t because I still respect her and her preferences. I don’t wanna “gross” her out.
What your child needs is for you to understand what exactly they are going through. Be the friend to your child that they need. Everybody has a different experience. And some have it harder than the others. You need to understand that your child is not just “going through a phase” and that it is “not for fun” nor “experimenting”. Especially not so, after 20 years. Try to understand their lifestyle, try to get into their world more to know what exactly your child is going through. They need it. 
You need to be the accepting and understanding best friend to your child. You need to understand and know that your child wants to please you too. It hurts them when you’re hurting too. They want to be the best child that they can be for you.

2. Love

Love starts from home. The love from home, from parents, is unlike any other kind of love that can be found anywhere else. Because it is unconditional. And it’s the best kind of love that your child needs. If your child cannot get any love and acceptance from home, how do you expect him or her to find love and acceptance anywhere else? Any kind of love and acceptance is different from the love and acceptance you will ever get from your parents.

We cannot choose and dictate how things turn out. But we can choose the way we react to them. Instead of being angry that things don’t turn out the way we want them to, we can still choose to love. Being angry and hateful will only make your relationship with your child sour. You wouldn’t want your child to suffer in silence and keep everything from you. Whether or not your child is the “right” child, you can still love. Because nothing should be able to replace this relationship and bond between parent and child.

Shower them with unconditional love because there will be times that when they will find it difficult to love themselves.

3. Your Encouragement and Support

Say things like :

“ if you’re happy, Mummy will be happy. “
“Do whatever makes you happy. “
“Mum is proud of you.”
“Be whoever you want to be, you’re still my child and I will love you the same.”

These would mean everything to your child. Your child is probably not going to fit in very nicely in society. They might have to hide their sexuality. And for someone like me (a girl who looks like a boy), I can’t really hide and I am almost a misfit everywhere I go. In schools (except the all-girls school I attended), in toilets, in the workplace, in shopping departments, in fitting rooms, at family gatherings. I just don’t fit in. I will always be a minority and will always be frowned upon, or so I think.

I have never told my mom or anyone what I have to go through because I know it will hurt her more than it hurt me. These don’t affect me anymore now that I’m older. But if your child is younger, not being able to fit in is a big deal to them.

Your child needs to know that you’ve always got their back and will stand up for them no matter what they’re going through.

Parenting is not an easy path, neither is being gay. Most experiences that we go through are first-time experiences and we’re all still figuring out. I know it’s difficult for my Mom to accept a daughter who is “different”. I know it’s difficult for her that I didn’t turn out the way that she expected. But I guess, she learnt along the way that deep down, I’m the same person. It doesn’t matter who I’m attracted to, or how I look or dress. I am still the same daughter that she would have if I were straight.

Don’t ever give up on your child. Because your child won’t give up on you too. Your child is still striving to be the best child to you.

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