So me and my girlfriend are lesbians. One of our parents thinks it’s just a phase and that we will get over it and another one of our parents thinks it’s a choice and that we chose to be lesbian and that we should rethink our lifestyle. How can we prove to our parents and family and friends that we didn’t choose to be this way and that we were born this way????
Letter submitted by:
Coming out can be a difficult and risky process because other people’s responses often are impossible to predict, some people respond with love and support while others do not. Some people can accept news like this right away, while others take longer, while still others can’t accept it at all. It is very painful and disorienting to have those closest to you, like parents, not accept you as lesbian. And so it is understandable that you would want to try and make this situation better by taking it upon yourself to try and prove to your parents that you didn’t choose to be lesbian, but that you are simply being who you were made to be. It takes a lot of courage to come out and be yourself under the best of circumstances, but it takes even more courage to do so when not everyone is affirming and supportive. You are being very courageous!
The reactions you are getting from both sets of parents are different–one reaction doesn’t take who you are seriously and your identity is reduced to a passing phase, and the other reaction simply doesn’t reflect the truth, because being lesbian is not a choice. Neither one is providing the love, support, and understanding that you need to fully be who you are. Working through this with parents can be difficult. It is important that you and your girlfriend surround yourselves with supportive people who accept you as you are, and it is also important that your parents receive some help in learning to understand who you are.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a great organization, made up mostly of parents, which supports LGBTQ people and works to help parents and others to become more supportive and accepting of their loved one’s sexual orientation/gender identity. On their website at www.pflag.org click on “Get Support” then click on “For Families, Friends, and Allies” where you’ll find the pamphlets “Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual People” and “Frequently Asked Questions about GLBT People,” which, if you’re comfortable, you can share with your parents to help them become more understanding and accepting of you. PFLAG also runs support groups where parents and others can discuss questions and concerns they have about a loved one’s sexual orientation and where LGBT people can discuss issues they’re having with people in their life. On their website, you can search for a chapter near you. If no chapter is near you or if your family members/friends won’t attend, you could still contact the nearest chapter and get support and learn ways to help them become more understanding of you.
Here is a link to another helpful resource about coming out that both you and your parents can use, http://www.hrc.org/files/documents/ComingOut_ResourceGuide.pdf.
We are here to continue to support you throughout this process, so please keep in touch as much as you need, we are always here for you. You can always reach us in a number of different ways at http://www.thetrevorproject.org/.