My family recently found out that I'm into guys and girls. Now, my mom won't let me see my gay friends or talk to them on the phone; I can't go out with anyone unless it's with a relative. I'm getting to know this guy right now, but I’m still in love with the girl I was dating. My mom acts like, because this guy is interested in me, I’m done liking girls. But she found a whole bunch of pics of girls that I have on the computer and flipped out. She doesn't understand that I’m still into girls even though I’m getting to know this guy, and that because of her, I’m depressed and suffering cuz I can't be with the girl I was dating. How can I make her understand??? Oh, get this, she loves Queer as Folk and shows like Will and Grace but she can't accept the fact that her daughter is bi!!!!!!!!! I need help! I’m a prisoner in my own home.
One of the biggest differences between being a teen and being an adult is that someone else—generally a parent—has control over much of a teen’s life. Sometimes this is a good thing: when a parent helps a child avoid making self-destructive choices. Other times, it is a real drag: when the parent’s own prejudice or lack of understanding prevents the child from being able to express who s/he is. It sounds like, for you, this is one of those “other times!”
There is no way to “make” someone understand—especially if their mind is closed. You can ask to go to family counseling. You can request that a more understanding family member intervene for you. Or you can refer your mother to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (www.PFLAG.org). But there is no guaranteed method to “make her understand.”
The good news is that once you are 18, you will be able to call the shots, and she will no longer have the legal authority to prevent you from seeing or dating who you want. So, until then, you might just have to take deep breaths, avoid antagonizing her, and look for opportunities to make your case in a reasonable and non-combative manner. The irony is that, sometimes, the best way for a teen to get what she wants is to behave in a more mature manner than her parent does!