A friend of mine has come out and his Mum is having trouble dealing with it. He is not alone. There are lots of you out there dealing with coming out and parents reactions. For those of you who have come out and who are thinking about coming out here are a few insights in to what your Mum might be thinking.
I couldn’t possibly guess at what every parent out there is thinking but hopefully it will help you understand a little about what might be going on in their heads.
There is a grief process for parents.
When a child comes out there is a grief process that parents go through. Mums may feel this more than others. They grieve for the life that their child might have had. Mums grieve for lost grand children. Obviously there are more and more Gay parents everyday and the opportunities for you to have children are many and varied, but in the emotional roller coaster that Mothers feel these options seem far far away.
She might worry about the life you will have.
A mothers maternal instinct is strong. Remember we live in a world where discrimination, HIV, and violence against LGBT people still abound. They worry about you being bullied at school or bashed on the street. They worry that people may hurt you or even kill you.
She will try to understand why.
Many Mums will ask themselves if it was something they did or if it was their fault. It’s typical of Humans to try to find reason for everything that happens. My Dad once asked my Mum if I was Gay because they bought me a dolls house when I was 5.
She may feel conflicted with her religion.
I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to religion other than to say that peoples beliefs change from within.
Coming out is a brave thing to do and anybody who does it should be commended for it, but it’s a process that involves many people not just yourself. Your Mum may react positively or negatively but having some insight in to what she is thinking will help you navigate the hurdles. Remember to have empathy, put yourself in her shoes.
Mums often worry because they care, it would be a bigger problem if they didn’t. Worry is a manifestation of fear and ignorance but also of love, remember that and good luck.
If you are feeling alone or need somebody to talk too you can click on the links below or search for your local PFLAG group.