Mar 5, 2006, 12:50 PM
I'm a sixteen year old girl and about 5 months ago, my mother found out that I'm gay. Ever since then she's treated me horribly and she's never been accepting of anything concerning my sexual orientation. My dad is completely fine with it, but what I really want is for my mom to say it's ok.
I have a girlfriend which I've been with for seven months and everytime I mention her name to my mother, or ask if I can spend time with my girlfriend, she's very weird with me. I always feel so uncomfortable when I walk into my door at home and it's so hard to look into my parents face everyday knowing that I have dissapointed them. Parents should accept their children no matter what.
Am I over reacting, or is my mother being careless towards me? What do you think?
Mar 5, 2006, 04:07 PM
Hm. This sort of scenario is almost guaranteed to result in something like this.
First of all, it doesn't look as if she's unaccepting of your sexual orientation. She could be worried about the whole thing, and this in turn would mean she's trying to be careful, because thats a common thing for mothers to do; did you think about that if she's being careful then maybe she's trying to encourage you to do the same? Perhaps the reason she would be careful is not to upset you, and also maybe not to interfere with the relationship itself, and this is quite a bold move. It may also be possible that she went through the same phase, and doesn't want to see you go through it. Not nice, but its a big possibility.
Another thing, she might be having a hard time accepting it. If she doesn't know this girl then that would make the whole thing worse because trust is a big issue in most relationships, especially between other members of the family. A decision like this is not taken so lightly by parents because they tend to stay out of it. Your mother cannot make your decisions for you, but she can guide you on making the right one; this being said, she wants you to stay away from it because she feels it isn't right. If you look at the possibility of worry again, she wants you to be careful with it. I can tell that she knows you're independent for your own wants, and she can't change that, and thats what makes the whole thing hard to accept. She knows that you love your girlfriend, and she loves you in the same way, but your mother is trying to watch over you and see where it takes you - I have a similar thing with my mum towards my A-levels, but thats besides the point.
Lastly I don't think she's disappointed with you at all... just, again, very concerned. This worry is very discouraging to her, and she doesn't know what to say to you, or what to ask, involving what you want. If she was disappointed then she'd probably be pretty angry, but then again, I don't know her; just another possible thing.
Well, I hope that helped a bit. Just throwing in my $0.02 :)
Beatrix the Goddess
Mar 6, 2006, 06:10 PM
I don't think you're overreacting at all Pixie, but I'd be interested if you could clarify her behaviour towards you a bit more, because I'd hate you to conclude anything from this thread that might be wrong.
As DB says, this is a common situation (although by no means universal - as you've seen with your dad), although homophobia is still around today, it was much more prevalent in your parents generation. You may or may not know this, but homosexuality was still classified as a mental illness up until the 1970s when the DSM-IV came out (the 4th revised edition of the manual of mental illness/disorders), so no problem was seen with homophobia back then, just as no problem is generally seen with a hatred of paedophilia today.
But despite this prevailing attitude to homosexuality that you see in older people, I think that - except in more extreme circumstances - its a case of "hate the sin, love the sinner". Your mum may not like homosexuality, but you're her daughter, first & foremost. You could murder someone & she'd still love you. I think she'll be experiencing as much of an emotional conflict over this as you are - knowing how much you mean to her & yet disapproving (and perhaps being scared of) the choice you've made (I use the term"choice" lossely - I know its not really a choice. An issue that she doesn't understand - & therefore doesn't like - has touched her life more personally than she ever thought it would, & thats going to be difficult for her to deal with. Not that I'm saying her behaviour towards you is justified; but some of it is understandable. As DB says, shes going to be scared for you. She'll have the stereotypical view of all homosexuals somehow being nasty & dangerous people. But because you're her daughter you're obviously not like that - you're much better - & she's scared about "nasty" people corrupting you. So obviously her natural reaction is going to be to try & change your mind - & again, the fact that she thinks theres any hope of changing it reflects her poor understanding of what it is to be gay.
In the end Pixie, I think (& hope) that shes just very worried about her beloved daughter, & that worry is in turn going to create fear, anger & frustration, all of which I'm sure you see in her behaviour towards you. There are some...quite dispicable individuals who will take this much further & completely isolate themselves from their children; practically disowning them. But such a strong aversion to homosexuality is usually caused by religious issues, & you didn't mention anything like that in your post - ut thats why I wanted you to clarify a bit more. Is she just shutting you out; or still interacting (positively or negatively) with you about it? Which of those do you mean by "treating you horribly" or "acting weirdly"?
Judging from what you've said thus far; I think what your mum is mainly suffering from is fear for you, & a bad case of ignorance, which most people of her generation do. I know its very hurtful when a parent rejects you this way, but in this case I think your mum is rejecting homosexuality itself, not you. Shes scared for you, not contempuous of you. Any anger she shows will have its root i her fear & anxiety for you, not hatred of you. Parents don't ask to have these things thrown at them, & in the end, being a parent doesn't magically mean they can deal with them. Its at times like this that you have to realise that parents aren't perfect; they do have faults, and sometimes you're right & they're wrong, eve if they claim otherwise. Its very damaging to your self-esteem if you let that leftover seed from childhood of "Mummy's always right" take root in you forever. You've got to realise that - & have faith in what you feel - in order to negotiate through the situation.
Sorry, thats probably enough analysis. Whats more important to you is - how do you deal with it? Well, if my interpretation of her behaviour is right - fear & ignorance; you need to combat each of those with their opposite: confidence & education. Don't ler her attitude make you try & hide your sexuality, or deliberately not talk about it. Be completely open with her - you might even ask her if shes got any questions for you. Be honest about your life with your girlfriend. It'll take time, but eventually she'll start to learn the "real deal", so to speak, about homosexuality, through you. & eventually she'll see how normal it really is, & how happy you are. Anything she thinks she knows about gay people will be based on the normal ridiclous stereotypes & sensationalist media - that'll be all she knows - you need to show her otherwise. In other words: educate her. And thats linked to the fear she feels as well - dispelling her views about the dangers of homosexuality will help with that, but you also need to show her that just because you're a lesbian doesn't mean that you're automatically going to 'go off the rails'. I don't know how easy or hard this will be for you :P - but try not to be a stroppy teenager, because she will immediately attribute that to your homosexuality, even if its completely unrelated. So do your best at school, don't get drunk too often, don't argue with her about curfews etc. Show her that you're still a mature & well-adjusted adult, & that you're not suffering from any "adverse influences".
So yeah..overall I think you should just be open, despite her attitude. If you come home & feel like you could cut the atmosphere with a knife, just say "Mum, do you want to talk?" & see what happens from there. Take whatever opportunities you can to reassure her & explain things to her.
But the most important thing for you to remember is that she hasn't stopped loving you or caring about you just because of this. In the end I think shes just feeling vulnerable, & people show all sorts of aggressive behaviour when they feel vulnerable.
Oh & theres one other thing that I think you should bear in mind....if I were you, I wouldn't go getting involved in the general gay culture just yet, even if you want to - wearing the triangle, Gay Pride marches & so on, because I think that will cause even more hassle with your mum. IYou've got a girlfriend, & thats the most important thing. n the end you've got to decide whether its worth it - is it better to demonstrate your orientation & beliefs for the greater good, at risk of your relationship with your mum deteriorating a lot more, or keeping quieter, being happy with your girlfriend & improving relations with your mum? Its just something to think about.
Anyway, pm me if you want to talk about it more privately :) I've bee through more or less the same thing.
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