Friday, 12 October 2018

How To Deal With Your Child Coming Out As Gay

So, your child has managed to muster the strength to tell you that they're LGBTQ+ and your mind is suddenly blown and you're not sure how the hell to react? Then read on... 

Firstly - you may we wondering what on earth LGBTQ+ stands for. Your child may have just told you that they're gay' or 'queer' so this now means that they fall into the LGBTQ+ community (we're fabulous and lovely by the way). So what does this mean? LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer / Questioning (depending on the definition) and the + is there to encompass further sexualities and gender identities. But I think we'll leave it there for now before we start to really overwhelm you. 
So why do you think you're reacting so badly? We're a married lesbian couple and both our mums reacted very negatively to us coming out and it took them a long time to come around and accept it. Thankfully they now fully embrace us and our wives as if it's like their own daughter. Also, it may be important to note that while your reaction could be a big blur for you, your child most likely remembers every. single. word and remark that you have made. It appears to be quite common that parents completely blocking and forget how they reacted, as they couldn't imagine they would have ever done that. Please be aware of what you say and do, as it can have a lasting impact. 
Your child hasn't suddenly changed and become a new person. They are still the exact same person. They will be living more happy and free, and that can never be a bad thing. They may suddenly find a new community and attending things such as Pride events, but this doesn't change who they are to you. Some LGBTQ+ people may change the way they look, this can be a phase or it can be their new identity i.e. a lot of girls often cut their hair or change their clothes as they feel they have to fit a certain stereotype's. Sometimes they realise that this isn't right for them and others find who they are. What they wear or how they have their hair still doesn't change their they're your daughter and/or son and love you. They just want you to love them back. 
We thought it would be important for you to hear from some mum's of children who have come out as LGBTQ+ and what they had been to / what advice they could give. 
Advice From Mothers':

Megan's Mother:

"I struggled because I thought that the fairytale life Megan was going to live had suddenly vanished, her getting married and having kids. I looked it up as to why I was feeling this way and found in books that I was going through a period of mourning. I thought you had chosen the harder route through life, but I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead of marrying Prince Charming she married a beautiful Princess. I can't wait for them to have children! I'm ashamed of the way I reacted. All a child ever wants is to feel love and supported! You have to also remember that as a parent, you have to come out to friends, family and colleagues as having a gay daughter. I used to struggle with this and it's a process that you work through but now I proudly say you have a wife, instead of introducing your partner as your friend!" - Jill.

Whitney's Mother:

"I'd recommend going to therapy. This really helped me. I attended therapy along with Whitney's Dad and Whitney to discuss it all and come to terms with it.  I'm a better person now because I never thought that I was judgemental! I realise now that all she ever wanted was for someone to accept her, to say I love you for who you are and become all that you can.  That's all any parent ever wants for their child. Now my daughter has the most perfect marriage and I've gained another daughter (and a family!)" - Kelly.

Shannon Beveridge's Mother:

"I wish they could understand that everything about their child is the same, they just have an attraction that may not be what their parent expected. In most cases their parent is their foundation. If their own parent can't love and support them, it leaves them feeling crushed. Every parent should love their child unconditionally." - Debbie
Watch Shannon's inspiring YouTube channel here.
If you take anything away from this, just know that all your child wants is to be loved, supported and accepted. You don't have to fully understand it yet but they're going through a tough time, and the last thing they need is not to have their  parents love them as they always have. They're going to live a happy and fulfilled life, you just wait and see!
Watch our video with LADBible discussing coming out with our mums on instagram or Facebook

Want to see a happily ever after? Then watch our wedding video below:

Extra resources and support:
FFLAG (Friends and Family of Lesbians and Gays)
The Proud Trust
Advice for coming out as LGBTQ+. 
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Thursday, 11 October 2018

Tips for Coming Out as LGBTQ+

Happy National Coming Out Day! 🌈💕🙌

Coming out as LGBT+ can be a really scary process, but you're not alone. We're here to hold your hand in spirit! 

Our top tips if you’re planning on coming out as LGB*:

1. You don’t have to tell the whole world at once. Come out to those who are closest to you or someone that you feel will have a good reaction I.e. you may have a LGBT+ cousin.

2. Come out when you feel it’s the right time. Don’t feel pressure to do it!

3. Everyone has different coming out stories. If your parents react badly, give it time. Yes it sucks to have your parent react badly but Time really did heal all for our mums! They love you and soon they'll realise that you don't have two heads. They're just scared that everything they wished for your life is suddenly not going to come true. But guess what? It is, and sometimes even better! If your parent is struggling coming to terms with having a LGBTQ+ child, then perhaps they'll benefit from our blog post: "How to deal with your child coming out as gay".

4. You’ll have to keep coming out. Sorry to break it to you but you’ll be coming out the rest of your life. So while you’ll always have your first moment of coming out to the nearest & dearest in your life, you’re going to constantly come out from ordering flowers to your girlfriend to booking a double room for your honeymoon.
5. If your friends love you for you then they won't care, it won't change a thing. For those that react badly or want nothing to do with you, don't be upset. It's their loss and you're better off knowing that's the type of friend that they are. Bye Felicia! There are many more fabulous people out there just waiting to be your friend (& online is a great place for this!) 

6. & finally - be proud to be you! You are loved & accepted and our DM’s are always open 😘

*(this is based on our personal experiences and as we are not transgender, please check out other resources for advice like Ditch The Label , but please know we love and accept you!)

Also, we are super proud to have teamed up with LADBible & Smirnoff for National Coming Out Day! Watch their video of discussing coming out with our mums on instagram or Facebook. 👀

Read more about coming out:
Everything to know about coming out at work
Why coming out at work is vital for you and your employer
National Coming Out Day 2016
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