I just came out to my mom as a homosexual almost a year ago and my mom not only doesn’t support me, but it seems she border line hates me. Anytime I say something like “He’s cute,” or “I like this person,” she just tells me to shut up and changes the subject. What should I do?
First, let me say just how strong and brave you are for coming out to your mother! That’s not an easy feat by any means and it’s a huge step on the path of living your life. And you’re absolutely valid to perceive your mother’s reaction as borderline hate. It’s so hard to deal with parents or family members who are not supportive or encouraging. They often times do not know how to react to the news or interact with us afterward. For some reason, this information stays at the forefront of their minds and sometimes they express themselves with anger, denial or harsh reactions. And all of these things come from the difficulty they face in processing this new information. Even though it’s been a year since you told her, your mom may still be unsure of how to handle this situation.
Have you had a candid conversation with your mother about what you being gay means to you? It may help her to hear from you that your homosexuality does not define you and that it’s not all of who you are — you are so much more and you have so much more to offer. Remind her that you’re still the son she’s loved since the day you were born. Perhaps it would be a good idea to ask her if she has any questions that you could answer. If she does have questions, answer them candidly and honestly. If she does not have questions, remind her that you are her son, you love her, and that you want her to be happy for you now and always. One of the best ways to deal with hostile family is to reinforce the fact that you still love them and that your door is always open to them. It’s tough and not easy to take this high road, but at the end of the day it’s a great option and will also allow you to speak your mind and have your voice heard.
Your mother may also need some support and encouragement during this change. A great resource could be your local PFLAG chapter, www.pflag.org, which offers a tons of materials and even local gatherings for parents, families and friends of gays and lesbians. And for you, I’d recommend checking out Trevor Space, http://www.trevorspace.org/, a great online community of LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 who are experiencing similar situations. Chat with others and see how other youth are handling such situations with their parents. Lastly, I want to remind you of our Trevor Lifeline, which is always available anytime you need help, you feel depressed, you feel you may harm yourself in any way or if just need a listening ear. It’s 24/7/365, 1-866-488-7386 — write it down and please share it with friends as well! We’re always here and we want you to know that we have your back. You are cared for and we want to see you continue to do great things. Take care of yourself!