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Old 04-06-2009, 10:09 AM   #1
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Default Parents of Gay/bi/trans children.

If any of you have gay/bi/trans children and want to talk about this, then please share your thoughts feelings here. If you have any questions about being gay/bi/trans then just ask us and we will try to answer them for you.
Even if you feel that you cant accept your children's sexuality right now, we will try not to judge you and will try to offer you support so that hopefully you will be able to, in your own time find acceptance for your children. It would also be great to hear from people who are fully supportive of thier gay children.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:40 AM   #2
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Default Yes!

I would also like to ask if there are queer parents out there (on this board). What is it like to be a parent being queer? What are the challenges you've faced and how do you deal with them? How do you deal with homophobia? Also, are you open with your children about your sexuality, and if so, have you always been or is this something you told them when they were older so they would understand it better?

I'm really curious about what it is like to be a parent who is queer. After all, there are a lot of people in our society who believe that we are perverts, and also, a lot of people don't believe queer people should be parents. I know laws have changed over the years - but I believe there are still places where being a parent who is gay is a dangerous notion.
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:51 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Celestial Ceece View Post

I'm really curious about what it is like to be a parent who is queer. After all, there are a lot of people in our society who believe that we are perverts, and also, a lot of people don't believe queer people should be parents. I know laws have changed over the years - but I believe there are still places where being a parent who is gay is a dangerous notion.
I have no personal insight, but there are/have been at least a couple of kids at my son's school who have gay parents (one of one's moms was something of an activist and often interviewed on the radio, and they were often both around the playground, so it was no secret. As far as I know there was never any issues at the school around them or their daughter. Now the male gay couple that owns a local independent book store have two girls in the school, and again I’ve heard of no issues.

So while there may be all sorts of issues, it at least can be well accepted, with happy and well socialized kids.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
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Ok. I'll answer this.

I'm fairly certain my 6 year old step son is gay. I have thought this since he was 3, before I knew him and only had seen pictures. There is just something about him, not something bad, just something that tells me he is either gay or a very effeminate FA, lol. Nothing has been said or discussed as he is only 6, but when or if that day comes....it won't be a big deal. He is who is and we will love him no matter what. I do worry about him being bullied though cos he isn't very tough.

As a queer parent, it doesn't effect me much because I am in a hetro monogamous relationship. At this point, my sexuality is no ones business but my own (well ok, maybe mikes as well). When my step son is 16 though and notices I have lesbian magazines....well there might be a discussion, lol. But for now it's my little secret. I'm not hiding it from him, it's just not something that is on show much because of my relationship with a man who won't let me date cute fat chicks on the side
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:24 AM   #5
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Its funny, because when i used to teach theatre arts there would be some kids in my class that my gaydar would be flashing right off the radar. I used to try to get into at least one lesson a year about how it was ok if you were 'different' and would wokshop different scenarios (with the older kids) dealing with racism, homophobia etc. It was funny when a few years later i would see them in a gay bar and they would be like "HIYA". I would be thinking "Yup..i knew it". I think sometimes you just know..
There is a hilarious photo of my friend Alan who is gay from when he was a wee boy.. he must just be about 8 or something..but he is holding a madonna coin and striking a pose! I think queer is defo somthing we are not something we become. For most people anyway.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:00 AM   #6
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Default Gaydar

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Originally Posted by mergirl View Post
Its funny, because when i used to teach theatre arts there would be some kids in my class that my gaydar would be flashing right off the radar. I used to try to get into at least one lesson a year about how it was ok if you were 'different' and would wokshop different scenarios (with the older kids) dealing with racism, homophobia etc. It was funny when a few years later i would see them in a gay bar and they would be like "HIYA". I would be thinking "Yup..i knew it". I think sometimes you just know..
There is a hilarious photo of my friend Alan who is gay from when he was a wee boy.. he must just be about 8 or something..but he is holding a madonna coin and striking a pose! I think queer is defo somthing we are not something we become. For most people anyway.
My gaydar has failed me in the past, but then again, just because a person is married with children doesn't rule out the possibility of them being bisexual or even closeted. Most of the time, my gaydar is right on! I remember my best friend in high school and I would make this shape with our hands...it was our gaydar...we'd go "beep beep beep beep" and search around the room for people we thought were gay. Those were good times (being an innocent kid fooling around with gaydar).

I think a lot of us knew when we were young. I know I knew when I was young and if I was a kid growing up in today's society, I'd probably even be able to have the labels and terms to put to the feelings I had. Back then, gayness was less in the media and on TV, and less out in the open. I think it is easier for kids and adolescents to identify their own queerness and give it a name from a young age because the media is more open about it. Just my two cents.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:32 AM   #7
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I suspect one of my nieces (15) is a lesbian, or possibly bi, idk. She's not my child. If she were there wouldn't be any problems, she'd have had a rainbow mobile hanging from the crib years ago. She's my brother's child though and the attitude has mostly been don't ask, don't tell. She's got this jocko cool boyfriend who worships the ground she walks on. He gets on her nerves and she's short with him all the time but for some reason she keeps things going and he won't leave her. I feel like I want to say something to reassure her or something but I'm really not sure. I'm not *sure* she's gay but she has been setting off my gaydar since she was a scrawn. It's really none of my business and also I don't want to seem as though I'm watching her or undermining her parents even though I totally am. She prolly wont say anything to me because I'm a tambourine shaking hat wearing church lady and she prolly doesn't know what to make of all that. Standing up in the middle of Easter dinner and staging a mission statement not directed at her seems lame. Plus it will spark a heated family debate that will piss me off and make me slam the door on everbody before I leave swearing for the bus station. I'm not sure what to do.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:43 AM   #8
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I think if someone is gay..they will have to face up to it eventually, so its maby its just a matter of being there for her when she does come out. Also, maby making hints so she knows for sure you are not anti-gay. Like, "oh i sent some root beer to this really cool scottish lesbian!" roflmao .
Fifteen was about the age i started having to actually 'be gay and come out and all that'.
I think, if you make it clear to her that you are cool with anyone being gay, she will possibly come out to you herself..
what does everyone else think?
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:08 PM   #9
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Lilly--Would it be too explosive to to approvingly mention Vermont approving gay marriage just recently? Or maybe to mention what a terror you were as a youth and comment that people are often a lot more than what you see on the surface? I don't know, neither sounds very strong to me, but it sure would be nice to drop a hint somehow.

Certainly a tough situation, where you want to be supportive, without clomping all over everything on the way to being supportive. I hope you find some way to at least give her a clue.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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A few years ago when she turned 13 I bought her a book. "Be True To Yourself: A Daily Guide for Teenage Girls." It's not really sexuality specific but it has some great things in there to encourage a person of any orientation to think for themselves, etc. I figured I'd just give it to her and get out of the way but it's hard because I'm nosey and I want to make sure she's being supported in some way, either way you know? I'm a hand wringing auntie.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #11
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You are such a great aunt!

Another thought, that mental gender (for lack of a better word) doesn’t always match sexuality any more than it always matches physical gender. So even if her mental gender seems more male, it is still possible that she is more attracted to guys (or at least sufficiently attracted to guys that she’s willing to stick with that for now). We kind of tend to assume that if all three don’t line up, at least the two mental ones will, but I’m pretty sure that is not the case (with one quiz on mental gender my thoroughly heterosexual wife scored well into the male spectrum, just by way of example).

Which reminds me, there was an article in the Globe and Mail recently, talking about brain-gender in the classroom, and there was a quiz for ‘what is your brain gender.’ Not that I expect you could get her to take it, but I thought some people here might enjoy it.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...tory/lifeMain/

(for what it is worth, I scored right in the middle)
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:30 PM   #12
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I think Ed and Lisa are right Lilly - you're already doing a great job just being there and being supportive. When the time is right (for her) I am sure you'll be one of the people who is there for her, on her side, willing to always stand up and be the excellent Aunt you are.

I am also an Auntie and while I don't want to get into specifics, one of my fairly young (nieces or nephews) came out to me recently. Twice. So I did what I thought was the right thing and came out to them. I know that some people might object to this, but I decided that no matter what, I shouldn't hide who I am out of fear. I at least wanted this particular kid to know that A. it isnt abnormal or uncommon to be "gay" or "bi" or whatever and B. I am always there for them no matter what.

I think that giving kids books such as the one you mentioned above are extremely helpful. We should all collaborate and write one ourselves! I bought my niece something similar, I can't remember exactly what the title was but it had to do with self-esteem and coming of age, etc.

Anyway, this thread is really great - it is just nice to know there are families out there who are dealing with the same issues. I'm grateful for this community, and for all the intelligence found on this board!
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Old 04-08-2009, 04:04 PM   #13
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Thanks everybody. Just for the record, my niece isn't particularly butch at all and never was. She's got that 'Alecia Keyes' kind of prettiness going for her. I just happen to have pretty good gaydar. I don't know where this talent comes from, it's not something I cultivated.
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Old 04-08-2009, 05:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by LillyBBBW View Post
Thanks everybody. Just for the record, my niece isn't particularly butch at all and never was. She's got that 'Alecia Keyes' kind of prettiness going for her. I just happen to have pretty good gaydar. I don't know where this talent comes from, it's not something I cultivated.
My niece is like that.She's a really pretty girl.I never really realised until the last few years,she's 27 now.I do have a step nephew who we know is gay.We could tell when that child was 2 or 3.He just has a certain way about him.It's such a different and enchanting way than the rest of us.He is one of my favorite people,he's 11 this year.I know he has a hard time.I just want to make it better.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:05 PM   #15
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My niece is like that.She's a really pretty girl.I never really realised until the last few years,she's 27 now.I do have a step nephew who we know is gay.We could tell when that child was 2 or 3.He just has a certain way about him.It's such a different and enchanting way than the rest of us.He is one of my favorite people,he's 11 this year.I know he has a hard time.I just want to make it better.
I feel you steely. I just wanted to find a way to let her know that I'm cheering for her over here, whatever the deal is. I think I'm going to just leave her be. Blurting out a cool Scottish lesbian root beer story at the easter table is still on my short list though.
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:57 PM   #16
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My last TG support group meeting we had the Mom of a FtM trans sexual and she was great.Very supportive of her new son.
She is quite the GLBT activist as well.
I would think if I had a TG child I would love them no matter what.
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:12 PM   #17
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I'm obviously not a parent of a gay child, but if you are one, this website has been actually pretty helpful with my mom.
PFLAG
When you first come out, it's pretty hard to understand how your parents could be upset and why they "worry about your future" and everything, but, I think we all hit that point where we understand that our parents just don't want us to have to deal with anymore pain than we have to, and now you're telling them that who you are opens you up to this new level of prejudice. Obviously, that's not the case with everyone, but for a lot of us, it really is just our parents wanting the best for us. The hard part is conveying that on both ends.
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:17 AM   #18
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I'm obviously not a parent of a gay child, but if you are one, this website has been actually pretty helpful with my mom.
PFLAG
When you first come out, it's pretty hard to understand how your parents could be upset and why they "worry about your future" and everything, but, I think we all hit that point where we understand that our parents just don't want us to have to deal with anymore pain than we have to, and now you're telling them that who you are opens you up to this new level of prejudice. Obviously, that's not the case with everyone, but for a lot of us, it really is just our parents wanting the best for us. The hard part is conveying that on both ends.
Right totally. I had a hard time understanding my mums pretty extreme reaction to me being gay but we have talked about it recently and it was a sort of transactional thing or like a vicious circle. -I felt she rejected me-I rejected her right back-this made her more off hand with me-i left home. We kept getting more and more distant. My mum recently said to me that she was sorry for the way she reacted but that she actually only needed time because it was a bit of a shock to her. (I dont think i gave off any gay vibes, i had a boyfriend *Though, in my defence that was only because he had green hair and i am a huge muppets fan!* just before i came out). I sort of said i understood the cycle but that she was the adult and could have delt with it a bit better. I think once the shock wears off, parents are generally only concerned about what makes you happy. (Though there are some extreme cases i know about). Its a pity that parents arn't given a wee book when we are born "In the event your kid is queer", so i guess its like every other parenting dilema..you just have to deal with it when it happens.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:31 PM   #19
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It is also not easy for a parent to come to terms with a child being gay if they had hopes and dreams for you to settle down with a nice WASP, as my mum calls them, and provide grand kids and the granny annexe they were dreaming of.....it took me til my early thirties to sit my mum down and tell her about me and I had to face it as I was serious about a girl at the time and thought I just want this out in the open. She cried and I suspected a mixture of emotions about sadness for herself and me. I took her to a gay outdoor dance in Regent's Park and when she saw me dancing with a handsome guy she got all excited and said ''He's nice...'' wink wink....''Yes mum he's a really nice guy with a cute bf and they are getting married soon''......''oh'' she then muttered and i realised she was still harbouring hidden hopes of a happy hetero ending for me and her.
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Old 04-12-2009, 02:24 PM   #20
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Yeah, i guess though that things are changing with every generation. Things were harder for gay people only a generation ago. Now, a parent of a gay child can still have grandchildren and even their granny annexe! lol.
Love your username btw.. Kit is THE best L-word character.. Though on the box set they air brush out all her curves!!!! grrrr.. it made me mad! I have been a huge fan of pam greer ..since 'foxy brown' (the first one). I was going to start a thread on how shitty it is they airbrushed such a sexy woman. Mind you, on the box set cybill shepherd looks about 20 when she must be nearing 100.. tis all smoke and mirrors! Smoke n lezbo mirrors i tellz ya!
It does make you feel somewhat of a failure when you cant live up to your parents 'happy hetro endings'. My mother couldnt contain her joy when i was stupid and drunk at about 20 and had to take the morning after pill and she found out. She had all this weird false hope somehow. gah!
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:10 PM   #21
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How right you are about the generation thing !! If I could have my time over things would be v. different in this new and more accepting age. It never occured to me that I could have had a wife and kids when I grew up...I thought I would have to go to San Francisco [ in my confused teenage brain ! ] and have a sex change operation and all the hormones to turn into a guy...but then not be able to make babies anyway and besides I wanted to stay a girl.....someone I met in Greece recently said she would like us to have a baby together but she is still ' unavailable' and I am now probs too old at 45 to be able to go down that road now.....so many if onlys and hindsight is a difficult reflection on what might have been.....''If youth only knew it.....and if age could do it '' is a little saying that springs to mind.

I'm glad you like PG too - she is a stunning classic beauty who just gets better and better with age and those extra pounds. I met her in the L word first then had to get the Tarantino film'' Jackie Brown'' which was made partly as a tribute to 'Foxy Brown' and she is so damn good looking in that...just wow !! I saw the famous clip from ''Foxy B'' where she pulls the gun from her affro....and then got a cheap copy of ''The big doll house'' which is a lame old 'D' movie forerunner of ''Prisoner cell block H'' and she was a very skinny long legged girl back in the day....so sorry for going off topic but glad you like her too. I have found my very own FA's Pam Grier right here on DIMS ....so the wait for series 6 L word and what they've done with Kit [ don't tell me ] is now all the easier !!
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:25 PM   #22
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Ahh.. lol. I havnt seen series 6 either yet, so no spoilers. Yes Pam greer is the only sexy thing about the l word. Its weird when i watch it with my non Fa queer friends.. and they all love "shaaaaaaane!" Even my girlfriend likes her! gah no!
Well, at 45, i think you can totally foster kids. I was actually thinking about that as an option. I'm 30 at the mo and my gf is 37 but neither of us are ready to actually have children.. I just think there are so many kids that have had a tough time of it and it might be nice to try to give them a home instead of having a biologically 'mine' child. I dont know though..its defo something to think about!
Anyway! yay! glad to have met a Pam greer fan!! She is lush!
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:16 AM   #23
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I am pretty sure one of my sons is gay. He hasn't come out to me yet, but I wonder if he really feels the need to. Since he was younger I had the sense he was so have been very open with him about the fact that wouldn't matter to me. He knows of the friends that I have that are bisexual and gay and totally loves them also. He kids me that if I lived in a bigger city I would totally be a "fag hag" and I tease him back that one day he will be" the worlds most famous drag queen"(as he is a singer, actor musician). I know he loves children and wants to be a dad. I even said to him if it turns out you are gay and marry some woman just to provide you babies I will kick your ass around the block. LOL. We have a pretty open relationship, and I think that being gay here in this town would be pretty tough. We have a community that likes to live as if this were the 50's and not acknowledge anything that they don't agree with. As a mom I just want to be there for my child. Whatever he decides whether its that he is gay Bi or straight it will not change my love for him.
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Old 04-14-2009, 06:53 AM   #24
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My oldest daughter(28) is bi sexual and my youngest daughter(15) is showing signs of being a lesbian.All my children know that I have been in a relationship with a female before as well as my love for transgendered males.
I have no problem with my children's sexual choices but you youngest daughters father is vehemently against her being gay and gets very upset if I even mention it to him although I know for a fact that he has bi tendencies.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:15 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffie View Post
I am pretty sure one of my sons is gay. He hasn't come out to me yet, but I wonder if he really feels the need to. Since he was younger I had the sense he was so have been very open with him about the fact that wouldn't matter to me. He knows of the friends that I have that are bisexual and gay and totally loves them also. He kids me that if I lived in a bigger city I would totally be a "fag hag" and I tease him back that one day he will be" the worlds most famous drag queen"(as he is a singer, actor musician). I know he loves children and wants to be a dad. I even said to him if it turns out you are gay and marry some woman just to provide you babies I will kick your ass around the block. LOL. We have a pretty open relationship, and I think that being gay here in this town would be pretty tough. We have a community that likes to live as if this were the 50's and not acknowledge anything that they don't agree with. As a mom I just want to be there for my child. Whatever he decides whether its that he is gay Bi or straight it will not change my love for him.
Ruth
Its amazing you have such a great bond with your son. It will make him so happy that if he is gay he doesnt have to worry that you wouldnt be there for him. When i hear stories like this it makes me smile!.
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