Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Coming Out Month: Who is Coming Out About?
Here's a comment I received from a faithful reader in Calgary, to the post titled "Coming Out Don'ts." I so appreciated what Sarah wrote that I needed to place it front and centre during Coming Out Month at "This Gay Relationship."
For me, Sarah, a straight mother of three, exactly captures the issues related to coming out, forcing us to ask the question, Who is coming out about anyway? As you'll see from the comment, parents usually make it about themselves.
Thanks for the words, Sarah. I couldn't have said it better myself.
Seems to me a lot of the turmoil [related to coming out] comes from parents's expectations of their kids and the blind assumptions we make for them. A bit like the football coach dad whose son wants to take ballet, there would come a time when the son had to have a challenging conversation, which would probably be really stressful, and might lead to the dad viewing the son in a different light. Which, to me, means we have to allow our children to have the freedom to be whoever they want to be, not to follow our preconceived notions.
...From what I've read, a lot of parents have trouble coming to terms with their kids being gay because all of their preconceived ideas fall away..."I won't be able to shop with my daughter-in-law, you won't have kids [why not?], what will I tell my friends?" There's nothing in that conversation that has anything to do with the woman's son, but has everything to do with her, and maybe that's the problem.
Parents should learn to live their own lives, and be happy for their children, regardless of how it will impact their own lives. We raise them to be independent, right?