Wedding Woes

Your daughter will never trust you

Dear Prudence,
My oldest daughter is in college, and she’s always been a great kid: quiet, respectful, great grades, never gets in trouble. Her father and I told her that we’ll pay her tuition as long as she attends church weekly, and she agreed after offering a little more resistance than we’re used to with her. She’s sent us links to the websites for the churches she’s trying out, and I’ve noticed a running theme: They’re all “open and affirming” to the LGBT community. She also shuts down whenever I bring up boyfriends or boys in general (and she’s never dated a boy, as far as I know), and seems bothered by anti-gay comments and sermons she hears. I’m worried that she might be gay and doesn’t feel comfortable telling us because of some comments her father has made in the past. I accept that I’m to blame too, because I never spoke up when her father said something derogatory, but it’s never something I’ve had to worry about. I’m not sure what to do. We’re already at odds over the election, but I still love her even if she is gay. The thing is, I really don’t want her to be. How can I be supportive of this?

—Daughter Might Be Gay

Re: Your daughter will never trust you

  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey
    Seventh Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
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    That poor daughter.  Regardless of whether she is gay or not, she obviously feels acceptance to all people and her parents do not.  That can be hard to conceptualize as a young adult.

    LW needs to stop asking about the daughter's private life.  She also needs to stop being so discriminatory towards other people.  I don't even think the LW's daughter should have to tell LW which church she is attending.  If going to church was the only stipulation and LW trusts daughter to fulfill this stipulation, then the daughter shouldn't have to report back which churches she is attending.

    As for if the daughter is gay, don't even worry about it until the words pass her lips.  And if and when they do, just say that you love her, period.  And not add in the "even if she is gay" portion.  You just love your daughter, period.  If at this time you have trouble accepting it yourself, seek counseling (and not from your church) to help you accept your daughter for the person she is and not the person you want her to be.

    charlotte989875InLoveInQueenseileenrob
  • mrsconn23 said:
    Dear Prudence,
    My oldest daughter is in college, and she’s always been a great kid: quiet, respectful, great grades, never gets in trouble. Her father and I told her that we’ll pay her tuition as long as she attends church weekly, and she agreed after offering a little more resistance than we’re used to with her. She’s sent us links to the websites for the churches she’s trying out, and I’ve noticed a running theme: They’re all “open and affirming” to the LGBT community. She also shuts down whenever I bring up boyfriends or boys in general (and she’s never dated a boy, as far as I know), and seems bothered by anti-gay comments and sermons she hears. I’m worried that she might be gay and doesn’t feel comfortable telling us because of some comments her father has made in the past. I accept that I’m to blame too, because I never spoke up when her father said something derogatory, but it’s never something I’ve had to worry about. I’m not sure what to do. We’re already at odds over the election, but I still love her even if she is gay. The thing is, I really don’t want her to be. How can I be supportive of this?

    —Daughter Might Be Gay

    Wow, I can't imagine being in the daughters position (gay or not).  I would never sit through a sermon or attend a church/gathering/whatever that didn't support equal rights for all people!

    Also that last thing in bold...I just can't...like does the mom think that women can choose to be straight or gay?  Or is she saying that she would have a hard time accepting her daughter if she was, but she'll be just fine if she isn't? 

    Mom needs to butt out and let daughter come to her about these things when/if she is ready to. 

    OurWildKingdomeileenrob
  • Also, I just wanted to add that not having a BF/GF does not automatically make someone "gay".  My younger brother is 21 and he has yet to date anyone and I would never make an assumption about his sexuality based on that!  I love him regardless of if he chooses to date someone or not...this LW just rubbed me the wrong way.
    OurWildKingdomeileenrobMesmrEwe
  • Dear LW,

    If you're ultimate goal is to make sure you destroy any chance of a future relationship with your daughter and make sure she cuts you off as soon as she is out from under your financial thumb, then you are doing everything right.  

  • i can see attaching strings to college funding around getting good grades/working/interning/etc. but not on church attendance. 

    i'm straight, and am bothered by discriminatory language or sermons - I would venture to say that has more to do with being a decent human being than being a member of the LGBT community. 

    i'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt here and say the "i don't want her to be gay" could also be coming from the perspective that she knows it will create more challenges for her daughter  (or it could just be rampant homophobia - i'm hoping it's the earlier.) 

    i think she needs to back off on the church thing and just let her daughter know that she is loved and supported, no matter what. 
    ILoveBeachMusiccowgirl8238short+sassy
  • *Barbie* said:
    i can see attaching strings to college funding around getting good grades/working/interning/etc. but not on church attendance. 

    i'm straight, and am bothered by discriminatory language or sermons - I would venture to say that has more to do with being a decent human being than being a member of the LGBT community. 

    i'm going to give her the benefit of the doubt here and say the "i don't want her to be gay" could also be coming from the perspective that she knows it will create more challenges for her daughter  (or it could just be rampant homophobia - i'm hoping it's the earlier.) 

    i think she needs to back off on the church thing and just let her daughter know that she is loved and supported, no matter what. 

    That was how I took the statement.  I would guess a lot of parents, even with zero homophobia, privately hope their child(ren) are not gay.  Because there is still a stigma in our society and can be a harder road.  Also, if the parents want grandchildren or they know their child wants to be a parent, becoming a parent is certainly more challenging (and often much more expensive) for a same sex couple.

    I think what is actually hard for the LW right now is she doesn't know.  "Limbo" for anything can sometimes be the worst state to be in. 

    Obviously, the LW has at least some homophobia and it sounds like her H has a lot.  I'm a little more sympathetic to the LW.  Granted, she is being negative and awkward in how she is going about it.  However, I see her as trying to expand her mind and get out of the "anti-gay" shell.

    I would advise her to show enthusiasm and encouragement, for whichever church her daughter chooses.  And take a page from her daughter's book.  She should also start vocally defending gay rights, if/when her H or anybody else says something negative.  Even if she is not quite 100% there herself.

    Whether her daughter is gay or not, that is a positive attitude adjustment and it will bring her closer to her daughter, either way.  If her daughter is gay, as she sees her mother's attitude change, she'll be more likely to come out to her.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    ILoveBeachMusic
  • It sounds like she did what they asked and did attend church. It just wasn't the church they wanted.
    image
    VarunaTTcharlotte989875
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