Wedding Woes

"Someone else's child."

Dear Prudence,

I’m gay and I want to come out to my mother. She’s OK with gay people, and even has gay friends, as long as they’re not her child. Her exact words were: “It’s always OK when it’s somebody else’s child, but I don’t know what I would do if you were gay.” So I learned to hide my attraction to women from my mother. I’ve been with other girls, but when my mom asks about my dating experiences I tell her that I just haven’t met the right guy yet. I’ve dated two boys and I never kissed them. I barely even wanted to hold their hands, but my mom was so excited that I continued the relationships. Eventually, I’d break up with them before it got too serious and my mom would keep bring them up and asking why I didn’t want to date, or saying that I was being too picky.

Every once in a while, we’ll be watching TV together and a gay person will come on and then she’ll say “It’s OK as long as it’s somebody else’s child” again, and I’ll laugh and feel guilty. She even said that for a while she thought I was going to be gay and she’s glad that she was wrong because she wouldn’t know what to do. We’re really, really close and I don’t want to lose her. Do you think there’s a way I could tell her that I’m gay without having to falsify hospital documents to make it look like I was switched at birth?

—Someone Else’s Child

Re: "Someone else's child."

  • This is horrible.

    Coming out is always hard.  LW sounds somewhat young, b/c she hasn't realized that you don't come out just once, you come out over and over again throughout your life (and until heteronormative becomes a thing of the past, LGBT+ people will always live with this).

    Only she can decide when the time, and possible consequences, are right for her.  Until then, she needs to start building a supportive community around her, to help her deal with it until, during, and after coming out to her mother.  Sometimes people can surprise you.
    charlotte989875
  • Heffalump said:

    "I think being gay would be easier if I were someone else's child, too.  But here we are."

    I thought this was a shitty way for parents to behave before I had kids, and now that I have them, I cannot imagine.  What is wrong with these people?  "I love you unconditionally, unless you're anything but hetero, in which case forget what I said."  These people are gross.

    It's like the conversation a few weeks ago about 'you get the kid you get'.  This applies here.  

    What is up with the Mommie Dearest shit today? 
    Heffalump
  • Ditto Kimmi the way the mom has repeatedly said "someone else's child" almost like a mantra makes me feel like she has an inkling.  Which makes her even more vile for saying it, if she thinks her daughter is gay. I feel bad for LW I couldn't imagine having to live like that  :|
    kimmiinthemittenVarunaTT
  • First, I want to hug LW and roundhouse kick her mom.

    She even said that for a while she thought I was going to be gay and she’s glad that she was wrong because she wouldn’t know what to do.

    Secondly, am I the only one who thinks mom knows and keeps saying that to keep her daughter from coming out?

    I was starting to think that.

    I actually worry my cousin is gay and that his parents - who also have gay friends - might make him feel like this. I don't know if they would, but I hope not :(
  • thefanciestbecklerthefanciestbeckler Chattanooga, TN
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Second Anniversary First Answer
    member
    First, I want to hug LW and roundhouse kick her mom.

    She even said that for a while she thought I was going to be gay and she’s glad that she was wrong because she wouldn’t know what to do.

    Secondly, am I the only one who thinks mom knows and keeps saying that to keep her daughter from coming out?

    I thought the exact same thing. It sounds like the mom has a feeling her daughter is gay and is trying to save face because she will be embarrassed or something. Which is horrible and ridiculous. I feel so bad for this LW.

    ShesSoCold
  • First, I want to hug LW and roundhouse kick her mom.

    She even said that for a while she thought I was going to be gay and she’s glad that she was wrong because she wouldn’t know what to do.

    Secondly, am I the only one who thinks mom knows and keeps saying that to keep her daughter from coming out?

    I thought the exact same thing. It sounds like the mom has a feeling her daughter is gay and is trying to save face because she will be embarrassed or something. Which is horrible and ridiculous. I feel so bad for this LW.
    ditto
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