Updated: Aug 17
I remember the day she came out to me. She had made an unplanned visit home (was attending college about 2 hours away) and I knew she was feeling troubled for some reason. For about two hours we made small talk but I could tell something was weighing heavily on her mind. As we sat on the front porch, enjoying the morning sun, I asked her, “What is it?” She was silent, but a tear was rolling down her sweet face. I assured her I loved her and to please tell me what was troubling her heart.
Now, I’m not going to lie – my thought was “Oh, God, she’s pregnant.” After some time, she looked at me and bravely disclosed, “Mom, I’m gay.” Seriously! I was RELIEVED! Not pregnant! We embraced and cried tears of relief together, each for different reasons. Still embracing, we moved into the garage to find her dad to share the news. He could tell something was going on and came up to us in a bit of a panic, looking at me. I mouthed to him, “She’s gay”. He came right over and joined our group hug.
I asked Allison why she was crying and had felt so much fear in telling us. She shared that while she didn’t THINK we’d have a problem…she just didn’t know and was afraid we might possibly “kick her out”. We whole-heartedly expressed that that would never, ever happen, to which she responded, “Mom, most parents aren’t like you and dad.” That made me cry! As we hugged even tighter, she whispered in my ear, “Mom, don’t worry, I’m not going to cut my hair.” This got us laughing – this inside joke – which brought levity to what had seemed like an intense conversation. Then I inquired, “Is there anyone special in your life?” Those few uttered words made her truly believe our love for her had not changed a bit!
I soon reached out to a high school friend of mine whose daughter is gay. I asked her how long it would take for this news to become our new “normal”. When would it morph into just the sort of “matter of fact” of who our Allison is? This friend told me it might take about a year and, for us – that was right! All our friends and family know and love her no differently. Well, sometimes there are take-a-deep-breath-moments. Like when my mother-in-law told my husband’s brother the reason Allison had come out as gay was because of “all that crap on TV that kids watch.” Ally’s uncle had set his mom straight and all is well. My own mother has some memory issues and this Christmas Allison explained to me, “Mom, it’s like I have to come out to Grandma every time I see her.” Which she does. However, every time it does come up my mom simply replies, “Oh, ok.” and asks her what else she’s been up to!
It’s been four years now since Ally and I sat on the font porch, in the morning sun, where she courageously shared what was in her heart. She is now in a wonderfully healthy relationship with a beautiful young lady whom we’ve lovingly accepted into our family. We have found our new normal!