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I Told My Mom I'm Lesbian And She Didn't Take It Well

Question:

ive been dating a girl & shes taught me so much…i feel lik i love her. i decided to tell my mom that im a girl that likes other girls, in other words a lesbian. she yelled at me & took me to therapy…she thought i was crazy. should i tell her that i love the girl im with & that i plan on marrying her??..or.. marry a guy even though the thought disgusts me in every way???

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Answer:

It is a great thing for you personally if you’ve figured out that you’re a lesbian at this young age and have the moxie within you to pursue this sexual path wholeheartedly. Many lesbians do not live as lesbians until later in life, after they have pursued more conventional heterosexual paths, found them severely wanting, and only then realized what they needed to do. By recognizing how you want to live early on, you’ll hopefully avoid some of the heartache that comes from getting into and then having to break out of committed but ultimately incompatible long term relationships.

Though your sexuality may be a cause for celebration to you, recognize that it is really not that way for your mother, who is a different person than you with different needs. Your mother is having a great deal of difficulty coming to terms with your coming out to her, so much so that she is needing to treat your homosexuality as though it was a disease to be cured. Though it may be tempting to want to clash with her over this issue and demand that she accept your choices, I don’t think that is going to be the best way to handle the situation in the long term. Have some sympathy for the poor woman if you can. As hard as it was for you to tell your mother about your lesbianism, think of how hard it has been for her to hear that message. She is very likely grieving her image of who her baby would grow up to be (e.g., a happy heterosexual married woman) and this has got to be painful for her. She is also very likely struggling with the messages that her generation taught her about homosexuality; that it is a sinful, shameful hedonistic and ultimately voluntary lifestyle, and a mental disorder. Though much progress has been made, there are still many people who believe these descriptions are true. Your mother may be feeling extremely ashamed that she has failed personally as a mother, and guilty that she may have "made you gay" somehow. All in all, she is likely to be experiencing a personal crisis over your revelation, and this is not the best time you could pick to be upset or angry with her, or act like a challenging child.

A danger that can occur here is that you push for acceptance too hard and with too much anger over her non-acceptance and you end up alienating each other. Since you appear to be living with your mother and not yet emancipated and living on your own, there is less space between you and more potential for tempers to flare. Being angry with one another doesn’t serve either of you, however. For a daughter to be without her mother, and vice versa for a mother to be without her daughter is painful and difficult. Instead of letting your frustrations speak for you, try to reflect on the more positive relationship that you’d ultimately like to have with your mother and work towards making that happen. If you can empathize with your mother’s plight as well as your own, give her space to grieve, and tell her that you both love her and need her, she is more likely to ultimately come around. Your sexuality is ultimately your private business. It doesn’t serve any real purpose for you to throw yours in your mother’s face if she cannot deal with it for reasons of her own.

You want to know whether you should speak about your plans to marry a woman or if you should lie and say you want to marry a man. I think it makes no sense to lie to your mother, but it also makes no sense to say something to her that will inflame her shame and grief at this time. Your future marriage plans ought to stay unspoken about for the time being. When you get really serious and have set a date to legally wed or otherwise live together in a committed relationship, then it becomes your mother’s business, and then (assuming she still believes homosexuality is a disease) only to the point that she needs to know what you’re doing and where you are living.

Your mother is in need of education and support. Not being gay myself, my own sense of where to recommend she seek that support is limited. Certainly the group "Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays", otherwise known as PFLAG, would be a good place for her to start. Homosexuality is a normal biological variation of human sexuality. It is not a disease or anything to be ashamed about, even though thousands of years of religion and culture have worked hard to demonize and criminalize it. If your mother reaches out to PFLAG, she is likely to encounter other mothers and fathers who have gone through what she is presently going through and she may feel less alone. You might send your mother a link to the PFLAG website if she is computer literate, or print out literature you can leave for her if she is not. Good luck.

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    My story is the exact same. and my mom reacted the exact same. She sends me to this phycologist lady and will not let me see my girlfriend. I am not much younger than her and she is 18 so if my mom catches us together anymore she is pushing for a restraining order. It feels so hurt to know that all my friends accept me and even my grandparents but my mother just wont. She tells me how disguisted she is with me and it is all hurtful. Dont wry your not alone.

  • Melissa

    I am not in the same situation, but I do know many people that are (including a number of people in my family). I admire that you were able to come forward and talk to your mother about your choices, but as it was said above, I would suggest giving your mother time to adjust to the news. I am sure that your mother loves you, but just doesn't understand your feelings. My suggestion would be to tell your mother that you are sorry that she doesn't agree, but that you came to her because her support and love are very important to you and leave it at that. I would not push the issue for the current time, and tell her that you would love to talk to her when she is ready and allow her to come to you. Let her know that this is how you feel, and who you are, regardless of whether or not she agrees. Be true to yourself, and never let anyone tell you who you are. If you ever need someone to talk to you are more than welcome to email me.

    Melissa

  • Anonymous-2

    People with short left index fingers date women,and people with short right index fingers date men.

  • Anonymous-3

    that your gonna marry a guy, or just tell her that you love the girl you are with and your gonna marry the girl and if she has a problem with it, then so be it she's not invited to the wedding. if that doesnt eventually wear and break her down.

  • Hanna

    My mom didn't send me to a psychologist but she doesn't accept at all that I'm gay and doesn't let me see my girlfriend. The worse part is she doesn't believe I'm gay!! I wanted to be taken serious AT LEAST! And it's sooo frustrating that she accepts homosexuals but not me!!
    She says I'm straight and just confused. BULLSHIT! I liked boys in my life, that's true, but now that I'm a teenager I'm more aware of my sexuality and I'm sure I like girls! Actually I had a crush on a various girls when I was small. Not people I knew but celebrities (yeah really dumb). The boys I liked I liked them because they had a nice personality (yeah, obvious) but I didnt feel attracted! The point is I feel REAALLY attracted to women and my mom just won't believe me. I feel really sad about this and I miss my girlfriend so much!! We're almost dating a year now :(

    Sorry for making this all about me I felt I needed to talk!

    And I'm really sorry for your situation! I hope people get over this homo-hating issue soon :(

  • lance

    i am a bisexual guy so my situation is diferent. but i just want to help.

    sinse i dont know the whole situation i will tell u wat i think. too me it sounds like ur still living with your mother. well i think when you move out your mother will not control you any more. you should go get marryed to the person you love. nobody should stop what feels natural. "life, liberty, and the PERUIT OF HAPPIENESS".

    i am still in highschool and living with my parents. my parents dont know that im bisexual. but i think they might know. so i dont know wat do do about your mothers and your situation. but i do believe you shoud do what feels natural. the earth has a way of equalizing everything out. so if bixuality and homosexuallity is unnatural then we would not exist.

    go live your life and be happy about it.

  • Anonymous-4

    I'm so sorry that your mom is being like this.

    My girlfriends mom is in denial...And she really doesn't want us to talk. We still manage to speak whenever possible. But It still hurts me the fact that her mother is being this way to her...I wish I could help but I just make matters worse :(

  • Katherine

    yeah look...im a lesbian 2... im from the states but now im in shanghai 4 a couple of years...i've been a lesbian since 3rd grade now im in 8th...im really in luv with this korean girl and she knows but now she hates me i feel really bad about it becuz i never wanted 2 hurt her...like every time i see her i want 2 say sorry 2 her 4 what she did but i keep chickening out plus shes always with her friends and i want 2 say it 2 her personally...i've also thought about telling my mom that im not straight but i dint really think that it would go that well...i hope that your mom understands u someday...and even if your mom really isnt happy about u being lesbian it doesnt mean that u cant be one its ur own right and maybe 1 day she'll understand...good luck

    oh yeah...if any of u guys see this and ur homosexual u guys could give me some advice about lesbian stuff and how 2 deal with my problem i guess...thanks!u can email me at: katherineluvjl0620@yahoo.com

    thanks!!!! Luv ya~

  • Anonymous-5

    I am dismayed by the ever-so-slightly homophobic slant of this response. You say "it's a good thing for you", meaning, I take it, that it's not so good for other people. You belabor the mother's suffering and recommend the daughter make a big effort to empathize with her. And surprisingly, you say that you're not sure where to direct the family for support. Are you kidding? You probably don't have most of conditions you advise people on via this website, but that doesn't seem to stop you knowing how to help those people. Seriously, you can't just look it up??

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