Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Would You Disown Your Child?

on May 26, 2013

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There are many stories out there about parents and how they handled the news that their child was gay, and not all have happy endings. This is my story.

Twelve years ago, I met my SO, Danny, and fell in love. Now, I was fifty years old at the time with my years of child-raising finally behind me, or so I thought. Danny was raising his two children, from a previous marriage, so if I was to get involved with him, I also had to involve myself with the raising of his children. Believe me, taking on the responsibility of a 13 year old daughter and a 14 year old son was daunting, but I was determined to make us a family unit.

It wasn’t easy. Both kids had issues stemming from their mother abandoning them, jealousy issues from me being in Danny’s life, and the normal angst of being teenagers. They tested me constantly and tried my patience, especially during the first couple of years Danny and I were together. But, I fell in love with them just as much as if they were my own.

When our son was 17, I first started finding small signs that he was struggling with the fact that he was gay. He became secretive about what he was doing on the computer, so I browsed around and found that he had been on Gay sites and he denied it when I asked him about it.

Since he was only 17, I went on the computer and blocked his access to the sites, but only because he was underage and I feared that he might entice a stalker. Phone calls made in the middle of the night would quickly end when Danny or I entered the room. I didn’t discuss this with Danny as I honestly didn’t know what his reaction would be when he discovered his son was gay.

Our son finally admitted to me that he was gay and that he was scared to tell his dad. So, we agreed to keep it between us until he felt the time was right. We really didn’t discuss it again and the years passed by. After a heavy night of drinking, he blurted out the fact that he was gay to his father.

Danny was stunned, he refused to believe it and went into immediate denial. It took months of discussion between Danny and I before he could accept his son’s choice of lifestyle. Danny doesn’t like it, but he loves his son and deals with it as best he can. He told our son that who he slept with was his business, that we loved him deeply, and we would always be there for him.

Because, that’s what a parent does! Your child might not make life choices you agree with or follow the direction in life that you took…but your child will always be a part of you and if you are smart and handle things right, your child will always be a part of your life. To do otherwise, you risk not being in your child’s life and hurting your child by turning your back on them. Unfortunately, some parents take this path. I feel sorry for their loss.

In the past few years, our son has struck out on his own but remains close to us. We have basically adopted a “Don’t ask…don’t tell!” policy. We don’t ask about his sex life, but we also don’t ask about our daughter’s sex life. We feel that it is their private business and they have the right to choose whoever they want.

Our hope for all of our children is that they find true, lasting love and we don’t care what the gender is of the partner they select. As long as they are safe and loved, then we are happy!

We are not perfect parents, but we are parents who want to remain in our children’s lives until we pass on. So, we accept their choices and support them. Turn our backs on our kids? No way.

Thank you for listening to my story.

Authors note:  This was posted on the first day I was on WordPress.  Thought it deserved a second chance to send an important message.

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50 responses to “Would You Disown Your Child?

  1. Shel says:

    A lovely story of true unconditional love. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Awesome!

    I would never disown my child for being Gay. I would want a gay child as equally as I would want a straight child.

  3. What a magnificent story! I think that you nailed it, that you don’t necessarily have to be giddy about the lifestyle (I hate that word since of course we all know that it isn’t a choice, like whether or not to be vegan), and yet still be giddy that your son wanted to share the information with you rather than keep his entire adult life secret from you. I think that any parent with a gay child is going to be worried about that aspect of their lives, look at how the gay community suffers under the judgment of others, who wants that for their babies? However, the fact that you simply accepted that it was a part of who he is and who he will love is just wonderful. Let’s face it, sometimes even when our kids are straight, we are uncomfortable with who they choose as partners, gender has little to do with it. I hope that you and your son still have a good and open relationship and that he finds someone that makes him happy and that you and Danny will love as well. I also loved that you pointed out that you don’t want to know about the sex life of any of your kids, not just the gay kid. Great story, wonderful testament to familial love.

  4. 21centurymom says:

    Great post Ms C …

  5. sknicholls says:

    I love all of your stories. You cover such a variety of topics. It is refreshing. For that reason I have nominated you for: “The Versatile Blogger Award.” I promise you that nothing will happen if you choose not to play it forward, but if you choose to you can find instructions here: http://redclayandroses1.wordpress.com/

    • Are you sure that my house won’t blow up if I don’t pay this forward? Only kidding! Sadly, many people see these awards as chain letters instead of recognizing it as a “kudos” from fellow bloggers. I am not one of these and although I may not post my acceptance right away, I do eventually get it done!

      I am honored that you like my posts and although I have already received this award, I am once again humbled to accept it! I have an awards page and underneath each award, I put a link for my nominators. I will be adding yours with my thanks again for thinking of me!

  6. michaelanson says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us for a second time. It definitely deserves a repeat post. One thing, though. As a gay man myself, I don’t consider that I have made a lifestyle choice. More, it’s an orientation, not a conscious decision. That would be like asking a heterosexual, “So when did you decide to be straight.” That said, I always like what you have to say in your blogs. Cheers.

    • Let me clarify, which I should have done at the git go. When I refer to our son’s lifestyle choice, it is to refer to his decision to live openly as a gay man. I find his honesty and openness definitely a “lifestyle choice.”

      Thanks for your kind words and for reading!

  7. btg5885 says:

    CC, thanks for sharing. Last year about this time, I was in a hotel lobby the day after the NC vote to reiterate different sex marriage carried the day. There were two Lesbian women sitting near me lamenting this vote as they were here to lend a hand advocating against the bill. While I was not eavesdropping, I heard one answer the question asked by the other about “what did you parents say to console you on this outcome?” She answered, “my parents and I do not speak anymore, so I would not know how they felt. They disowned me.” As a parent, this conversation made me sad as this is your precious child, who needs you love and wisdom, not your disdain. Kids will not make the same choices you do. All you can do is be there for them, no matter what. BTG

    • I hear many stories of parents who turn their backs and take away their support when they learn their child is gay.

      I grieve for them and their loss. We love our son..and nothing will change that.

      Thanks for reading and your sharing of your story!

  8. Simply beautiful and well put, Your children are blessed to have such a loving, caring mother.

  9. Yes! As a mother, all I care about is that my children are happy and well. My daughter told me at 14 that she ‘liked girls too’ and seemed quite surprised that I barely blinked. A loving relationship with someone who cares about her as much as she cares about them is all I could ever want for her. Well said 🙂 x x

  10. helensamia says:

    Your children are your children no matter what…

  11. mummyshymz says:

    This is a really thought-provoking post. Your son is lucky to have such wonderful and loving parents. Honestly, I’m not sure how I would have reacted if I was in your shoes. You’ve definitely handled it wisely, and have earned the trust and respect of your children. I’ve got a lot to learn.

    • It’s not easy…but, then, no one ever promised us that having children was a walk in the park. I have faith that if you are faced with the same challenge as we were, you’ll do just fine.

  12. John says:

    Thanks for this… times are changing, and it’s getting easier for children to come out. I know it was not very easy for my mother to accept me … and, I think she’s still not entirely comfortable with it. Here’s hoping that the change continues to bring more love and acceptance….

  13. keladelaide says:

    Couldn’t agree more.

  14. jengolightly says:

    My daughter’s friends are choosing their college subjects at the moment and the parents of some of them can’t even let the kids decide what to study themselves. No idea why there is the need for such control, it’s counterproductive! Same with lifestyle choices, do we need to have opinions on everything as parents?

    • Some parents find it hard to give up that “Control” when it is so necessary to let your child find their wings and fly…even if you don’t like their destination. Thanks for reading!

  15. Bastet says:

    A fantastic important and needed post and I’m glad you shared it with us. I’ll never understand how a person’s choice of partner can be so important to someone besides those involved. Our children make choices every day of their life, some more important than others, our place as parents, in my opinion is to give love, support and understanding.
    Thanks for sharing once again.

    • This one was important to me to let parents know the risks of Not supporting their children…no matter if they approve or not. Some parents are more concerned about themselves and what others will think then about their own child’s feelings. I feel pity for them.

  16. barbtaub says:

    Thank you so much for reposting this lovely piece. I feel like it’s Mother’s Day all over again! I’d like to think that there is nothing my children could do that could affect my love for them. (Luckily, as far as I know, none have ever voted Republican…)

  17. Bastet says:

    Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet and commented:
    This blog keeps coming back in my mind, and I think it poses an important question…have a read, beautifully written.

  18. Gwen says:

    Another great story. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks, my friend. And, by the way, I just finished a post and put a pingback in it. It won’t be published until this afternoon but I want to thank you for sending me to the Critique Circle..loving the feedback!

  19. Rosemarie says:

    I would do the same thing. I have done the same thing. Excellent post.

  20. DebbyGies says:

    What a beautiful post spoken with love and integrity! Your child is a child is a child, your child. A parents love should be unconditional, it is a child’s God given right.

  21. Thanks so much for sharing your story so openly and very spontaneously. I honestly have to say that it is very difficult for me to understand the idea of love being based on expectations (as parents), failure or success (in who’s eyes) and what we can accept (who says we all have to be the same…). But looking at the response in recent changes in laws on gay marriages in some countries, I guess we still have a looong way to go. But moving in the right direction 🙂 xox

  22. mcwoman says:

    You never can throw the baby out with the bath water. It was one thing that my mother never did get. When my 18 year old daughter decided to become an “exotic dancer,” my mother told me to cut off contact with her until she “straightened up.” I looked her square into the eye and said, “So you believe that I should stop loving my daughter because I don’t approve of what she is doing?” Not surprisingly, my mother said, “Yes.” Then I said to her, “I won’t do that mother because it is my love that will eventually save her.” And it did. As she went through the trials of such a life, she knew that there was always a safe place with me.

    • All children should be able to turn to their parents..no matter what. I feel sorry for those who turn their backs…they lose the time with their kids that they could have been enjoying…just by accepting their kids for what they are or what they choose to do in life.

      Good for you for standing up for your daughter!

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