I always thought it would be easy to come out to my mom because of how accepting she was to other family and friends coming out as LGBT. I think parents go by the motto, “As long as it is not my child.” The reaction I received from her made me think she was a whole different woman. She was someone who has been to New York’s PRIDE multiple times in support of her gay peers. I assumed, telling her I was a “lesbian” at the time would be easy.
I couldn’t tell if she was reacting this way because she genuinely didn’t want me to like girls or because she just married a man who was extremely Christian. For years, my mother hated the girl I dated and like most parents, she assumed that my girlfriend “turned me gay.”
My teen years were the most challenging. As I got older, I found myself more attracted to guys. I would confide in my mom about the guys I started to date because it seemed like it made her happier. It even made her happy to hear me say I am bisexual rather than lesbian. She was old school and still believed that lesbians couldn’t have children together. I felt like me talking to her about the guys would give her “hope.”
In high school all I knew was LGBT and I like everyone else, I was forced to pick one. I begin to tell my peers I don’t label myself because I didn’t know where I belonged. “Q” was added to LGBT during my last year of high school and at the time it was called “Questioning.” I wasn’t “questioning” because I knew what I liked. It wasn’t just men and women, I was attracted to everyone.
Browsing through Facebook I saw a pride post saying “Q” can stand for “questioning” or “queer.” I quickly researched what “queer” was and it was defined as a self-affirming umbrella for all. It was a term that fit me! “Queer” meant regardless of who I was attracted to I didn’t have to fit into a box. When my mom asked me, “You are dating a guy so does that mean you are straight again?” I had to come out for the second time, this time as “queer” and break down how I am attracted to whoever I want. For some reason, she was more accepting the second time around.