My kid came out to me…and now to you

I talk about my children quite often in my writing and my speaking engagements. But I only talk about what they are comfortable with me saying, and at the level they are comfortable with. They tend to be pretty open, but this particular bit of information isn’t something I have shared in the past. Why I am sharing it now will become apparent as you continue to read.

My daughter is 18, and henceforth referred to as Little White Dog (LWD). It’s the pseudonym of her choosing. (My son, 15, is known in my writing as Warrior Panda. He chose that one. What can I say? My kids are weird.) She is a college student and carpenter by trade … happiest in jeans and a hoodie, crawling around on a roof, doing whatever it is carpenters do. We had the following text exchange today.

LWD: Hey mama. I have an idea for your next article for Out In SA.

Me: Cool, what is it?

LWD: Why don’t you discuss about how hard is it for kids to come out since I just I came out to you?

Me: You want me to write about you coming out?

LWD: IDC if you talk about it. Because people may want to know what you think about what to do if your kids come out. Not just other people’s kids, but YOUR OWN KID.

Me: Good point. What do YOU think parents should do when their kids come out?

LWD: Be supportive in their kids loving whomever they love.

Me: How did I respond when you came out?

LWD: You were cool about it. You said you don’t care who I love, as long as I’m happy.

Me: What did you think I would say?

LWD: I was scared, honestly, that you were think I was different. Like I was a freak for liking both men and women.

Me: Have other people responded that way? Thinking you’re a freak?

LWD: No, when I came out to my friends they were like, “I knew it!”

Me: Did YOU think you were a freak?

LWD: A little, but I feel more comfortable now.

Me: Is it liking both men and women that feels weird? Like you should just choose one?

LWD: At first I thought that, but it’s who I am. 

Me: What about parents who think it’s wrong? A lot of people do, because of their culture or religion. How should they handle it when it is their kids, and they think it’s a sin?

LWD: The big question to ask is the one to ask themselves. Do you love your kid? 

Me: And if the answer is yes? Then what?

LWD: They should respect their kids to make their own decisions. If the parents don’t like it, that’s fine but in the end … it isn’t their life and their decision. As a mom that has a bisexual daughter, what do you think parents who have children who come out should do?

Me: Like you said, love your kid. It’s okay to have a belief system that doesn’t support that. But people should come before beliefs.

LWD: Did you like my idea for your article? Are we going to write it?

Me: We totally just did.

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