I’ve recently assumed the position of ‘fairy gay-mother’ to a baby gay after he tried to drunkenly make out with one of my coupled friends.
This “protagay” shows lots of promise but he reminded me of just how far one comes after exiting the closet.
Baby gays are so oblivious, guilt ridden and afraid of the feminine; saying things like “Anal sex is gross”, “I’ve never seen Clueless” and “Who’s RuPaul?” (All of which send me into fits of panic.)
These huge gaps in gay knowledge and wisdom are why I give all the baby gays I know a starter kit of lube, condoms, Junkets’ excellent book The Young Gay Guys Guide to Safer Gay Sex and a “Welcome to the Gay World” email filled with helpful resources.
It is the ideal coming out present, after all, any help at that vulnerable time of your life can make a profound difference.
Since our initial meeting, protagay has visited his first gay club and bravely told his parents that he is a homosexual, all just in time to sow his seeds at university.
As any good fairy gay-mother would, I searched the internet for “A helpful guide on what to expect and how to manage” to assist my protagay’s parents to deal with their kid coming out. Except for the devious Christian brainwash, I could not find a thing.
So I chatted to my mother, who herself struggled with coming to terms with my sexuality in the beginning, and I asked her to share her advice for other parents.
And this is what we came up with.
A helpful guide on what to expect and how to manage when your child comes out of the closet:
• Scream and throw the exact tantrum you constantly lectured him or her not to have their entire childhood.
• Act like it’s the end of the world and call every friend and family member telling them to prepare for Armageddon.
• Lay blame. You won’t find any.
• Deny the truth. If your child is telling you they are gay it is probably not a joke. Take them seriously and don’t try to convince them otherwise. It won’t work.
• Ask “Why didn’t you tell us sooner?” when you know you were shouting homophobic comments at the TV, convinced that gay people were demonic/diseased/perverted.
• React violently or blurt out condemning statements. You will regret it later.
• Be a martyr. “Why me and what did I do wrong?” It really has very little to do with you.
• Bring religion into it. You will sound dumb. Try logic rather.
• Worry what other people will think. What are you? In high school?
• Reject. Your child has probably faced a lifetime of self-hatred, confusion, rejection, mocking, condemnation and fear. The last thing they need right now is your rejection.
• Listen, listen, listen and hear what they have to say. Let them finish, without interruption and no tears. You are most welcome to go wail your head off in the loo when the coast is clear. You are grieving the heterosexual normative path you created for your child, not your child. Get perspective.
• Stay calm, even if you have to take a valium. That goes for body language too (no crossed arms or reaching for the gun).
• Tell them your love will not change because of their sexual orientation and that you are proud of them for being so brave. Tell them all you want for them is to live a happy, fulfilled existence and that you will always be there for support and guidance when it’s wanted.
• Educate yourself and question the stereotypes you think are true. Spend time watching and reading material on homosexuality which will, without a doubt, transform you. Try to meet and learn from other parents of gay children.
• Choose acceptance. If you choose to reject them for matters of pride, intolerance, indoctrination or any of those lies and nonsense, you will be the loser. Don’t force your child away and lose the chance to partake in seeing them the happiest they will ever be. It is their life and they will live it without you if you force them to.
Most of all, remember that it’s taken so much courage and years of deliberation for that individual to face their greatest fear and tell you what you may or may not have already known.
Don’t make coming out any more painful for your child than it already is. Give them a “Get Out of the Closet Free”. Embrace it. You really have no other choice.
My mom says she wishes she had this guide, which would have helped her to avoid some of the mistakes she made. I hope this helps you and your parents.