Growing up Gay in an Intolerant Society

Just over two years ago, my daughter came out to me as Bisexual.  She was 13 years old. Still trying to identify and find her place in the world. Shortly after that, she came out as gay. Said that she wasn’t sure how to come out completely. Her father and I were completely accepting. Though she said she was afraid of how I would respond.

“Why?” I asked. “Because you told me before that you would be upset if I were gay.” She replied.  That broke my heart. She was afraid to come out because of a conversation we had a little over a year before.  So, I had to explain to her that I wasn’t upset that she was gay.  I was upset because I knew what she would have to face as she grew up.

This generation is more accepting of the LGBTQ+ community than any other generation. However, there are those who are not so accepting.  I’m not going to call them bigots because everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs.  But, when those people ACT on those beliefs and force others to become a part of their hatred, that’s when it becomes unacceptable.

America has the foundation that everyone has their rights and freedom to be who they are. Some rights took longer than others, but, we’re going in the right direction. Some people have a stipulation. You can be who you are, as long as it doesn’t infringe on their beliefs. You can be who you are, but, not in the light of day. You can be who you are as long as they can’t see it. If you don’t want to see it, then avert your eyes.

The LGBTQ+ community is a proud community.  As they should be. They’ve overcome obstacles like no others. Fighting for their rights just as strongly as any other minority group. My daughter is one of these members. She is proud to be gay. She is proud to be part of this community. She understands it’s going to be hard. She doesn’t identify with either gender. She prefers the they/them pronouns. As her mom, I still call her by the she/her pronouns. As do other family members. She may not like it, but, accepts it.

She’s faced bullying in Middle School. Shoved out of the way in the halls, called fagot by her peers. She finished out the school years there and started high school.  She still gets words tossed at her, but, they aren’t physical (that’s she’s told me). But, she handles it better now because she has a great group of friends who stand by her and they laugh it off.

Ashtweet

This past weekend, with the shooting in an Orlando night club, she got a dose of the hatred someone felt towards the LGBTQ+ community.  And it scared her. It angered her. And what does she do when she’s angered?  She confronts it head on.  My chick bought two pride shirts and wore them proudly.  What can I say?  She takes after her mom :).

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This one here? The best!

Does this scare me for her future?  Absolutely.  I don’t understand the hatred people feel towards a certain community. It’s the 21st century. You’d think we’d be past all this BS by now. If they aren’t hurting you, just let them be. They have the same rights as EVERYONE else. It doesn’t matter who they love. Same sex or opposite sex. They have the right to be Bi, Gay, Transgender, Gender Fluid or Asexual. I know there are more, but, sorry, it’s me writing this, not my daughter….

No one has the right to take a life because of that persons lifestyle. No one has the right to put their beliefs ahead of others safety and the right to their freedom and lifestyle.

I have other family members and friends who are also part of the LGBTQ+ community. I am so proud of my daughter and them as well.  They have a strength we may never understand, to continue fighting for their rights. I will be right there with them, pushing and fighting for their right to be part of and live in harmony within society. It’s not the LGBTQ+ community that we should be fearing.  They are a soft target. They want to live and let live.

What do I hope for my kiddo as she grows up? That society can get their act together and understand that everyone has the right to their freedom. No matter their color or sexuality. We are one. We need everyone to be able to survive this crazy thing we call life, as Prince said.

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20 thoughts on “Growing up Gay in an Intolerant Society

  1. Strength to all pushing forward on the cusp of a society that seems to be more formidable that it was previously. Change and acceptance take time for others, but as you say, and state so well, “We need everyone to be able to survive this crazy thing we call life, as Prince said.”

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  2. I honestly had no idea all of this goes on for others, I do see some in the news and online for coverage of intolerance, but I wish more would just let others love and be happy. I say who cares how you live and what you choose to do or even how I live or what I choose to do – so as long as we aren’t harming anyone else, leave us be 🙂

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  3. You are one great mom. Others may not be able to accept that their child is gay and may want to do things to change them. I have lots of friends who are gay and we get along fine. I hope there would be an end to all the hate going around. Everyone deserves to be what they want to be.

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    • It is! My daughter and I try to be as open as we can with each other. Even when it goes against the teen angst of wanting to hold things in. But, in the end, she knows I’m on her side, no matter the situation.

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  4. Now days everyone has to admit that the generations today are more tolerable. My cousin only came out after my grandfather died and this was back in the 80’s. He lived with my grandparents and my grandfather was completely against it. It is a shame that there still is a stigma against being gay. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and kudos to your daughter for having the courage to come out and standing up for her believes.

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    • Thanks Rebecca! My daughter came out before my step-dad passed away. But, because of his generational gap, he was the only one in the family that we did not tell. She wanted to and I unfortunately had to let her hear why we didn’t tell him. We were talking and the conversation switched to the LGBTQ community. He said it was a disease. I said something else and changed the topic. When we left his home, I told her I was sorry she had to hear that, but, I needed her to see WHY we weren’t telling him about her sexuality. That I didn’t want the time she had left with him to be ruined for something he didn’t need to know in the short time he had before he died. She understood and never asked to tell him again.

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  5. Taking one’s innocent life is always non-excusable. I might just feel the same if I ever spoke the same words to a son or daughter who hasn’t come out yet and told me they hesitated because of what I said. The people who hate gays should really come into their senses that their lifestyle isn’t a choice. I would even omit the word “style” since that’s what confuses them.

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  6. Happy that you’re standing up for what you believe in and supporting those in an intolerable society… it’s sad to think people will judge others, what’s the point of judging?!

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