Coming out to my kids
by Tera Bryant
LGBT+ Parenting Columnist
“Why…? why didn’t you tell me you were a lesbian?” my littlest one asked, his beautiful blue eyes brimming with tears and confusion. I couldn’t answer my son in such depth and detail then and, at the time, went with an age-appropriate response.
However, in celebration of National Coming Out Day October 11, I will do my best to answer him now; thoroughly. I now have the words and strength I so desperately needed to speak my truth.
Why didn’t I tell you I was gay? I was so afraid to be who I was. I didn’t believe I deserved a healthy normal family life and committed lesbian relationship. I didn’t know a single lesbian or gay parent.
It was daunting, and I was afraid people would judge you for my choice, and I couldn’t bear to be the object of your embarrassment. Mostly, I didn’t know how to be openly gay. I had hidden so long in the hetero aspect of my bisexuality; it’s as if my soul had crouched inward trying to take up less space in the world and escape notice.
But that can never last. When one makes themselves small and still, one is still not invisible. Just isolated, and alone.
I had to be the real me. I needed that, and my children needed me to be real. They deserved the truth. I began by being open about it to those closest to me. It was a very raw and vulnerable feeling but, like all scary things, you survive it, and it loses its fearful hold. I grew stronger from those interactions and found the voice I needed. I was ready.
But first, there were two lil’ ones to tell…and I had been dreading that moment. I spent many evenings trying to find resources on how to come out to your children. Maybe it was a stall tactic or more of a way to calm and prepare me for the inevitable moment.
When the time came, none of the advice, came to mind at all. At that moment, all I had to do was have faith in the bond I share with my children and know that they deserved to know who I really was. The truth set all of us free. There were many tears, lots of discussions, and ice-cream because ice-cream heals many things big and small.
I’ll forever remember the wisest words I ever heard from my littlest one that night. “Mama always be you, no matter what, or who doesn’t like it. You be you. You are my mama, and I will always love you no matter what.
“Also, please can I have a puppy?”
In my spare time, I am now googling what puppy is best for kids. FML…I think we’re getting another dog. Until next time, blessings to all celebrating National Coming Out Day!
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Copyright The Gayly – October 10, 2018 @ 12:25 p.m. CDT.