The kids are just fine

by Tera Bryant
LGBTQ+ Parenting Columnist

After I came out to the world, the majority of the backlash I faced didn’t come from angry religious zealots, or even strangers with a preference towards Trump hats. It came from my own immediate family.

Although there were many negative comments made, the one that concerned me most involved my children. I felt an insane amount of betrayal when I realized the family I hadn’t had an active relationship within years, felt they needed to question the well-being of my children.

I was super lucky to have a supportive co-parent who made sure to let my family know our boys were doing just fine, and that the world hadn’t ended for them, just because mom was gay.

I couldn’t get one sentence out of my head. “We’re just worried about the children.” It was so evocative of the general misunderstanding that rainbow families face. I, too, worry about my children. So much so, I feel it is my moral responsibility to live my truth openly and lovingly.

In truth, children aren’t hurt in families by opening up and sharing the truth; the secrets hurt them we refuse to speak of at holiday dinners and family gatherings. They are hurt by homophobic family members encouraging gay and lesbian loved ones to live separately and hidden within society.

Until our children see normal functioning gay and lesbian parents, teachers, coaches, pastors, police officers, and even peers, they will not be able to break past the homophobia they inherited within the social order in which they were born.  

I wanted so badly for my family to understand that I had the best interest of my children at heart. I could have attempted to argue and fuss and stand my ground. Perhaps even recite from over 75 scientific reports I had poured over, showing children of LGBTQ+ families are no different than their classmates and friends when it comes to how they fare in the world.

Sometimes silence is the best answer until you know how best to say what it is your heart wants to share. My heart is ready now.

For all of my family who watches from afar this unfolding saga of human frailty and exploration that is my life, I want you to know my children are just fine. Oh, they’re a mess I assure you. They’re feisty and to damn smart for their own good, but their hearts; oh, their hearts are so big they could heal the world. 

They love their mama and all her ridiculousness, including my inability to find anything I actually ever need at the right time.

So, don’t worry. We got this, even though I am gay; despite the fact I am gay, maybe even because I am gay and openly able to share my life with them, without censure and deception. Together, as a family; a rainbow family who can face life with love and light in our hearts, and never have to fear to be who we are with those we love most. 

Many blessings to those struggling with close family relationships during the holiday seasons. Just remember, you got this! We got this. Together, like a giant loving family.

Copyright The Gayly – November 19, 2018 @ 10:40 a.m. CST.