“Kids at school are asking if my mom is a lesbian.”

Q:

My mother just told me that she is a lesbian and that she has a girlfriend. It’s a lot of stress just finding out, but what’s more difficult is that everybody at school has always asked me if my mom is a lesbian. Whenever people asked, I would defend her and say she was not.

Now that she has told me she really is a lesbian, I don’t know what to do. Should I tell people the truth when they ask, or should I go on protecting my mom?

— 14-year-old daughter in Southern California

A:

I know how it feels in the pit of your stomach when someone comes up to your face and asks about your mom. People did that to me, and no matter how often it happened, I did not know what to say. I usually ended up lying (because I was scared of harrassment) and then feeling really bad about not telling the truth.

If I could re-live those moments, I would go to my dad and say, “People at school are asking me if you are gay. What am I supposed to say?” I just assumed that my dad didn’t want anyone to know. But really, I was just making a big problem for myself because I worried too much about it. It would have been really, really hard to talk to my dad about it, but I wish I would have. I thought I was protecting my dad, but I never tried to find out if he wanted or needed to be “protected” in that way.

Your mom just came out to you. That means from now on, you will also be “coming out” nearly every day — as the daughter of a lesbian mother. Sometimes you and your mom will disagree about how “out” you want to be as a family. When that happens, it’s important you both talk about why you want to come out or not, so that each of you can understand the other person’s concerns.

Finally, be gentle with yourself. You don’t have to have all the answers. Adults certainly don’t, so I don’t think teens should have to either!

5 thoughts on ““Kids at school are asking if my mom is a lesbian.””

  1. Like has already been said I think that you need to talk to your mum about your concerns and worries. As you say she’s recently come out to you, so maybe she’s ready to come out to the wider world. It seems that people already think that she is. If kids are asking at school, then you must assume that they already know. It’s either obvious to them or their parents have said something. Maybe other people are already aware of your mother’s sexuality.

    I think that it’s important that you know as much about your mother’s situation as possible, before going head first into a revelations about her life. you may get negative reactions, but on the whole I think you’ll be ok. On a personal front my problems resulted more from my and my family’s shame about my father’s sexuality, than from the reactions of others. I’m more or less certain that my problems are as a direct result of me and my father being unable to talk about his sexuality and the effect it had on all of us.

    It’s ok to be cautious but don’t be ruled by neurotic fear.

    Regards,
    Danny

  2. I think the advice was good. No one has all of the answers all of the time. I think we are all afraid of harassment at some point. Talk to your mom find out what she wants then think it trough. Practice a general answer so you are not so taken off guard by the sudden question at an unexpected moment. Your mom is being honest with you. So that opens the line of communication. Keep talking about it.

  3. Abigail thank you so much. Your advice has helped me see what I need to see in this type of situation. I really love my mom, but some of the things she does are not always clear to me at first, but later it makes sense. Thanks again.

  4. Hey I know how you feel..
    My mom is a lesbian and i cannot stand the fact that the woman has moved in.. I totally think that i am different when i go to my friends house and see that they all have normal parents with normal lives..
    I could have saved 100$ for my 13th Birthday … I wanted to have a sleepover and i couldn’t because eveyone thinks that my mother is a straight woman and she isn’t and the fact that the woman moved in has changed everything.. No friends are invited…
    I know that people say oh “Tell Whats True About You”? Well the only thing is that my friends are all christian and i am too and in the bible that we read it says that Man Nor Man Or Woman Nor Woman shall lay together.. That also goes along with beast and they were talking about Gay People and Making Serious Fun of Them and That Pissed the Hell Outta me.. I am Seriously Angry about it..
    I have Lived WIth it For aBout 6yrs and I am over it but i still want to conceal it… You should know…
    Also If her Girlfriend Would Just Move out and Get Her own Apartment then I would be okay but This Is Extreme Shit And I hate it..
    And The Sorta Kinda Good thing is that her g/f looks like a dude ..
    I also hate it when my mom brings her g/f’s to my programs… Like Chior , Talent Shows, Step Shows , Dancing Recitals.. She Can Come Alone.. And I might Add She HAs Had about 4 g/f’s in the last 2 years..

  5. My mom is a lesbian. My mom and dad got divoreced also. When my mom told me and people finnally started asking me i came right on out and told them. I stopped it from building up a wall of lies. My mom is a lesbian and i am proud. Everybody has the right to love whoever they want to and our mommy’s just choose to show it in a different gender. Thank you so much for posting this on here it seriously helped my really know that im not the only one out there ya know! well later!

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