Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Mom Doesn’t Believe I’m Gay!”

I’m 24 and I just came out around a month ago as a lesbian, first to myself and then to my sister and dad who are totally supportive — in fact, they always felt that I was a lesbian growing up because I was a serious tomboy, among other things. Thing is, a few weeks ago, I came out to my mom (my parents are divorced) and she seriously does not believe me. She says there is something wrong with me hormonally, especially as I was growing up, something about my being borderline Cushings disease, and she told me to not go around telling people that I’m gay.

This hurts me big time; it’s almost as bad as if she had disowned me! She doesn’t want me to be out to the rest of our family — or to anybody, for that matter. She says that I’m just confused and that I shouldn’t advertise that I think that I’m gay. I know that it has nothing to do with hormones; it’s just who I was born to be. On one hand, my mom says she would support me having a relationship with a woman and having children, though it wouldn’t be a marriage to her because of the bible, but on the other she’s saying it’s really all in my head and that I’m just a confused 24-year-old who either needs to try to date guys or be celibate. I don’t want to date guys or be celibate! She doesn’t like me hanging out with my gay friends either because she feels they will make me even more gay, which could never happen since I’m already pretty butch!

We were never close growing up — still aren’t — but I would love for her to support me and let me be me and be out and proud! I’ve told her this but she will hear none of it. By the way: I live with her; I’m currently unemployed and going to college full time (going for my masters). I have no other place to live, my dad lives in 500 miles away with his “new” family and doesn’t have room for me. My sister and I would kill each other, plus she’s married with kids. I will hopefully be leaving in a few years (fingers crossed), but even then I don’t want my being gay to ruin our relationship. How do I get along with my mom and ignore the hurt she is causing me?

P.S. I’ve tried to make myself like guys to sort of hear her out on giving dudes a chance and it’s just not working! I think I’m trying to be straight just to make her happy! — The New Lesbian

Not to be one of those old fogies whose all, “Well, in MY day, yada yada,” but in MY day, young adults got jobs and moved out of their parents’ home before they qualified for AARP benefits. I mean, you’re 24 and you’re keeping your fingers crossed that you’ll be moving out of your mom’s place “in a few years”?! You realize that in a few years you’re going to be pushing 30, right? Even 24 is a little old to be living at home, mooching off your parent(s) indefinitely (special situations not withstanding). I get that you’re going to school full time and that the economy sucks, but if you really wanted some independence, you’d find a way to make it happen. You could get a weekend retail job or tend bar two nights a week or wait tables. If you’re in grad school, you could look for an assistantship that paid your tuition and gave you a monthly stipend. It may not be much, but it would probably be enough to cover rent split several ways if you found a place with a few roommates. Grad students have been living this way for decades.

But all of these actions take some work, initiative, and sacrifice, don’t they? And maybe it’s just easier to stay at home with your mother and complain about how she won’t “let” you be you. That way you get to freeload a “few more years,” and don’t have to deal with the burden that being yourself might present. Because, let’s face it: being gay isn’t always the easiest thing in the world. There’s still a lot of prejudice out there. But you’re putting yourself in a position where you’re feeling it on a constant basis, in your home (well, not your home…) — the one place in the world where you shouldn’t have any problem being exactly who you are. YOU are putting yourself in an unpleasant home environment that compromises your identity AND YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THAT. You can move out. You’re 24-years-old. You don’t need anyone else’s permission to be you, whether you’re gay, bi, straight, freaky, square, whatever.

Embrace who you are: a lesbian and an adult. Get a job, find your own apartment and live your life. Eventually, as your mother sees you owning your life and being happy and proud of who you are, she’s going to STFU about you being “confused.” But as long as you continue giving her control of your life, she’s never going to see you as anything other that the child she’s still raising and influencing. So, quit being her child. Quit “letting” her tell you what to do. Prove to her and yourself you’ve grown up and you have confidence in your life decisions and the path you’re traveling. Leave the nest and fly, little birdie. The time has come.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

35 comments… add one
  • avatar

    artsygirl September 6, 2011, 7:41 am

    LW – Your post is fairly confusing to me, but I going to try to break it down.

    You are a 24 year old masters student that lives with her mother even though you say you are not close. You have just come out to yourself and close members of your family. Your mother has not threatened to throw you out or even expressed disgust at your sexual orientation – rather she has cautioned you to not go out and announce it to the world. She has also said she really wished your would date men.

    Honestly I am not seeing any bad behavior on mom’s part. I know if I was gay my parents would support me, but a part of them would always wish I had been straight. Not because being straight is better, but because life is a lot easier for a straight person – especially depending on how conservative your community is. Also, you have JUST come to this realization (you mentioned a month) and while it probably was something that was always in the back of your mind, it is possible that your mother never had any idea despite you being a tom boy. Give her some time to absorb the idea that you will not be bringing home Tom but Tabatha. I am not saying deny who you are, but instead of including your sexual orientation in the annual family Christmas card you might want to be discerning in who and how you mention it to extended family and friends.

    Until you move out of your mother’s home you will have to accept her rules and respect her feelings. That might mean that you have limited dating opportunities and cannot bring dates home. You probably cannot spend the night at your date’s place, etc. Your best option is to follow Wendy’s advice and move out as soon as possible. It will mean that you will have to financially struggle a bit, but independence is priceless. Best of luck.

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  • avatar

    anonymous September 6, 2011, 8:17 am

    oh, and your mom’s not completely wrong that you should have a full hormonal workup if you had a childhood illness. Hormones DO have a huge effect on how you feel about things, who you find attractive, and how you respond to different circumstances.

    A high testosterone woman is NOT necessarily lesbian. I am one who has been happily married for 20 years. If you really are lesbian, great. But why take it amiss that your mom is advising you based on information that she has? If you haven’t been to an endocrinologist lately, it’s probably a good idea to check it out.

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  • avatar

    Christy September 6, 2011, 8:27 am

    LW, we have similarities: I’m a 22-year-old out lesbian who is living with her mother while earning her masters. Now, my mother fully accepted my sexuality when I came out to her, so I’m coming from a slightly different place, but I think I understand where you’re coming from.

    What masters degree are you earning where you can’t work at all? Or where you can’t get loans? I would understand if you were in a professional program (JD or MD) where school eats your life, but masters degrees are different. Many are designed so you can work and go to school at the same time. Last year, I worked 32 hours a week at a my job and took four classes a semester (and three classes is full-time). And I got straight A’s. I know that each program is unique, but this can be done.

    And I totally understand that you don’t want to move out and incur (more) debt. Have you applied for grad assistantships? Often more become available as you continue in your masters program. Schools want their students to get these–apply to every one that you’re remotely qualified for. The economy sucks; apply to retail jobs too–I have at least five friends paying rent with retail gigs while they’re in grad school.

    I guess my point in talking about jobs and expenses is to remind you that you *can* move out if life sucks at home. It’s not like your mother is making you live there. If it’s that bad, grow some ovaries and move out.

    And now for the part of the letter that I’m pretty sure only a fellow LGB would really be able to answer, the “I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it RIGHT NOW.” You only realized you were gay a month ago. It took you how long to get comfortable with the idea? 24 years? You’re going to have to give your mother some time to process this. It’s a big deal to her. I’m honestly not surprised that she thinks you’re being hormonal–you went from her daughter who she’s known her whole life to a big flaming homo in less than a month. Give her some time to deal with it. Don’t be so in-your-face about it to her. I know, I know, you’re in the gay-gay-gay-gay phase, where everything is heteronormative and you can apply queer theory everywhere, but tone it down. Don’t bring up queer theory at every opportunity. Maybe don’t mention the hot girl you saw in class. Say you’re going out with friends, not with “my gay friends.”

    And don’t discount the fact that your mother said she’d support you in a gay relationship. That means that she’ll come around eventually with time. This is a big step in acceptance. If she were really being oppressive in your household, she’d do something like: kick you out, *force* you to stop seeing your friends, send you to ex-gay therapy, or, you know, KICK YOU OUT. She’s fine with you being gay, she just doesn’t like you being uber-queer. If you tone down the gay, she’ll tone down the criticism.

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    • avatar

      MsBorgia September 6, 2011, 9:29 am

      I agree on the work thing. I know it’s different in different states, but I am in a master’s program and my loans cover almost all of it AND rent, plus I have a research assistantship, and a job outside school. I wouldn’t be able to live on my own without the loans, but they can’t be that difficult to apply for…

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    • avatar

      summerkitten26 September 6, 2011, 11:11 am

      I definitely agree with your entire post, but double thumbs up for “grow some ovaries.” love it!

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  • avatar

    Elle September 6, 2011, 8:41 am

    LW, how long did it take you to realize you’re gay? Let’s say you started thinking about it when you were 18, although it usually starts way earlier. Anyway, since it took you years to figure it out, you can’t expect your mom to come around in just a few weeks. Give her some time. You’re probably disappointed with her, since your dad and your sister took it so well. Maybe it was easier for them because they don’t have to live with you? I’d say give your mom some credit for not throwing you out, and give her some time to adjust to the new reality. Also, in the meantime, find some online resources about coming out. I heard Pflag is a good resource. Congrats on coming out, and hang in there. Follow your moms rules for a little longer, but make sure you stand your ground, and she will come around eventually.

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    • avatar

      MiMi September 6, 2011, 12:01 pm

      I agree that this whole thing needs some time. Take the pressure off your mom to start crocheting a rainbow afghan for her bed right this minute and just go about your business. Model the acceptance and understanding you want from her and let her be who she is, get used to this at her own pace, and arrive at her own conclusions. Your job is to answer any appropriate questions she might have honestly and to quickly start working towards your own independence. She’s not likely to take you seriously as a grown up woman who is making her life choices until you are “grown up”.

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary September 6, 2011, 8:55 am

    Thank you Wendy!! I seriously don’t get when you receive these letters about full grown adults in college or grad school who complain about their living situation. I just finished grad school this past may and I did it all on my own through loans and tuition (the state where I attended school is practically bankrupt and went on a hiring freeze for assistantships the 2 years I attended-should’ve gone to a different school-but that’s another story). Point is, you have options to move out of your house and then you won’t constantly have to deal with your mom not accepting who you are. Like Wendy said, your home is your sanctuary. Bite the bullet and either get a well paying job, an assistantships, student loans, or even work part time and finish school on a part time basis.

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    • avatar

      Kerrycontrary September 6, 2011, 8:58 am

      *oops not loans and tuition. Meant to say loans and working part time

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey September 6, 2011, 8:13 am

    Wendy really hit this one on the head. LW – The ONLY remedy that will make your mother believe that you’re truly lesbian, and happy with your orientation, is if you get out of her house and on your own. She has this kind of influence, the ability to say these things to you and for it to really bother you, because you still live with her. Out on your own she may still believe what she says, and she may NEVER accept that you’re lesbian. But on your own, the severity of those beliefs will sting you far less than right now.

    Honestly, as long as you’re living in her house, reminding her that she’s the mom and you’re the child, she’s going to keep treating you like a child, not her grown-up offspring capable of making her own life decisions. And why should she believe that you’re mature, grown-up, and capable of knowing yourself better than she knows you? By still living at home at 24, you aren’t going very far on the path to proving that you’re all of those things! She has no reason to treat you like an adult, and no reason to change her tune. YOU are the one with the power to change your circumstances and therefore her ability to affect your life this way. Like Wendy said, it’s hard work! But if you’re serious about not being able to handle her disapproval of you and her need to “fix” you, you’ll do everything it takes to get out of that situation.

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  • avatar

    Laurel September 6, 2011, 9:54 am

    I understand not wanting to amass any more debt than you have to while in school, but I think the clear issue here is that you need to move out. A couple years living with other grad students or professionals as roommates will give you a lot more freedom than living at home.

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  • Budj

    Budjer September 6, 2011, 9:08 am

    I really liked Christy’s advice. One other bit is you could investigate your mother’s hormonal theory and put it to rest (if the LW is right)…I’m assuming since you are 24 and a student you could still be on her health insurance if she has it.

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    • avatar

      Christy September 6, 2011, 9:18 am

      Thanks Budjer! I totally agree about the hormonal theory–I recently realized that I’m about to get my own health insurance, so I made appointments at every doctor I see, just to get one last free exam in there. Why not get the hormones checked out? You know that they aren’t the issue, why not assuage your mother AND get some free health care in the process? You only have two more years of your mother’s medical insurance. All it would cost you is some time.

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  • Lyra

    L September 6, 2011, 11:13 am

    I may go under fire for this, but here we go…

    Yes, this particular situation would be better if she moved out. But have you tried to get a decent job just out of school in this crappy economy?? Well, I have and it feels nearly impossible sometimes. (Background: I’m 23, graduated with my bachelor’s recently, and yes, I am living with my parents right now due to me not finding a full time job this year. I am indeed working.) I’m coming to defense of the LW here. When you decide to go to graduate school and sometimes you are already in tens of thousands of dollars in debt from your first degree, the most economic solution may in fact be living with your parents or someone else who won’t charge you as much in rent. I can’t blame her for not wanting to take out extra loans for rent. Depending on where she lives, that could add up to be a HUGE amount of money. Add loans for living costs for groceries and everything else and it adds up really fast. She didn’t mention that she’s working, but maybe she is and she’s putting that money towards her current loans. Or maybe her program is rigorous and she’s spending most of her free time studying.

    Financially, it’s probably not as easy as “find a job, move out of your mom’s house”. Lots of current college grads end up back home because they simply can’t find something that will allow them to support themselves AND start paying back current loans.

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    • avatar

      MissDre September 6, 2011, 12:18 pm

      I definitely know where you’re coming from. Sometimes it’s not this easy. My cousin’s minimum payment for his student loan is $800 a month.

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    • avatar

      Anna September 6, 2011, 3:47 pm

      You really hit it on the head there! I had to take out around 45k in loans to get my bachelor’s. In repayment status, I am paying about 350/mo minimum just on my student loans. I wasn’t able to find a good paying job in my field so I had to take the first crappy job I found. I’m lucky enough to live in a rural area where it’s not that expensive to live an an apartment, and also lucky enough to have my boyfriend paying half the expenses. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to afford an apartment even though I work full time.

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    • avatar

      spark September 6, 2011, 7:34 pm

      Totally agree! My old classmate is just finishing her first year of work after grad school, and, guess what, she’s living with her parents. And she’s 26! Despite having a relatively low-paying government job, she’s saved money, made large loan repayments, contributed significantly to a retirement account, etc. Retirement and financial planning is important, even for someone in their 20s. When she and her boyfriend “take the next step,” they’ll be financially stable. They’ll be able to afford a wedding, a house, etc., etc. Anyone who thinks it’s shameful for a 24-year-old to avail herself of her parents’ generosity needs to take a look at the economy… and probably their own finances.

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    • katie

      katie September 6, 2011, 9:13 pm

      i get that, i really do, but if your going to make the decision to live at your parents house, you do very much reactivate that mom-child situation, and if this girl cant handle how her mom is acting, and if she wants to make her life better, she probably should move out. if she decides to stay, she very much is putting herself in what she sees as a negative situation.

      at this point, the question is what is more important? your potential debt that will be run up by living on your own/working crazy hours to be able to afford rent/ect OR living in a potential “hell” at your mom’s house/mom never accepting you/ect.

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      • Lyra

        L September 6, 2011, 9:42 pm

        Oh I totally agree that moving back home will trigger that parent-child relationship, I was just pointing out that “grow up and move out” might not be a viable option and just because someone lives with their parents doesn’t mean that they haven’t “grown up”. Just because I happen to live at home right now doesn’t mean I’m any less mature than my colleagues. It sounds to me that her mom just needs time to get used to the idea of her daughter being a lesbian. The mom told the LW that she would accept raising children with another woman, which is a GREAT sign. I think it’s possible for them to develop a positive relationship AND her mom accepting her sexuality AND the LW living at her mom’s house. It’ll take time and patience, but may end up resulting in a stronger mom/daughter relationship.

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      • katie

        katie September 6, 2011, 9:59 pm

        thats actually a good point- maybe staying will strengthen the mom/daughter bond… maybe it would be the saving grace for their relationship.

        i just think it’s kind of stupid that this girl writes in basically saying, my mom doesn’t accept my life, but i have to live with her.” she doesn’t have to live with her- thats just the reality of the situation. she has choices. a ton of people on here have explained very well different routes she could take- and im sure there are a bunch more that she could find if she would look into it. i just refuse to believe that she is optionless. if you dont like something, change it. if she is unhappy where she is, then change something.

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  • avatar

    Bossy Italian Wife September 6, 2011, 2:13 pm

    Wendy is right, you need to grow up!

    Being comfortable in your sexuality is a great big step in the right direction, but your next step should be toward the door. I moved out at 18 years old, and I have managed ever since. It’s not THAT hard to move out. I didn’t like some of the rules my mother had, and I wanted to be on my own. It isn’t always easy, but it’s worth it to have your own space to be free.

    If you want your mother to see you as a person who is whole and independent, then you need to make a statement by showing her that you are, in fact, an adult. MOA! Once your mom can see you as a capable adult, perhaps she will begin to see who you really are and not feel as though she is in a position to comment on your choices.

    This one is totally in your control; sure, your mother should accept you whether or not you live with her, but the reality is some parents just aren’t as supportive as they should be.

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    • Lyra

      L September 6, 2011, 2:51 pm

      Unfortunately, economically it is a totally different world out there now. Maybe at the time when you moved out it was easier to find a job, but right now most people are hitting dead ends. The “baby boomer” generation keeps on saying they will retire, but then they hold onto their jobs for a few years yet. Sometimes those jobs just disappear after those people retire. Graduates are working at retail places like Target and Walmart just to make ends meet. It’s a dead-end for most people’s careers. Have you ever tried to support yourself with rent, groceries, and loan payments on a part time minimum wage income like that? Nearly impossible. My guess is that she is trying to boost her chances at getting a decent full time job by going to grad school. Ever since this stupid recession, people who just graduated are passed over for someone with more experience. As a recent graduate, I’ve had 15 interviews for full time jobs in the past 6 months, and didn’t get any of them. I was told multiple times that I was their second choice behind someone who had more experience and as a result was “better qualified” than I was. There were over 100 applicants for many of those jobs. Sometimes living with your parents is the only option if you want to get ahead financially.

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      • katie

        katie September 6, 2011, 9:15 pm

        “nearly impossible”

        but still possible.

        its hard to do… but I did it. I dont even have a bachelors degree! it can be done is the general point, and if this LW is hating the life she has at her mom’s, she very well CAN change it.

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      • Lyra

        L September 6, 2011, 9:51 pm

        Yes, I know it is possible. People do it all the time. But we have no idea what her situation is. If she’s got classes every day and needs time to study to keep her grades up, she may not have time for a part time job. Maybe she has $60,000 in loans from her first degree. Maybe she wants to save money and get ahead financially. School kicks your butt sometimes. We can’t just say “You’re 24 and you still live with your MOM??? Jeez, grow up!!! Get a life!!!” because we have NO IDEA what her situation is. I’m simply pointing out that it’s not so easy to get out into the “real world”. Moving out is not the only option for this situation.

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      • katie

        katie September 6, 2011, 10:02 pm

        im not on the “your 24, grow up and get a life” bandwagon- im on the “if you dont like your current situation, change it” bandwagon. do something to better your own life. if its really that bad at her mom’s house (and frankly, it doesn’t sound THAT bad compared to other gay people’s parents i’ve known), then she can leave. its just really that simple.

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      • Lyra

        L September 6, 2011, 10:07 pm

        Good to hear. I’m on the same bandwagon as you…it’s just some comments have been basically “Move out!”. My guess is that she just wants advice on how to build a relationship with her mom. She has options, and moving out is not the only one.

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  • avatar

    XanderTaylor September 6, 2011, 2:47 pm

    Awesome response, Wendy! MOA – Move Out Already!

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  • Lyra

    L September 6, 2011, 3:15 pm

    I’m going to take a different approach to this situation because I get what you’re going through in being a 20-something living with your mom.

    LW, my suggestion is to first sit down and have an open heart-to-heart conversation with your mom about your relationship. What type of relationship do you want with her? You said that you have never had a strong relationship with your mother, has there been anything holding you back? Is it something that has happened in the past? I think by building a stronger relationship with her you will open up more opportunities for quality conversations, not just about sexuality, but about life. It will take time, but in the end this will be worth it.

    Once you feel more comfortable with your relationship with your mom, bring up the topic of your sexuality again. Have a heart-to-heart and tell her that as difficult as it may be for her to accept, this is how you are. You are still the same daughter that she knows and loves, but you have come to realize your sexual preference simply is not men. Try explaining to her that being gay isn’t something anyone is able to choose; culturally, there are still a TON of biases against gay people. Tell her that you need her support in this realization that you have made about yourself. Tell her that you need her acceptance because it isn’t always going to be easy. Tell her that you want her involved in your life and you want to bring your future significant others to meet her and for her to be able to get to know them.

    Of course it will take time for your mom to process something like this. Just be patient and try to be understanding of her perspective too. Personally, I have not had a situation like yours but I have many friends who happen to be gay and I have seen parents react in very different ways when they officially “came out”. Some parents have accepted it from the beginning, others took a year or more to finally fully accept the facts. Keep the conversation open with your mom and she will hopefully get there, maybe in a week, a month, a year, or even 5 years. Good luck. I hope this advice helps.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark September 6, 2011, 6:24 pm

    This is all part of the normal process that parents go through. DENIAL. It’s only been a matter of weeks… This is all a lot to process. As Dan Savage always says, you have to remember that YOU have been struggling with this for years and years —- and yet the moment YOU come out of the closet everybody else is supposed to just completely love and accept the news as if they knew about it all along. Patience. Give your mother time. The fact that she ALREADY said she could be supportive of you having kids with a women is a huge positive sign!!

    That said, there is an even better reason you should cut her some slack. And here is where I will now (of course!) get controversial… Your mother actually has a much more solid reason to not take your recent declaration of homosexuality 100 percent seriously… And it’s because you are a female. There, I said it. For it seems that female sexuality is often much more fluid than its male counterpart. This seems especially true with regards to homosexuality… Now, admittedly, I have NOT known that many lesbians in my life. That said, even I know of at least four who are not only no longer calling themselves lesbians, but now claim to have always been bisexual… Oh, and all four of these women are presently in relationships WITH MEN. Three are even very much married to men, have kids, and profess to be very much monogamous…

    Conversely, I have absolutely zero… (Zero! Zip! Nada!)…male gay friends who have so unexpectedly run off and gotten married to women — and I know hundreds if not thousands of gay men… Meanwhile 4 out of the mere 7 lesbians I’ve known fairly well have jumped ship. You see this in the media, too. Anne Heche immediately springs to mind…

    So, your mother’s confusion is only natural. Frankly, it is a little early to hold it against her. As Dan Savage says, parents need AT LEAST six months to through a tantrum… You have to give them a bit of time. It’s only fair.

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    • avatar

      spark September 6, 2011, 9:43 pm

      1st paragraph – totally agree!

      2nd paragraph – ehhh… not so much

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    • Lyra

      L September 6, 2011, 9:57 pm

      One of my best friends happens to be a lesbian and she is engaged to another woman, thank you very much.

      You’re being presumptuous again, BGM. We need to find you some lesbian friends.

      There may be fewer lesbians in the world than gay men, but that doesn’t mean you should take a female coming out any less seriously.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark September 6, 2011, 10:10 pm

        Hey, there are plenty of REAL lesbians, I agree. That said, there is a much grayer area to lesbianism than male homosexuality. I’m not saying that it shouldn’t be taken seriously, but I am cutting the mother some slack for what I feel is frankly understandable confusion. See Anne Heche again. Or, heck, one formerly big Lesbian activist CHAZ BONO recently up and became a man which, quite frankly, was very much out of left field. PS — My three other lesbian friends would very much agree with what I have written here, in fact, they find it all very disconcerting and alarming… Especially since one of the three WAS all but married to one other four that is now married to a man…

        Don’t blame me, the messenger for pointing out the fact that this type of thing happens. And I am NOT basing this solely on my own experience. Ever listen to Dan Savage? This comes up on his podcast more than you would think…

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  • avatar

    CMonster September 6, 2011, 6:27 pm

    I definitely agree that it’s possible to work while doing your MA. I just finished up mine, it was a MA by thesis so basically I was self scheduled. As long as you can organise yourself well, budget wisely, and are willing to maybe work at night and on the weekends, it’s definitely doable. At some points I was working 25 hrs p/w to support myself, and I just balanced it out by working on my MA in the evenings if I needed to. Where I live it’s easy to access student loans for fees and living costs, so that all helped – though I will say, our repayment system here is a lot softer, so it’s easier to have a huge student debt that won’t necessarily cripple you in years to come. I guess my advice would be to explore your options and see what jobs are out there. There are probably financial advisers on campus that could help you too. It could be your ticket to freedom.

    Another thing I’ll point out is that moving out from my parents place (at 22) seriously benefited my mental health (along with some post-moving out counselling). I feel much more my own person, and I was finally in the position to stop some of the crappy behaviour of my Mum towards me. I can’t relate with the prejudice you face being gay, but I can relate with a mother who doesn’t accept your life choices and tries to manipulate you into feeling like crap when you do something she doesn’t like.

    Furthermore, being financially independent and living your own life might help your Mum accept your lifestyle and friends. Show that you’re perfectly capable of managing your life and relationships on your own, and she might just back down. I really hope that you can get to a place where she loves and accepts you for who you are. From what I’ve seen with my gay friends, it can take some time for parents to come around. Best of luck to you, LW.

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    spark September 6, 2011, 9:49 pm

    1. Get your hormones checked. Even if it’s totally irrelevant to your sexuality (which it probably is), it could have some important impact on your overall health and wellness. Just because your mom uses it as an excuse for your sexuality, you shouldn’t excuse it is meaningless.

    2. Give your mom some time! I bet she’d have the same reaction if you told her that you were quitting school to become a rock star. Or marrying a man you met yesterday. Or pregnant. Or getting an enormous nose ring. Or adopting a child. Or starting your own business. Or enlisting in the military. Or backpacking alone in Europe for the next year. The list goes on. The point is, your mom is hearing something new, different, and risky (in her opinion). It’s a big change. It’s not what she expected. It doesn’t mean that it’s bad, or that she’ll always feel that way; but it does mean that she needs time to digest it, and that she’s entitled to her fears and concerns. She’s your mom, after all!

    As someone else pointed out, you’ve been thinking about this and rethinking about it and digesting it and challenging it and confirming it and wondering about it for a very long time–you didn’t just accept it overnight, and neither will she.

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      Anna September 7, 2011, 12:22 am

      I completely agree with you on #2! My parents have the same reaction to any little change I make…getting blonde highlights when I was 17? Devastating. Moving out of their house? End of the world. Moving in with my boyfriend? That one took years. For some reason, my parents think change is a bad thing. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they are also Republicans.

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