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My Mom Came Out To Me At 15 — Having A Gay Mother Taught Me Acceptance

We all know love is love, but what about when it's your mom who is gay?

By Chrissie Marie MasseyPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
Top Story - February 2022
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My Mom Came Out To Me At 15 — Having A Gay Mother Taught Me Acceptance
Photo by leah hetteberg on Unsplash

My mother and I have a very complicated relationship. I have many problems with her, but they have nothing to do with her sexuality. That being said, when I learned she was a lesbian, it was hard for me to accept.

I believe everyone has the right to be happy in their skin, and love whoever they want. But the thought of my mother being gay was hard for me to imagine. My mother was not the image I had for a lesbian. Before I get too far deep into my story, this happened in 1991, and I was 15.

My Mom’s Tearful Confession

I grew up living with my grandma because my mother was undependable. She often couch surfed and never had a stable home. Then there was that incident when she allowed her then husband physically abuse me. So, CPS removed me from her home. But I still saw her regularly.

One day, mom called me and said she wanted to take me to lunch to talk about something. I didn’t know what to expect, but I wanted to see her.

I thought of all the things she could want to say. I hoped she wanted me to live with her, as grandma was a little old-fashioned. But it wasn’t that — she wanted to tell me her best friend was actually her partner.

We sat down to eat lunch and she said she has something to tell me, adding it was something she wanted to tell me for years. At this point, I was freaking out. I imagined she may have cancer, or she’s going to jail.

Chrissie, I’m a lesbian. And Stephanie (changed name) is my life-partner,” she whispered.

I wasn’t sure how to process this. I had questions, but I didn’t want to talk about it. So, I muttered, “That’s nice” while I ate my chef salad.

My mom wasn’t sure if I handled the situation well or if I was hiding my true feelings. The truth was, I didn’t know how to feel. I imagined my mother as this beautiful person who could have any man she wanted. Now, I find out; she didn’t want them, instead she liked women.

Whew, it was a lot to take in.

After she dropped me off, grandma asked me how my lunch went. I paused before responding, then I blurted out, “Grandma, mom is gay and she wants me to be happy for her.”

Grandma’s face turned white. Grandma was a Christian woman who prided herself on doing the right thing. She wasn’t sure how to respond, especially considering the gay movement was just gaining momentum.

Well, Chrissie, she’s still your mom and you have to find a way to accept her as she is. Maybe you should think about it and go see her to talk again.”

I knew grandma was right. I had to accept my mother as a lesbian. I didn’t hate her for it. I had gay friends, but she was my mother? It was a lot for my 15-year-old brain.

By Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Learning To Accept Others

At 15, I had measurable anger toward my mother. She was a terrible parent to me. On the flip side, she was an amazing friend and was so much fun. We could talk for hours about nothing.

All I wanted was an apology for allowing her ex-husband to hurt me. I wanted to know why I wasn’t good enough for her to step up to be a mother. I wanted to know why she didn’t try harder to be with me. But I didn’t have any ill thoughts about her sexuality.

I discovered the reason was it didn’t matter. It changed nothing between us. I know it was important to her to be honest with me and come out to me. I didn’t need it, but she did.

When she picked me up the following week, I told her I had something to say. She looked nervous, as she said she’s ready to listen.

Mom, I don’t care if you are gay. It changes nothing. I am glad you felt safe enough with me to tell me. My only hope is you are happy.”

By KAL VISUALS on Unsplash

Nope, I’m Not Gay!

I looked over at my mom in the driver’s seat of her car. She cried and explained she was happy I accepted her. She admitted she feared grandma’s Christian beliefs would cause me to hate her for her being gay..

I wished I could say my mother and I maintained a great relationship, but that isn’t how my story played out. Even though I accepted her sexuality, she was still the same toxic person. My issue with her has nothing to do with her sexual orientation.

Having a lesbian mother shaped my teenage years. I read all the studies about how her sexuality could affect me. But I wasn’t gay. I had no attraction to women, even though my mother was. I decided at 17 to disregard all the research studies and just live my life on my terms.

In college, I had many girlfriends who were bi-curious. One had a crush on me and tried to kiss me. I felt nothing. It was clear I have no attraction to women, and that was okay, too.

Having a lesbian mother taught me to be accepting of others. It’s okay to be different, as long as you are true to yourself and live an authentic life.

***

Originally posted on Medium.

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About the Creator

Chrissie Marie Massey

Chrissie has spent the last 20 years writing online for several major news outlets. When not writing, you’ll find her watching a Lifetime movie, wearing her favorite PJs with a frozen soda in hand.

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