Parents' Stories

Jenny

My daughter came out as gay after five years with a boyfriend and I just couldn't believe it! I was devastated and didn't know what to say to my friends, especially as she moved back to live near us with her partner. I contacted the New Road group as I was very distressed and couldn't even bring myself to say the word 'lesbian'. My husband won't mention the subject at all and refuses to talk, so I don't know what he's thinking. I go to the group on my own and it has been such a relief to talk to other parents about my thoughts and feelings and to hear about their journeys to acceptance. I now accept my daughter's situation and can see that she is much happier. She and her partner, who is a lovely person, invite me to join them for girly meals out. I am able to be very happy for her and I don't care what others' think!

Margaret

I have a son and a daughter who are both gay. Because of society's prejudice, my ignorance and my poor reaction to my son's coming out at age 18, my daughter didn't come out until she was nearly 30 at the millennium. I am now sad that she missed out on her youth, as she didn't feel able to be the person she really was. When she came out to us I had already guessed and was more informed, and so we opened a bottle of champagne! I still felt like a weird parent with 2 gay children, but I was encouraged to discover in the group that I was not the only parent with more than one gay child. I had felt it was my fault in some way that my children had turned out differently from my expectations, but I learnt that this is not so.

Hilary

I knew from when he was very young that my son was probably gay. It did not disturb me unduly, but society's and church attitudes towards gay people do. I have become very involved with Changing Attitude, an Anglican group that works for the affirmation and full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. I have studied those biblical passages that purportedly condemn same sex relationships and also a little of the original languages of the Bible (Hebrew and Greek). I feel much better informed about the interpretations that are often used against gay people. I come to the group to help other parents who struggle with understanding the meaning of some of these ancient texts and who want greater confidence in challenging entrenched prejudice.

Resources for Parents

FFLAG provides support materials which have been translated into Urdu and Hindi, obtainable from www.fflag.org.uk: 'A Guide for Families and Friends' booklets in Urdu: £1.25 each, Cassette in Hindi: £2.00 each.

Galva: Gay and Lesbian Vaishnava Association www.galva108.org

Al-Fatiha foundation, promoting progressive Islamic notions of peace, equality and justice - www.al-fatiha.org

Imaan is a website for Muslim lesbians and gays - www.imaan.org.uk. Choose: 'For Parents'.

The Safra Project, for lesbian, bisexual and/or trangender women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or culturally - www.safraproject.org