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A step toward tolerance

This mom misses her daughter but can’t deal with her homosexuality.

You might not agree but you can accept, says our elder. The first step is up to you.

Dear EWC:

When my daughter was in her senior year of high school she applied and was accepted to UNLV in Las Vegas, Nevada and when she graduated high school she moved to Las Vegas permanently. She graduated with a BA in chemistry, and worked her way to a PHD. I couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments, but during her sophomore year in college she came out to me as a lesbian. I don’t tolerate homosexuality.

I haven’t had a real conversation with her ever since she told me. She married her wife in October of 2017 and they’ve adopted a little boy and named him Spencer. I didn’t attend her wedding and haven’t met her wife or my grandson, but I’m realizing now that I’ve missed so many milestones in her life. She’s my only child and I want to meet Spencer and attempt to reconnect with her. My husband has been visiting her and her family regularly, and I don’t want to ruin his very close relationship with her.
How should I approach this? Is the damage already done?

Salvador replies:

Take the first step. Contact her and admit that you had a hard time dealing with this because of your beliefs and/or upbringing. Let her know that you miss her and that you wished you had not missed important milestones in her life like her marriage and the arrival of your grandchild.

You do not have to say you agree with homosexuality but you have accepted how to live with and love those who do. You now can handle it. Tell her you want to be part of her life and her loved ones’ lives also.
You did not explain why you do not tolerate homosexuality. Is it because of your religious beliefs or because you grew up in an environment that shaped you to be intolerant to it? If it is because of religious beliefs, there are faith-based books that will help you handle it and still be within your beliefs.

Maybe you just have aversion to seeing gays interacting. Consider Pflag meetings to help you understand your daughter and her wife are not to be disparaged or thought of as “other”. This way you will get the views of other parents who have dealt with the feelings that have kept you alienated and you will see how gay families are like anybody else as far as living life. They do the same as you do on a daily basis. They love, have friends, go to work, love going to the movies, raise families, etc. You’ll come to see the only thing you don’t have in common is sexual orientation. As you get to know them, you will see this.

So, maybe before you reconnect with your daughter, you might consider attending a Pflag meeting or talking with the mother of someone you know who is gay. Ask them for suggestions on how to reconnect with your daughter. I am sure many of them dealt with rejection as your daughter has. Contact a local LGBTQ group in your city if you can’t locate a local Pflag group or parent of a gay married adult child.

I hope this reply helped. Keep this in mind, I venture a guess that your daughter hurts because she does not have you in her life to share things with you, and she still loves you. I do not think she will reject your attempt to reconnect. Initially, she may be resentful but I believe she can overcome that as you try. I wish you and your daughter the best.

Children
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