Dear Dr. Meg,
Do you know of any support group for parents or mothers who deal with an adult child who has same sex attraction? My daughter has not admitting it to me but to many others. She knows I do not agree with that lifestyle and expect chastity. I have not been open about it to others, as I do not want to hear or feel their condemnation of my daughter. I am praying so hard that there will be a miracle of healing.
In Need of A Miracle
Dear In Need of A Miracle,
I would go online and see if you can find support. Have you tried a local Catholic church or another church, which can offer you support? Often pastors and priests are willing to talk with parents about sexual identity issues in kids.
As a mother, I would encourage you to continue to love her and to not show your feelings about her sexual choice. Here’s why. If she senses that she disgusts you and that every time she is with you, you want to change her, she will avoid you. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with her. A grown patient of mine has a sister living a gay lifestyle and this is what my patient told her sister. It preserved their relationship. She said, “Sara, you know that I love you dearly. I always will. I don’t agree with your lifestyle and you probably know that. I will always be here to support you and help you. You are always welcome to come stay with me whenever you want and you may bring your girlfriend. But, I ask that you respect my feelings about sharing a bedroom with her because I believe that if you aren’t married, you should be celibate. That is what we are teaching our kids and I want the behavior in our home to support what we teach them. I know that this upsets you but we simply have to agree to disagree on this issue. After we end this conversation, we don’t need to talk about it again but I needed to talk to you openly as we always have.”
After the conversation, my patient carried on her relationship with her sister as she always had. She loves her and supports her but made her feelings known. She never brought the issue up again and the two have a very strong, respectful relationship.
I encourage you to listen to a radio show that I did for Family Talk with Christopher Yuan. Christopher is a beautiful man who is HIV +, has a strong faith, a close relationship with his mother and lived a promiscuous gay lifestyle. He is celibate now and openly discusses the relationship struggles he has had.
This is a tough issue for many parents and family members. The truth is, many adults and kids are confused about their sexual identity because they (all kids) are pressured by many different sources. The most important thing for a parent to do is to love them and separate their feelings about the child’s lifestyle from their behavior. It’s tough, but you can do it.