A Letter to Parents of LGBT Youth
Parents and Friends,
I just finished watching Prayers for Bobby, for like, the 10th time. I still cry every time it’s over. Seriously, watch the movie, it will change your views on suicide and gay people, hopefully in a good way. It’s not condemning Christianity in any way (even though the Christian mother might seem harsh), but just bringing to light some of the problems that could and most likely do happen within the households of parents with gay children. I’m just going to throw in something really quick: suicide is not the option to go, folks. If you are dealing with suicidal thoughts talk to someone, a close friend, a relative, your parents, just someone…they will help you. Believe me, you’re not alone. Anyway, if you have a child who has identified as gay or part of the LGBT community, don’t push them away, don’t forsake your love for your child. Please, please, please, please times a billion, don’t do that. It will only hurt you and your child. You might think you’re doing the right think based on religious principles or convictions, however, I would beg to differ. There isn’t a day that will go by that you won’t think of your child and wonder what they’re doing, how they’re doing etc. Mary Griffeth is a prime example of this, however, she was taken away from her child in a terrible way: suicide. Listen to her speech:
I hope you watched it, it’s so powerful!
Parents, it might be hard for you to love your child or accept your child for who they are, yet I urge you to at least try. Even if you don’t accept them, at least love them as your child and don’t push them away from you. Pushing them away is never a viable option! If you push them away you might not see them for a long time, maybe never! What would you do if you never saw or heard from your child again? What will you feel like when you realize you missed out on years of having a relationship with your child? It will hurt, I know this. It’s a painful process and it takes time to understand but please try and understand, its for both you and your kids benefit. Also, understand that I’m not trying to convert you into accept homosexuality, that’s your choice and yours only. Just be careful with what you say or do if or when your child comes out to you. It can affect them in either positive or negative ways. I’m writing this from personal experience. And it’s not because I have a child whose gay, but the opposite. I am the gay child.
It’s easy to say that you know your parents love you because they’re around to affirm that knowledge, yet it’s hard to say the opposite; they love you but aren’t around to say it. I won’t know for myself what it’s like to love someone like a parent loves a child until I have children, yet, from what I hear and have been told, I understand that it is an unconditional love, a love that makes you willing to do anything for your child. How could this be true for parents who have kicked out gay kids for being gay? That, I believe, is where it gets complicated. I believe with all my heart that my parents loved me and, hopefully still do. I don’t agree with what they use to show their love, whether it be not speaking to a child or kicking them out of the house or, maybe, not even being in the same room as them. That is where I would draw the line at love. I’d call it conditional love, not unconditional love. And that is where parents should never go with a child.
Everyone desires love, and, for a gay person to not have the familial love everyone should be expected to fall back on, will cause him or her lead to a hard life. Sadly, there are millions of LGBT youth that go through it every single day. They spend their entire young lives living under their parents house and then BOOM, their whole world is shattered. The love that they depended on in their childhood and teenage years is gone, just from the three words, “I am gay”…or two if you use a contraction. When I said those words to my parents, my mother told me to leave the house. I’m guessing she wanted time to think it over. There are many other things that my parents did that have hurt me, so coming from experience here parents, I plead with you to not do anything that will hurt your kids anymore than it will hurt you. I know that I have hurt my parents and I’m extremely sorry that I hurt them, and I would love to save them from any additional hurt, yet the only way I could do that would be to conform…conform to what they think is right for me. In Prayers for Bobby, Mary Griffith did everything she could to make her child conform to what she thought was right, and that only ended in more pain for her. She made the mistake of forcing her child to choose and that is not a happy thing for anyone to go through. I urge you, parents, and people who aren’t parents, to watch the movie and, maybe, you’ll catch a glimpse of what it’s like in thehouseholds across America with the gay son, lesbian daughter, trans guy or bi girl. It’s time for parents to understand what could happen with your child. What will you do? Will you react as Bobby’s mom did? Or will you show love?
A Gay Child