Last year my child told us they were pan-sexual.
At the time, though it was a surprise, I felt no different, I was pleased they knew they could talk to me and I was happy to know they felt comfortable enough to be themselves in a difficult and sometimes prejudiced world, but honestly? My thought process didn’t go much further than that.
Over a year on I thought I’d share my feelings about having a gay child and how my feelings have changed.
Well, one thing has been them telling me they were non-binary. I’ll be totally honest here, I really wasnt too sure what that meant. But after some googling and talking to my child about it, I have a much better understanding.
Theyre now 15 (how has this happened so quickly?! I’m sure I was changing nappies and freaking them out by watching Death Becomes Her only yesterday!!!) They prefer the pronouns they and them and sometimes I struggle with this. Not so much with the they/them but more when I’m describing them as my child.
Daughter or son flows off my tongue so much easier than child, I sometimes feel child or kid sounds less emotional, if that makes sense? I feel a bit like a Victorian mother saying “my child has done….”
Our relationship has never been closer, and the same goes with my husband. They share lots of things about their life (as much as any 15 year old does!) and we talk about anything and everything. (Including an in depth discussion about how a threesome with two men and one woman actually works!)
The biggest change for me has been how protective I feel. Of course I am momma bear with all my kids, but it’s opened my eyes to the amount of bigotry that is all around me and I want to stand in front of them and protect them from ever hearing or seeing these things. I want to wrap a big blanket around us both and bat away any horrid or stupid or ignorant comments.
I know I can’t do this. And it hurts me to my soul.
I know they will face ignorant and hateful people throughout their life. I know people who don’t understand or don’t want to understand will push them away. I know that they will hurt sometimes.
I also know that those bigots will miss out on knowing one of the most amazing human beings on earth. My child is so kind, loving, funny, deep, silly, loyal, sensitive and fucking awesome.
Seriously, they’re my hero and make me want to be a better person every day.
I see things I didn’t see before. I see more of the comments on social media, not so much that they’re openly homophobic or hateful, more the snide comments that suggest anyone who isn’t cis gender is something of an attention seeker. Or that they’re something to be joked about and mocked. The comments or images where gender is questioned or laughed at.
Ive also opened myself up to a whole new world (for me) of language and understanding of gender and sexuality, I’m learning new terms and gaining a better understanding. This can be a bit scary, I feel afraid as a heterosexual cis gender woman to ask questions sometimes.
I’m afraid to say the wrong thing and upset someone, I don’t want to look like a tourist! But I think it’s important for me to educate myself so I can understand my child.
I even worry about posting this. I don’t want to put my voice above my child’s but I have always talked about being a mum on this blog and it seems worse to not talk about this than to be open. As with all my posts about my kids, they get to read and veto anything they’d rather I didn’t say publicly though.
Though my instinct is to stand in front of my child to fend off any negativity, I think the thing I’ve learnt is that I can’t do that. But I can stand right beside them, with my hand on their shoulder and my love in their heart so they know whatever they face in life, momma bear will always be right with them.
Love Sam xx