I Told My Parents I'm Gay, And They Accepted Me

Mom And Dad, Thank You For Accepting Me After I Came Out And Turned Your World Upside Down

I am proud to be who I am. And I know I would never be able to be her if it wasn't for your unconditional love and support.

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I knew I liked girls at some point in middle school but I suppressed these feelings until the middle/end of high school.

It wasn't until I started talking to a girl in a romantic way for the first time that I truly started discovering who I was. In the beginning, I had accepted that I liked girls but since I also liked boys, I was nervous to talk about my sexuality to anyone. I thought that people would ask me all these questions when I came out that I didn't have the answer to.

I just decided to make things easy on myself and come out as a lesbian. (It wasn't until about 4 years later that I finally felt comfortable in my sexuality and came out as pansexual.)

As I was talking to this girl, who soon became my girlfriend, I told her that we couldn't date until I came out to my parents.

I have always been very close with my mom and dad and I knew that I wouldn't be happy if I was hiding from them. I also wanted to be able to freely and openly talk about this girl that was becoming a huge part of my life. My soon-to-be girlfriend was very supportive of this and once I was ready, she encouraged me to come out to my family.

Although I've never been a graceful person, I took this to a whole new level when I came out to my mom in the Walmart parking lot and my dad in the middle of lunch at Olive Garden. But despite the awkward settings, my parents welcomed me and my new identity with open arms. Here is my Thank You letter to them,

I knew I threw you a curve ball when the words "I like girls" came out of my mouth when I was 17.

I never showed interest in girls before and I only dated boys before. I know that you had no idea and I didn't really do a good job of warning you. But despite all of that, you both still love me. More importantly, you love me for who I am. And I have never been more grateful for anything in my life.

You didn't have to accept me when I came out.

You didn't have to welcome my first girlfriend into our family. You didn't have to support me and the person I was becoming as I was discovering myself.

But you did.

You told me you loved me and that you just wanted me to be happy. You invited my girlfriend to our house and on family trips. You took the time to understand me and where I was coming from. You showed a genuine interest in who I was dating. You respected me and my sexuality and that means more than you'll ever know.

I know that living as a member of the LGBTQ+ community isn't easy.

I know sometimes you might be scared for me. You might worry when I go to Pride or hold my partner's hand in public. I know that nightmares of the Pulse Shooting probably keep you up at night.

But I also know that you are proud to have a daughter who isn't afraid to be herself, who is confident in who she is, who stands up for what's right, and who fights for what she believes in. I am proud to be this girl too. And I know I wouldn't be here if it weren't for your unconditional love and support.

Thank you for everything. I love you both beyond words!

Love,

Your daughter

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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