To be told by one’s son or daughter “Mum, Dad, I’ve got something to tell you – I’m gay!” can be a most shattering experience. Total disbelief, guilt, shame, are just a few of a parent’s reactions to this bombshell.
“How are we going to cope with this?”`
“Who can we go to for advice, help and support?” are just a few questions parents will ask themselves.
Nobody chooses to be gay and our son or daughter is the same person as before. They didn’t ask to be born with such a preference, but their sexuality confuses us. As parents, we often feel guilty – is it our fault in some way in their upbringing, or is it in their genes passed down from us?
One lesson we have learned from our regular meetings over the years is that it is NOT the parents’ fault and NOT something wrong in the child’s upbringing, which is often one of the first reactions when a daughter or son ‘comes out’.
“How can we tell our family and friends -and how will they react to this news?” is often heard from parents.
Our child needs our love and support. We never had any suspicion of their sexuality. When we hear the words “I’ve got something to say to you”, our gut feeling may have been “Is he or she in trouble with the police, or is she or he ill?”
Our son or daughter is no worse for being gay, but we are not made of stone. It takes courage to talk about the subject but often we feel helpless. As parents, we need to be educated and we need the support of others who understand our concern.
The Support Group for Parents of Jewish Gays and Lesbians are not counsellors. However, we are parents who have gone through considerable pain and distress. We want to help other parents who are struggling to cope with so many feelings. Our sons and daughters often don’t believe it’s a problem for them. That is their way of life and they seem to be happy.
The Support Group is there to help you.
Please do call us for any advice we can give you and if you would like to attend one of our regular meetings. We feel sure you will benefit from meeting other parents who have been through the same experiences that you are going through and that you WILL gain in confidence.