I just found out my daughter is lesbian: Help!
If the above sentence applies to you, the following passages may be of some help in coming to terms with the new situation. Firstly, it must be said that everyone’s situation will be different, although some similarities will be prevalent in all. The first similarity will be the feeling of being stunned, followed by rising panic or bewilderment when you first find out. Even if you may already have had an inkling as to the sexuality of your daughter, to have it confirmed will still be a significant moment in your life.
Don’t worry! This is perfectly normal when any news of an unexpected nature is received. It is also worthwhile keeping in mind that your daughter may have been thinking of telling you for many weeks or months that she is a lesbian, and so has had quite some time to be prepared. You, on the other hand, have had to react to the news instantly.
Who should I talk to?
Having found out that your daughter is a lesbian and got over the initial reaction, you will need time to think about it, and possibly talk the situation through with someone. Some people choose to speak with a partner or close friend, whilst others decide that talking things through with a counsellor is better. Sometimes, speaking with someone who is impartial and outside of a friend or family circle about matters such as these is greatly beneficial.
As you come to terms with the news, there may be several other thoughts that go through your mind, such as will you have grandchildren and what will your friends and family think. Remember, these are all your thoughts and concerns, and not those of your daughter. She is just being who she is, and it is your expectations and desires in regards to her which may have to be changed. It is important to be as supportive and loving as you can, as your daughter may be fearing rejection from you.
Another conflict that can arise in some people is if your daughter’s announcement runs counter to a deeply held moral or religious beliefs. There is no easy way around this, and no quick fire solution. Your daughter can not change her sexuality at will just as she can not change her height at will, and so it may take some soul searching on your part to reconcile the difference. Again, the services of a counsellor might be invaluable if you find yourself in this position.
Once you have better accepted the fact that your daughter is a lesbian, you might wish to learn more about the gay and lesbian community. There are many ways to go about this, with there being dozens of online resources, which will link to websites and contact numbers of associations. You might also find it helpful to join an association for the parents of gay and lesbian sons and daughters. No-one will understand your thoughts and feelings better than someone who is in the same situation.
Every parent wants the best for their child, and you will surely be no different. At some point, you may start to be concerned that your daughter’s sexuality might affect her career prospects. Theoretically, it should make no difference at all. There are many non-discriminatory laws in place to protect minorities of all descriptions, ensuring that there should be equality in the workplace. That is not to say that it will not happen, as prejudice does still exist unfortunately, but it is no longer the huge issue that it once was.
Something that as a parent you may have to face if your daughter is a lesbian, is the occasional negative attitude from other people, and possibly on the rare occasion violence towards your daughter. However, it must be kept in mind that negative attitudes towards your daughter could also occur if she was straight, as could violence. It is all part of being a parent! If you experience negative reactions from your friends when you first tell them, patiently remember back to when you were first told. They may also need time to adjust to the situation. However, most parents with lesbian daughters do not come up against any obstacles when informing friends.