I’m pretty active on social media and post questions and articles on sites that are primarily for the LGBTQ community. Most people are pretty supportive of allies, especially parents who love and support their LGBTQ kids. But there are always a few who don’t get it.
Some in the community (although it is a small minority) just don’t get it. I don’t know any of them personally but every once in a while I get very strong push back. Maybe they feel it is their fight to fight and they don’t need my help. Maybe their parents weren’t so accepting and they’re just taking that hurt out on me. Most of the time there is someone else who will speak up for my right and appreciate my love and support
Why does it matter if parents come out and are outspoken advocates? There are so many more in the community who need to know that there are parents who love and support their children. It gives them hope and for some, they find the parents they wish they had. It lets them know that they are lovable and acceptable just as they are, no matter what others may have told them in the past. And it lets other parents who are struggling to accept their L:GBTQ children just as they are have hope that they too may someday arrive at that place. For those parents, their love for their child is what saves them. When they see other parents who love their children the same way the struggling parent does, it lets them know that although they may be struggling today, they can arrive at a place of unconditional love. I know this is true because I see it every day in my Facebook group for parents and in the monthly PFLAG meetings I attend. Parents come in confused and upset. The love, support and example of the parents who have gone before them and are willing to share their journey helps those parents move from a place of fear and guilt to fully embracing their child. It is an honor and privilege to witness.
While I realize coming out as the parent of an LGBTQ child is not the same as coming out as LGBTQ, it is still a coming out process. Now that I’ve moved to the south, I think about this more often. No, I don’t have to come out as often as those in the community do. I don’t face the same discrimination. But my hope is that the more I come out as the mom of a gay son, the more people will have their heart softened and perhaps better understand.