What do you do when your family isn’t supportive of your LGBTQ child? It could be your parents or your siblings.
It’s a tough situation. As a parent of an LGBTQ child, you want your child to be loved and accepted just as they are. You probably wouldn’t put up with any negativity from a stranger or even a friend. But it seems much harder to know how to handle it when it’s your mother, father, sister or brother.
You go into protective mode for sure. But you don’t want to break all ties with the relative in question. They’ve been a part of your life all your life or at least most of it. You want to protect your child and you may be afraid to confront your relative.
Many of the parents I know have had to cut off their relationship with relatives who won’t accept their child and continue to be negative to them, to you or about them. They may continue to make homophobic or transphobic comments or jokes.
Each of us must decide what is best for us and our family and our child. There is no one answer.
One of the moms in my group shared what she wrote to her brother. Maybe you will find this useful (used with permission).
Here’s what I told my homophobic brother. “Guess what brother? You have a 16 year old nephew that is gay! Yes, my son, who absolutely adores you, has come out of the closet. Do you love him any less? Was he raised any different than my straight son (who also adores you)? No. So I guess your theory of “It’s how they are raised” goes right out the window, doesn’t it? So as of now I am taking away your homophobic card. You are no longer allowed to hold it. Why? Because you love a homosexual! and he loves you! So you are no longer allowed to be a homophobe. If you choose to keep the card, then I guess you don’t love your nephew enough to accept him. In that case we will wish you well and will miss you. The choice is yours, but we don’t have room for homophobes in our lives.” It took him a few days, but he did call and apologize and has been supportive ever since.
It is one option, whether in writing or in person.
How have you handled relatives who were less than supportive?