“My world has expanded and is precious”: after their son’s coming out, LGBT parents confide in each other

Can parents grow through their child? Yes, especially if the person is strange. Because they have specific experiences and knowledge, LGBT children can develop their hearts, here’s how.

“My mother has changed enormously, she has opened up to a new world and it’s incredible. » Keeran, 25, notes with pleasure. While this nonbinary person today has a close relationship with his mother, it took several years of conversations between him coming out as gay as a teenager and now. While coming out is not a universal experience, it is often discussed in terms of fear of rejection. We rarely talk about it positive questioning process that can open up among LGBT parents. Beyond a necessary update of queer culture, real intimate transformations can occur.

HASaccept confusion and transformation

For Nicolas, 53, it was his son Julou’s gay CO “a real upheaval”. He pursues: “Even though homosexuality was never a problem for me, I never imagined that my children would be. » At this moment, Isabelle, the mother, puts things into perspective and tells her son“at his age, nothing is set in stone”. “I wasn’t aware of the violence of this kind of response for Julou. It is the lack of knowledge that leads to this, to worry in the face of the unknown. » analyze today.

Even apparently “LGBT-friendly” parents, like Nicolas and Isabelle, can be destabilized by their child’s coming out. Indeed they must review their view of gender or sexualityand sometimes the expectations nourished more or less consciously regarding the life of one’s child, as demonstrated by the first analyzes of the sociologist Camille Masclet who is currently conducting a survey on LGBT parents.

“Acceptance lies in abandoning all parental power over the child’s fate. »

Morgan Noam

Some therefore choose to consult a psychologist, such as Morgan Noam who supports many LGBT parents. This young trans professional is very active on Instagram, which is how some of his patient parents reach him, admitting “ who don’t know what to do and don’t know the LGBT world. » We often talk about “acceptance” to describe the welcome that parents give to a CO, an imperfect term that suggests that it is possible to negotiate the truth of others. “ [Pour moi], acceptance lies in the abandonment of all parental power over the child’s destiny. » specifies Morgan Noam. “The parents who come to visit me are not there to work on the care of their child, but of acceptance of one’s confusion. »

Parents of LGBT people can also make use of mediation associations such as Contact, which helps families communicate through conversation circles. «Sometimes parents arrive destroyed, and seeing other people at peace allows them to regain confidence, to see that things can develop positively. » notes Antony Debard, spokesperson for the association. Contact was founded 30 years ago, at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and welcomes more and more families for trans OC, topic “still little understood”.

Questioning your beliefs… and those around you

The transience of Léo, 22, has long been a taboo for his mother. “It was one conversation a year” he remembers. After a few clicks, mother and son get along very well today. Leo notices his mother “in a certain way, it questioned aspects of the patriarchal model, such as the importance of the couple. » He rejoices: “He really gets into his friendships. I think it comes from the discussions we have together and not necessarily from my transition. My feminist sensibilities also strike her. » Same story for Keeran who proudly notes: “ [Ma mère] she made it clear to me that her children came first, and that she would never again date someone as narrow-minded as [mon géniteur] » Would mothers be more supportive? According to important studies on the acceptance of homosexuality, gender is a determining factor, recalls Camille Masclet. The sociologist adds: “There is a greater willingness of women to work on themselves according to their distance from heteronormativity, for example through having suffered violence or being divorced. » As Keeran says in his own way: “It’s nice to have queer children to better understand what it means to be straight. »

A individual therapy for parents

In her office, Morgan Noam observes an interesting type of journey: when a parent comes alone to manage their child’s coming out, family support often turns into a individual therapy, where the bullying he experienced as a child resurfaces. “The fact that his son allows himself [à être libre] Even though we couldn’t do it ourselves, for some parents it’s almost unbearable. This puts us face to face with “lost years”. » The initiated therapeutic process can then begin “repair the parent’s inner child”. But the developments related to coming out do not only concern our mothers and fathers: some turn specifically to Morgan Noam to address questions or difficulties posed by their closest family members. A child’s coming out can therefore precipitate ruptures that were already underway: ” There’s a emancipation from blood ties necessary for a long time, which is being done on this occasion. The child is almost an excuse to escape bonds that no longer serve any purpose. » says the psychologist. And this new positioning will also entail a responsibility outside the family.

Do you become an “ally” as soon as you have an LGBT child?

Not so easy. “What I observe is this [ce terme d’allié] it is a category mobilized by close relatives – through their children – coming from the most politicized environments. ” explain Camille Masclet, which reminds us that there are different ways of acting on a daily basis: “Let’s not let things slip away, we can consider it already a commitment. It’s seeing what we didn’t see before. » Disseminate information on the reality of LGBT people it is the first level at which parents can become community advocates. “Working with middle school students, I am convinced that information and dialogue are fundamental on all these issues. » poses Isabelle, Julou’s mother. Her partner, Nicolas, abounds and he said to himself, “not a little proud that I know a little what I’m talking about” Even though some embarrassments continue to occur, Leo is happy to see his mother’s support: “He told me he got into arguments with relatives who were sharing TERFS bullshit on social media! She already deleted her Facebook contacts without me asking! » A precious support in a context of exacerbated transphobia, he observes.

At Contact, Anthony reports to virtuous circle of commitment : “70% of the people who invest in the association are people who have benefited from its work. » The effects of parental awareness can also be transferred to other spaces: “There are parents who then become involved in LGBT associations in their clubs. » For believing parents, commitment to queer people can also be organized within religious spaces. But before moving on to public action, Morgan Noam invites parents who come out to take care of themselves and reminds: “Your children don’t need you to understand everything, but they need your unconditional love. » He concludes: “It is perhaps one of the greatest gifts of having a strange child in the family. »

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Source: Madmoizelle

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