A woman I’d known for 20 years pulled me aside at a luncheon and asked me to autograph a copy of my book for her daughter.
“My daughter left her husband and children…for another woman.”
I stopped writing and tried to process the information as my friend lowered her voice.
“I just want you to know that I was at an emotional low point when you posted a picture of your daughter’s wedding on Facebook. I’m not as open as you – I still haven’t told the rest of my family.
“But seeing that picture of you, with your daughter and her wife, really helped me a lot at the time. I’m very grateful and I wanted you to know how much I appreciated it.”
I could hear the quiver in her voice and I hugged her.
Parents of gay children often are uncomfortable with letting other people know their truth. They fear risking jobs, reputation and family ties…persecution by those who consider homosexuality sinful. (Of course, morality presumes freedom to choose and when it comes to sexuality…but I digress.)
Sadly, parents can feel isolated, guilty and confused about where to turn.
As one mother told me, “When my daughter came out of the closet as a lesbian, I went in.”
I’m no poster child, but experience has shown me that it’s not a good idea to keep such a secret from others who might be supportive or helpful.
Ultimately, my daughter’s life turned out to be exactly how I imagined it: A mortgage, a career and three children. The only difference is that she’s sharing it with a wife instead of a husband.
I certainly never wanted her to marry a man out of guilt or a desire for acceptance or because of negative attitudes in the community.
That’s simply too high a price to pay for silence about sexuality.
Renee’s gift book, “Sweet Beams: Inspiring everyone who lives under a new roof,” is available on amazon.com