Useful websites for a mum who's just had her son come out to her
January 13, 2018 5:20 AM   Subscribe

Could anyone direct me to useful websites with I could send to my mum, to whom I've recently come out to? More details inside.

So I'm thirty-ish and living abroad for the past ten years. Two weeks ago, I told my family that I've been going out with another guy. My siblings are supportive but mum has reacted badly. Dad has been maintaining radio silence.

Can anyone direct me to some websites that I could send to her to let her know it's all ok?
I've done a Google search but couldn't find anything that suitable. She is Asian and in her fifties, nominally Buddhist but not particularly religious.

Where she lives (and where I grew up), homosexuality is a crime punishable by jail, and there is a lot of prejudice and misinformation in general.

posted by kylethekonqueror to Human Relations (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Check out

Also it would be great if she could connect with PFLAG - Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. They're international and may have a chapter in your mum's country or region. If not, their online resources are pretty great too.

Congrats on coming out to your mum! 🌈
posted by embrangled at 5:27 AM on January 13 [7 favorites]

What languages does your mam read in for the websites? Would be handy to know your mams country/culture too, there will likely be UK based sites that could address specific concerns for parents from her culture.
posted by Iteki at 5:28 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]

Hopefully this is one option among many resources, but Kristin Russo has pretty much made it her life's work to create tools for this.

There's the does-what-it-says She also wrote "This Is A Book For Parents of Gay Kids," which is in a similar straightforward, simple, calm tone. That may be harder to physically get to her, though.

Good luck, and hugs if you want them!
posted by bowtiesarecool at 5:30 AM on January 13

As a gay man who came out to his (African, Christian) family in the exact same circumstances, I think you should let it rest for a while. Your mother already has to absorb a very shocking news, you don’t want to pile on with something she will perceive as ideologically biased (I had sent my mother a booklet published by some group in Belgium: Homosexuality explained to parents and she later told me she had found it to be too militant)

It took you 30 years to go through the motions of denial, anger, embarrassment then acceptance (or at least a good few years of angst during your adolescence). Do not expect your parents to be fast tracked into accepting the fact that their son might not have grand children, might not have the wedding they had in mind, might never introduce a lady to the family, etc. Something it took you years to come to terms with.

Really, let the issue rest for now. You’re an adult and you live abroad. You will survive not talking to your folks for a few weeks or months. Next time you go home, start getting them accustomed to the new you. Maybe then can you give your parents some resources to look at if you feel their disappointment and anger have subsided. In the mean time, if they have questions, they’ll ask. And even if they don’t ask you, they’ll ask your siblings.

They already know what there is to know. Now, the road to embracing it might take some time. Be easy on them.

Peace and brotherly** love!

** lest your boyfriend thinks I’m hitting on you or something
posted by Kwadeng at 7:10 AM on January 13 [18 favorites]

Letting it rest for a while is likely a good suggestion. I'd also suggest prioritizing resources from her country, if you can find any. (Or a neighboring country with some cultural overlap, if there is one.) I'm trans, so this isn't apples to apples, but I definitely had issues with my mother rejecting resources as "too American".
posted by hoyland at 7:38 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]

The "letting it rest advice" might be great, or might not. Every family is different and only you know your family well enough to decide. I mean, you're not forcing her to read anything. Providing a resource she is welcome to use if she wants to sounds like a non-threatening idea. As long as she knows you won't be quizzing her on the info within anytime soon, she can take it or leave it.

For my mom, what would have helped when I came out was providing positive religious perspectives on lgbtq. But I was too caught up in the church's official rejection of my community that I couldn't do that. So my advice is to really think about what she wants and what will be helpful to her, rather than what you want her to hear. She just may not be ready for that.
posted by greermahoney at 8:32 PM on January 13

In terms of the advice to let it go for a while idea, one option might also be to give resources for parents to your supportive siblings, and ask them to pass on the info if your mom seems to be expressing need/openness/etc to such resources to the family.

My recommendation would be to suggest contacting PFLAG, if there is a chapter in her local area. My mom is a PFLAG member and being open to answering questions/just talking with parents of recently out folks is one of thing things she does.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:55 PM on January 13 [1 favorite]

Had a look at the mykidisgay website, it's a nice website but seems more targeted at parents of lgbtq teenagers.

Letting it rest is what I've been doing (and am fortunate enough to be able to do), I guess a bit more time would be good.

My fear (and the reason for the ask metafilter consult) is that when my mum does start asking around for more information, she may well be given lots that won't be particularly helpful - while my mum isn't religious, lots of relatives on my dad's side are very much so.

She has mentioned that she will go to church to pray for me, which I could see as a massive achievement on my part - my brother and sister have been trying to get her to go for years without luck, and in the end, it is I, the homosexual atheist, who has managed to do it.

Thank you everyone for the kind words and advice :)
posted by kylethekonqueror at 9:41 AM on January 14 [4 favorites]

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