LGBTQ+ News and views
A proud mother’s point of view: Anxiety, Tempest, and Pride
Plenty of advice can be found for parents of LGBTQ+ children and young people. One can find them on various charity, support group, or advocacy web sites. They mostly focus on how parents and family react when their children come out as LGBTQ+ and what impact this may have on the young person. The spectrum of acceptance or rejecting behaviours is usually discussed with advice on what to say to your child and how to support them through their coming out journey.
One of the issues that is often discussed is the worry that parents have about how their LGBTQ+ child will be treated by others.
It is normal for parents to worry about their children anyway. But as parents of LGBT+ children, a frequent reaction might be to worry even more. Even if I have total confidence in my grown-up gay son, there are times when as a mother, I find myself anxious and worried about him. You want to protect them from the cruel world outside. You are worried about them being bullied, attacked, targeted by trolls, or discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. So you tell them things like ‘be careful out there!’ or ‘you better develop a thick skin’. And then you worry that by being worried you are not supporting them. Are you focussing on a model where their sexual orientation or gender identity is perceived as a deficiency? Are you projecting a level of anxiety that is not useful or empowering to them? It is a fine line… a tempest of emotions!
Today I walked around in London and came across The Tempest Rainbow Windows of the Peer Gallery in Hoxton Street https://www.peeruk.org
The installation quoted these words from The Tempest by Shakespeare translated in many different languages on the glass façade between images of the rainbow:
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
This was a fine reminder that as a mother I should be thankful and blessed to have such a beautiful son and that I should find better ways to deal with my own anxieties! Some therapy perhaps?
Corine (mother of a gay son)