Recent visits with old friends and chance meetings of new friends have reaffirmed just how special our families have been to us throughout our lives. From the day we met, through our whirlwind “courtship” (a story for another post), through our joys and series of health and injury challenges, we have been accepted into each other’s family as if born into them. For us, this is life as it is and should be. It is easy to take this for granted. We easily forget just how much strain the lives of many other people undergo because of the relationship with their family.
One friend of ours, who was recently remarried, was told by her mother that she was an embarrassment to the family because of her failed marriages. The fact that her last marriage failed when her husband abandoned her when she had a double mastectomy somehow did not enter into her mother’s thinking.
But the most disturbing family relationships among our friends is the abandonment of gay and lesbian children by their parents. We know several that have had relations totally severed by their parents upon their coming out. We find this incomprehensible. First, that any parent would abandon a child for being what they are. Sexual orientation, whether a biological imperative, a choice, or whatever, is just a part of what makes a person. How could you possibly love a child one minute and then want nothing to do with them the next just because they tell you they are homosexual or bisexual? What has changed about the person? Incomprehensible.
What this does make us wonder is just how much strain does a homosexual or bisexual person have to deal with in their life that heterosexual people cannot comprehend. If the risk of coming out and the reaction of family is so great, what must the risk be with employers and coworkers? If you do not come out, what does it feel like to always be concerned that your secret life will be discovered? We have lived with periods of chronic stress from time-to-time during our lives. It has been debilitating. However, we have always had total support of family to help us through these times.
We hope that any of you who discover that you have a relative who is homosexual or bisexual, that no matter what your personal feelings, you remember how you felt about that person the minute before you found out. They are the same person they were the minute before. You may not be personally comfortable with any sexuality other than heterosexuality. That is fine. But if you were comfortable with the person before, and did not have sexual relations with the person before, what has changed? You are the same person, they are the same person, the relationship between the two of you is the same. You just know a little more about them than you did. But nothing really has changed.
For that matter, this should apply to a friend, coworker, or employee too.
Is Still Here & Still Here Too