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It's Not Just A Phase


Facing Reality

I'm trying to put it all together in my head, and my first thought is "this is wrong" my religion immediately takes over as a priority and I'm not willing to compromise.

" It's not like I haven't told you'll this before, I don't like boys, they are irritating," she says as she looks at her dad and me as if we are ignorant. I'm thinking ok wait, maybe this is just a phase. Her sisters suddenly chip in and add that everyone in school already knows and she has had one or two girlfriends too. This makes her dad immediately starts pulling scriptures, he is not impressed.

"don't come with your cons here, you hiding behind being lesbian meanwhile you have a boyfriend undercover" he says while staring into her eyes, looking for just the slightest hint of guilt. My mind starts racing to the time when she was about 13 years old and she told me this for the first time and I brushed it off as a phase. " you still going to meet that one boy who is going to sweep you off your feet" I remember telling her"

"I am a part of the LGBTQ, the "queer" community". She says standing proud. I laugh out loud remembering how my mother would always say something is looking "queer" every time two things didn't match. "why the word "queer" thought?, don't call yourself "queer" I urge her still laughing at the thought. "go look it up in the dictionary" she says while walking away irritated.

I noticed her facial expressions and saw how disappointed she looked as her parents rejected her while she was trying to express her sexuality. My mind is trying to assess it all and I am looking at all angles trying to see the positive while my religion is still a big priority in this debate going on in my head and heart.

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A few days later the topic comes up again while having the daily "about your day" conversation with the girls around the kitchen table as I prepare dinner. " you are very open about your sexuality" I say trying to investigate deeper, trying to see if this is real or just something that will blow over in time.

"I don't like dark places and the closet is a very dark one, so why hide in there. I've told you from the start that I'm attracted to girls so it goes two ways, a person either except me for who I am or they don't," she says proudly. I feel proud that she's open and feels like she can express who she is without being ashamed but then a thought crosses my mind and I begin to worry about the rejection she is going to or already has experienced.

According to a study, youths with same-sex sexual orientation have higher levels of depression and alcohol abuse among primary adolescent suicide risk factors. Other research has found that gay and lesbian adolescents have high rates of depression, as well as substance use and abuse. Alcohol may be used to numb the anxiety and depression associated with gay and lesbian youths who are concealing their sexual identities.

I asked her if she has experienced homophobia and she tells me "every day" I worry so much about her mental health and hope she will never feel like she cannot tell me anything that is bothering her. Her dad tells me to stop entertaining it and to change the subject when topics about same-sex relationships come up. He points out important factors regarding our religious beliefs and I agree however I feel responsible for my child's mental well-being. I have so far raised a strong-willed independent female who is not afraid to stand out from the crowd and if she feels she needs to talk about her relationships with other females to me, I will not be able to reject the conversation. I will continue to say my daily prayers regarding this and leave the rest to a higher power.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Charlene Grendon

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