My husband blogged about telling our children that he is gay: why we decided to tell them, what other people thought we should do, how we did tell them, and their reactions.
Sunday on the way home from church, my 12-year-old daughter said. “Mom, there’s something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about.” She and I had driven separately to be to church early to rehearse with the choir. She had a meeting with the Beehive presidency after church to plan a Young Women’s activity, so here we were, coming home together, just the two of us.
“A couple of weeks ago in Young Womens, we were talking about things that are good and bad. Like the TV shows we watch and stuff like that. At the end, we were talking about marriage. One of the girls said something about gay marriage in California.”
Oh, no, here it comes. My daughter is now going to fight the same inner battle that I am fighting.
I asked her a few questions to clarify her words and the situation in her class. Apparently the comment was at the end of class and was just mentioned but not discussed in any detail. My daughter just wanted to know what her friend was talking about exactly.
I shared with her a brief history of the situation in CA, and then proceeded to share with her some of my own thoughts and feelings and how they conflict with the leaders of the church. I explained that maybe the leaders have not had personal experiences with someone who is gay, like we have, and don’t really understand what it all means, so they are saying things they believe even though it is not the same thing that I believe.
She and I sat in the garage, talking and crying together. I asked if she had noticed that I had been crying a lot lately. She had, and I told her that this was one of the reasons. I bore my testimony of the gospel to her too and let her know that even though I am confused and conflicted right now, I still have a testimony and want to go to church.
I then asked her if she was okay and apologized for what she was going through.
She smiled and said she was fine. I believe she is fine. She is strong, and she is still young, and I think she is able to feel the same love and understanding that I feel about gay marriage without letting it cause a conflict within her regarding following the Prophet.
I hope I have not influenced her feelings too much. She is at such an important age for building her testimony. I don’t want her to doubt it, and I don’t think she does. At the same time, this allows her the opportunity to learn at an early age about personal revelation, infallibility of church leaders, and compassion toward people regardless of their orientation, etc.
I have always been amazed at what a compassionate girl she is. I have also been amazed at her faith and testimony so far. She bore her testimony last month regarding her experience doing baptisms with the youth. I remember when she came home from the temple that day, she was teary eyed and glowing, immediately coming to me to tell me of her awesome experience.
One day I was watching an episode of Oprah that had a story of 2 gay men that have fostered 21 children and adopted 6. I replayed it for Scott and our two older children and then we talked about it. Our daughter thought it was nice that they could give the children a loving home. Our son (age 11) thought it was weird. He wouldn’t say much, but was obviously uncomfortable with it.
Only time will tell how he is handling all of this.
In the meantime, I sort of feel bad that we have brought them into the closet with us. The way things are going, though, it won’t be too long before there is no closet. It will be interesting to see how that affects the children as well.
I definitely don’t regret telling them. This is a journey we are all taking together, and it is strengthening our family as a result. That is a good thing.
4 weeks ago