Before I knew about my daughter I had fairly neutral ideas about people who were gay or lesbian. Where I grew up in Indiana, everyone knew about the organist and the music director of our Presbyterian church. We always knew they were together, but we didn’t exactly make the connection about what “together” meant. Back in the 1950’s I think everybody knew about that couple, but nothing was said.
I also had an aunt who lived with a woman. I didn’t think much about it because it was a nice arrangement. The two women got along well, kept a clean and comfortable home, took good care of my grandmother and great aunt and even took care of me for six months when my mother was ill. I do not remember anyone saying anything negative about them.
By the time my daughter Meg was age four, I did wonder if she were gay. She did everything like her three brothers. She was as good at sports and outdoor activities as they were. She was a tomboy. For her fourth birthday party, I dressed her in a nice summer dress. She was most unhappy throughout the party. As soon as the guests left, she went up stairs, took off the dress and put on her blue jeans. The next Sunday she wore a white blouse & blue jeans to church. Her Sunday school teacher commented about the change as people still dressed up for church in those days. I told the Sunday School teacher that my husband had said, “There are some battles to fight and this is not one of them”. Nothing more was ever mentioned about Meg wearing blue jeans to church.
But something was just different about Meg. She was nearly always with a group of girl friends even though she went to two high school proms with a football player. She never talked about boys. On occasion my husband would ask me, “Why don’t you talk to Meg?” I’d respond, “Why don’t you?”
After college my husband tried to talk with Meg about her plans for the future. Her only response was that she wanted to get married.
At age 26 she brought home a girlfriend. After the friend left Meg said she wanted to talk with us. Within a few minutes we were sitting together on the porch. Meg struggled and struggled to tell us something, but the words would not come out. Eventually I asked, “Would you like to have us help you say it?” That’s when she was finally able to tell us she was a lesbian.
I am embarrassed to say that when Meg came out, my first thought was, “We will never have a wedding” because I thought our three sons would be married elsewhere. But, you know, that’s not what happened! The next year our oldest son did get married at our home church and several years later Meg married Serra in a beautiful outdoor wedding.
Meg and Serra now have a beautiful 19 month old daughter. They are wonderful loving and caring parents
After Meg came out our relationship became even better. She stopped feeling she needed to hide a part of herself. I rejoice daily and feel, “I got my daughter back!”