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Ask Athena: My Mom Isn't OK With Me Being Gay

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Dear Athena,

My mom is not really OK with me being gay. She says she is, but I don't think she is. At first she wouldn't talk to me. Now we talk, and things have been good, but then she said not to bring anyone home. Now I have met someone, and I want to introduce them. My mom and I are really close even though there is this problem with me being gay, and I really like this new girlfriend. What do I do?

Signed,

Acceptance Is All I Want

Dear Acceptance,

I know you're feeling discouraged and maybe even a little helpless, but when I hear this story, I can't help but hold on to hope. Already your mother has made strides. Who's to say she can't make more?

Think back to when you first came out. How awful to be rejected just for being your true self. I'm sorry that happened to you. I'm sure at the time you felt like things couldn't get any worse or that they might never change. But the unexpected unfolded, and you and your mom managed to restore your relationship. That's awesome!

Now you've met someone special, and it's only natural that you'd want your mother to be part of this newfound joy. Tell her that. Tell her it's been great communicating and sharing your lives again, but it's not fair that you're expected to hide parts of yourself from her — you'd never ask her to do that. Remind her that love is about unconditional acceptance and that a family bond should triumph over judgment or fear.

Getting your point across may require some tough love. Tell her that if she can't respect your life, she risks missing out on being part of it altogether.

It would be devastating if she says she can't accept you. I suggest you reach out to Burlington's Pride Center of Vermont for the full counsel and support you need — no one should go through that alone. But first I urge you to summon faith that you two will leap over these hurdles of acceptance. You'll never know until you try.

The most important thing to remember here is you — preserving your pride and self-respect is paramount. Shakespeare put it best: "This above all: to thine own self be true."

Yours,

Athena