No Pride In Her Daughter

, , , , , , | Related | July 10, 2019

I am a non-binary lesbian and have more or less known this since I was 15, but I did not formally come out to my mother until a few months ago. When I first tried to come out to her, she’d become aggressive and angry. Later, as she mellowed out, she would frequently tell me that she loves me no matter what, but that if I changed my mind about liking girls then she’d be okay with that. If I tried to tell her how much that backhanded “support” hurt me, she’d yell at me and say I was trying to hurt her feelings. I decided not to tell her anything.

Things got better after I transferred to a school in another state. For three years, I lived on my own, became a lot more secure in my identity, and met a lot of friends who were unconditionally supportive. Last year, I moved back in with my mom for a new job that had a very supportive and progressive environment. I felt safe enough to come out on the first day, and with the exception of a few minor slip-ups, everyone from my teammates to upper management had no problem referring to me in gender-neutral terms. It made it that much more difficult to come home every night and pretend to be something else around my family.

One day, my mom and I had a huge fight. I wrote her a letter outlining my side of the issue, which included my frustration over the fact that she knew I was gay and yet insisted that I date men and acted disgusted any time I expressed even casual interest in a woman. After she read the letter, we had a talk in which I explicitly stated that I am gay and will never want to date men. She said that she doesn’t want me to be gay because she knows that will make life harder for me, but she supports me no matter what.

Fast forward to last week. I went on a few dates with a girl I’d met on Tinder and we had just made it official. When I told my mom, she reacted with disinterest and told me that I should be dating someone who was going to college and had ambition, someone who wasn’t “below” me, despite never having met my girlfriend. I didn’t want to start an argument, so I brushed it off.

The next day, I was talking to my younger sister, and she told me that she was upset that I hadn’t told her about my girlfriend. It turned out that my mom had outed me to my sister without consulting me. My sister was more supportive than I thought she would be, but it was still completely inappropriate that my mom outed me without my permission.

Last weekend, we attended the wedding of a close family member. During the reception, my 21-year-old sister was having a friendly chat with the best man, who was around 30 years old. My mom pointed out to me that they were getting awfully friendly, and I reminded her that he’s at least a decade older than her. Her response: “So?” That annoyed me, because just the week before, my mom gave me flack because my girlfriend is three years younger than me, though we’re both in our 20s.

Then, she really slapped the cherry on top of the nosy-mom cake: she said that the best man could also be a good match for me. I was furious, not just because she knew that I have a girlfriend, but we’d had a really great conversation about the letter I’d written and I had told her in completely unquestionable terms that I am a lesbian and will never want to date men. When I pointed this out, she’d just laughed it off. I want to think it’s just because she was a bit drunk, but you know what they say about sober thoughts.

Today, I happened to go to her Facebook profile — I have her muted so she never comes up on my timeline — and noticed that she’d put a “Love is Love” filter on her profile photo for Pride month. I’m upset but not surprised that she would show her “support” for social media brownie points while she doesn’t extend the same to her gay child.

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