Dear Miss Dinna,
I am a 37-year-old woman and my mother still won’t accept that I am Queer. I’ve told her a million times, have mentioned to her and have even brought home women that I am dating. But she simply turns the other cheek. It’s as if she believes that if she doesn’t talk with me about it, it won’t exist.
When I try to bring the subject to the surface, she responds with “Leave me be” or “Why can’t you just stop with this nonsense?” or “Haven’t I suffered enough in life… Can’t you give me some peace?” Or mostly just falls silent and walks out the room.
It makes me feel completely unseen by her, like I am living a lie, and as if I should be ashamed of who I am, or that who I am is the cause of pain to her. Any advice would be great, as this heavy feeling seems to follow me everywhere I go.
Dear Quietly Queer –
My heart goes out to you and the neverending need we all have as individuals to be truly loved and accepted by our mothers… All parts of us. It’s interesting that so many people struggle with your exact problem, yet others seem to relate very laissez faire to their queer identity.
For example, I’ve known some to whom asking the question “Was coming out to your family difficult?” respond with “Not really, I just sort of showed up with my significant other and stated this is the person I love and she is my partner, and then kept the conversation moving. Didn’t really give it a chance to be awkward or recognize any other reaction but acceptance of my happiness.”
Whereas, of course, there is the flip scenario where people are outright disowned by their family or know they can never tell their family in fear of disownment. It appears in your scenario that you fall somewhere in the middle. Your mother isn’t out right rejecting your choice or who you are, but at the same time is in a sense letting you know that it causes her discomfort and she’d rather not acknowledge it.
In devoting our lives to having and raising our children, we always have fantasies of the life we want them to live. There is bound to be disappointments. Ultimately, at the end of every road, is the hope that they are simply happy and can avoid unnecessary struggles and pain.
However, in the way of that ultimate desire unfortunately is our ego. We feel that our children’s path and fate is a reflection of our successes and, in the same breath, our failures… It gives value to our lives. Eg “I sacrificed my whole life to make sure my son would become a doctor and he’s a damn artist. Ego’s Translation: I can’t look myself in the mirror and find value in MY life if my son is an artist and not a doctor. Translation with out Ego: (I raised) a son who followed his dreams and put his happiness first.”
My guess is your mother truly loves you QQ and wants the easiest, happiest life for you. You are walking outside of her boundaries of what she knows and defines as easy and happy. In her mind, it’s probably a husband with a good job, babies, and you in bliss being a mother in a heterosexual partnership. What you are presenting to her is difficult for her to associate with happiness.
My advice to you: Believe in your bliss and she will eventually catch on. Do not engage in the negativity. Accept your path first and your confidence in that will overflow and not allow for side looks or feelings of disappointment to flow in.
Keep smiling and shining and eventually there will be no space for your mother to do anything but recognize your happiness… which is the most contagious of all emotions!
Wishing you unconventional, queer bliss!
Ask Miss Dinna a question — any question– regarding relationships, sex and sexuality by emailing her at: [email protected], Subject: “Ask Miss Dinna.” She may answer your question personally or in a future column (your name will be kept anonymous).