I know how fortunate I am to have a mother who has accepted me as LGBTQ+, unconditionally. With every challenge I’ve faced on my journey, my mother has been there throughout.
But I imagine being a parent of an LGBTQ+ person hasn’t been easy. The struggles I’ve had to face, I know will have broken her heart too.
Yet, after all the monumental challenges she’s supported me through, it was a recent moment, so small and insignificant, that meant so much to me. I realised, at 32, that my mother has dedicated her life to supporting my individual needs as an LGBTQ+ person and making sure I am given the space I deserve in this world.
An average afternoon, on an average Tuesday, with average weather outside
I’ve been staying with my mother for a few months since lockdown brought my business to a standstill. She was downsizing, so we’ve moved into a small house in Liverpool. In the last few weeks, the house has had visits from joiners, plumbers, electricians and decorators. My mother knows I have a deeply rooted aversion to ‘hetro-masc’ men, so we agree I’ll stay out the way.
On an average afternoon, on an average Tuesday, my mother tells me the decorator needs to paint my room. Immediately flooded with dread, I know this means I need to stay with a friend for a few days to get out of the way. She asks me to put my things in boxes to clear the room.
When my mother mentions she will head out for the day to leave the decorator alone, she sees the panic on my face. I hate the thought of this man, who I don’t know, being in my space. Around my belongings. I have private pieces here; journals which pour my heart out, paintings which help me make sense of my feelings. I have a make-up box for when my friend and I want to have fun!
These are not belongings which a person has a right to nosey at for their own entertainment. These are not items for someone to laugh at, and pass comment on my being a cliché. These are my belongings, and their deeply private to me.
My mother realises this one of those moments where I feel vulnerable as an LGBTQ+ person. Exposed. Threatened.
So casually, I hear her say ‘actually, I’ll stay home. It’s important you feel your privacy is protected, you have individual needs’.
I thanked her, and the conversation was over.
She left my room, I cried.
My mother, a woman of unbelievable strength, who has stood by my individual needs since she first held me in June 1988.
LGBTQ+ children may grow up. They may move out of home. They may stand on their own two feet and make a success of themselves. But as their parent, you should never stop fighting for their individual needs.
This is what it means to be the parent of an LGBTQ+ person. And I encourage every parent out their to keep learning what it means for their child to be born LGBTQ+.
Author: Little Miss James
Titles: Blogger, Emotional Healer, Deep Feeler