This being said, let me own my privilege and say that because I was never bound by rules, curfews, "because-i-said-sos", family dinners, or any of those things, I had a relatively easy time being out and proud in high school. My mom and sisters loved me the same and we went on with our everyday, if somewhat disconnected, lives. I have always had the freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted, and to stick my finger in whatever activist cookie jar I could find, all while being true to myself and finding out what I wanted to grow into.
I don't deal well with oppressive, hateful, ignorant, or selfish parents. I can and will deal, but I harbor a lot of anger afterwards. I have spent countless hours of my life reaching out to friends, acquaintances, or even strangers, and attempting to get them started on the path of building a healthy life after huge parental fails. I unfortunately had to bear witness to a few instances of RIDICULOUS parenting this week. I recognize that parents are people and make mistakes, but there is a line, and if there isn't, I'm making one. See requirements of staying on the side of decent parent below.
- It is not OK to kick a child out of your house without warning because you don't like their sexuality, gender, or decisions. Ever. That is child abuse and neglect at its worse. This applies to physical abuse, blackmail, and exploitation as well.
- Not ok for you to shove Jesus down anyone's throat. Doesn't matter what bills you pay for or who shares your blood type.
- Don't wanna tell people your child is transgender? Embarrassed? NOT. OUR. FUCKING.PROBLEM. That is YOUR problem. And if you try and BLAME your child? You deserve a special ring in the Inferno all to yourself.
- Selfishness. People have it because we're human. You give up the right to put your selfishness ahead of EVERYONE'S once you have a child. And that doesn't stop once your child hits their older teen years, moves out, goes to college, etc. Wanna be selfish on your own time? Awesome, everyone should be at some point. Selfish at the expense of your child's wellbeing? See number 3.
- Ignorant? OWN IT. Or better yet, educate yourself or ask someone who is more knowledgeable than you for help. If you don't understand how your son could love a man, how your daughter could give up her birth name and "become" a man, how someone could be attracted to these types of people, ask. Research. Think about it. Figure it out!
- Once you have royally fucked up your relationship with your child and someone like myself has begun picking up the pieces, you have lost. You will never have your child back in the same way, your relationship will not function in the same way, and love will not flow as it once did. If this point is reached? Give up. If your child later seeks that relationship with you in a healthy manner, good for them, but I sure as hell am not going to encourage it.
To everyone out there with loving parents, PFLAG parents, or even parents that just don't get it but love you unconditionally anyway, keep your arms open and ready to catch someone who's parents have let them down in really big ways. Validation from our parents is one of the things we seem to innately seek, and when ignorance, selfishness, fear, or hate, replace that validation, it's damaging to people of all ages and stages of life.