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Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays


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We have seen many parents come to PFLAG distraught over a child's homosexuality, and many gay individuals have come trying to cope with bad relations with parents or family. Spouses of gay or lesbian individuals whose marriages have been disrupted by a husband's or wife's homosexuality have also found strength with us. We have watched these individuals gain the understanding, confidence, and love they need to deal with their personal situations, and we offer the following stories to let others know that they are not alone, that many others have successfully traveled the difficult road they find themselves on.

Susan's marriage seemed to be going well.  She and her husband had a wonderful baby girl.  Gradually, however, her husband was becoming more and more distant.  She suspected he was gay when he became a bouncer at a gay bar, but he denied it.  She then found pictures that her husband had sent another man.   She knew her marriage was ending.

Nancy had several gay friends, one of whom was living with AIDS, and she felt that she needed to learn something about what they had to live with.  A friend of her nephew, who recently came out to her as gay, suggested that she go to PFLAG with him.  There she found a place where she could make a difference in the lives of her friends.

Judy met her charming boyfriend on a business trip.  When they decided to establish a relationship, he told her there was one thing she would have to know and accept about him if they became serious:  He liked to dress up as a girl.  Judy, in turn, said that there was one thing that he would have to know and accept about her:  She had a gay son.  From there they hit it off.  How does a woman approach a man whose sexual interest is solely in women but who has an irresistible urge to be a woman at times himself? 

Both Jack and I were blessed with parents who counted among their friends people who differed from the mid-west, white, middle-class norm in their politics, financial status, religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation. Neither of us heard people judged or categorized for any of those differences.  Friends were simply friends.  Thus when one of our three little boys seemed less interested in sports and tended to play with others who enjoyed quiet, creative pursuits, we were not concerned. By the time Steve reached his teens, we realized he was almost certainly gay, but we waited for him to come to that conclusion on his own. 

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(Last updated September 30, 2012 )