I have had numerous students come out to me as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans in conversations in my office and on papers, and virtually all of them perceive and worry that their parents will have extremely negative and hostile reactions. 4) Check your own prejudice, bias, racism, and religious beliefs at the door.
9) Wait to actually meet the person your son or daughter is involved with before imposing judgments. Perhaps, when you meet him/her you will be pleasantly surprised.I sat and listened, held space for her, and then gave her many resources and contacts so she could get help; but all the while I knew that her shame was a direct result of her perceptions of maternal judgment and that that would remain a big obstacle for her.3) Check your homophobia, biphobia and transphobia at the door.When we were each single before we met, my stepdad suggested I go to a synagogue and try to meet a nice Jewish guy, and his mother suggested he attend church services to meet a nice Catholic woman.I suppose all that makes sense, but we met on Match, fell in love and met each other’s families who, thankfully, can see and feel the love and happiness that transcend any religious divides.I was in love with his spontaneous, playful, adventurous, irreverent ways, but ultimately I couldn’t get past the alcoholism and the irresponsibility that accompanied all that. I had to learn that what was so special and full of joy had a shadow side that I couldn’t bear for the long haul.But, my interest and curiosity in “the other” and in dating across differences continued, and I found myself over the years involved with Christian men, much older men, a Chinese man, an Arab man, another black man, and I wound up marrying a Jewish man---one of only two I had ever dated though I was raised in a Jewish home.They might decide to come back---or you might get a fabulous new place to visit if you stay open to it.8) Dating across socioeconomic lines happens all the time and presents various challenges for kids and their parents.All of this was a far cry from the upper middle class suburb of Cleveland where I was raised.We stayed together for four years, and he joined me across the country when I pursued graduate school.2) Many kids may know that as a parent you have a point, or that you see something they wish they had detected or done something about earlier.In recognizing this, they are usually more reticent to approach you for fear that you will say “See, I told you so” or “See, moms are always right.” In January, a young woman came to my office to let me know that her absences had been due to being diagnosed with genital herpes.This is especially likely to happen in college when kids come together from diverse class backgrounds; in college, there is much less to indicate and reveal the markings and trappings of social class.