Home Health “Mom I’m gay”, the coming out experienced by the parents

“Mom I’m gay”, the coming out experienced by the parents

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“Mom I’m gay”, the coming out experienced by the parents

“Dear mum and dad, I have something important to tell you”. There comes a day in the history of some families when children feel the need to share with their parents the fact that they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, non-binary (yes, there are new words to learn). They do it to feel better about themselves, to share something essential in their lives with those who brought them into the world, to avoid expectations, pretense, hypocrisy.

Coming out (not to be confused with outing, which means revealing a person’s sexual orientation without their consent) is good for the health of those who do it and those who receive it, but could generate negative reactions within the families.

The psychologist as a guide

Families who are generally left alone to themselves, with no tools to understand what is happening, with fear of the outside world and the inability to speak without prejudice. A new book, written by the psychologist Pier Luigi Gallucci in collaboration with the Turin branch of Agedo (Association of parents, relatives and friends of homosexuals), it tries to avoid unnecessary suffering by providing vocabulary and tools to those who have learned about sexual orientation and / or gender identity (these two definitions too , attention, they are not equivalent) of their daughter, or of their son, and for this reason they feel lost. The text is full of testimonies of those who live on their own flesh and in their own heart of unexpected beats. The title of the work is a poem: “Come aria, in un hug” (Graphe.it edizioni).

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Coming out, how to do it in the family overcoming prejudices

by Pasquale Quaranta


The doubts of families

The subtitle “Stories of parents with lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer sons and daughters” keeps its promises. “As psychologists and therapists – says Gallucci – we are the recipients of many doubts on the part of both parents and adolescents and young people, of many questions often considered trivial but instead essential because they deeply affect their own well-being as individuals, couples and families” . There are those who wonder what is the “cause” of homosexuality or of a gender identity that does not conform to the assigned biological sex, those who wonder what “went wrong”. And again: what is the “right” behavior to have as parents and “what should we do”.

Coming out doesn’t mean telling your parents who you’re sleeping with. As James writes well in a letter to him, saying who we are “is a gesture of love, a sign of the fact that I still and always need to share my life with you”. Coming out thus releases the energy that until then had been used to hide.

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No more lies

“Being able to finally tell myself and you who I really am – continues Giacomo – is a huge relief, because I will no longer have to lie and apologize to the questions of relatives and yours”. Those who receive this gesture of love may not immediately recognize it as such. So says Luciana, Giacomo’s mother: “My first reaction was the sense of guilt of a mother who did not know how to understand her son and accompany him in the difficulties of life, day after day. Immediately after, the fear of difficulties arose. that he would still have to face. Last but not least, my fear in the face of the world, my discomfort for what ‘others’ might think of him and me “.

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Mother: “A journey to do together”

Even for Luciana, in the end, her son’s coming out becomes “a real blessing, a reason for growth: the bar has risen – she says – our life has opened up to something we did not know but which we are slowly learning to to know. Being gay does not mean only and only having sexual relations with people of the same sex. A human being is much more than that, Giacomo is therefore much more than that “.

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Different children

The pioneering text “Sons different” by Giovanni Dall’Orto and Paola Dell’Orto (Sonda) comes back to mind, the manual that since 1991 has shown hundreds of young Italians “how to live homosexuality in the family peacefully”, a book, as the subtitle goes, “written by a mother and her child”. Thanks to their testimony and to the parents met during the drafting of “Different Sons”, Agedo was born, of which Paola Dell’Orto she was also the first president. A book written with four hands: on the one hand, the story of the son and on the other, turning it upside down, that of the mother (and vice versa) who eventually meet – literally and symbolically – in the middle. Because if it is true that as homosexual, transgender and queer people we needed time to understand and understand who we are, at the same time our parents need to understand us, to rearrange their gaze on us, to accept being different from us. .

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A commendable effort in this direction was recently made by Silvia Ranfagni in his podcast “Free Bodies” (produced by Spotify studios in collaboration with Chora media). The author is a mother who is displaced by her son who one day reveals to her that he feels “trans, indeed not binary”. Ranfagni, in search of answers, tries to “really see” who is her son Alek, with a very special delicacy, love and self-irony.

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