Charna Posin, a Heart Touch and Hospice volunteer and an award winning writer, writes about the process she had gone through, from the difficulties of even saying “my daughter has a girlfriend” – to the pride of saying “my daughter has a wife”
Years ago I learned to say, “My daughter has a girlfriend.” But it wasn’t an easy transition for me – and it certainly wasn’t easy for my daughter, partly because of me.
I was the happiest woman on earth when she was born. I felt we were instantly connected. I knew when to feed her and how to make her laugh. I knew what frightened her and how to comfort her. As she grew, I knew which subjects she loved in school and which boys she liked; she had lots of dates. I thought I knew everything about her. When she was accepted at a university across the country, I was unconcerned by the distance. I was confident that geography couldn’t crack the strong foundation of our mother-daughter relationship. I was proud and secure.
She was excited to be in college and challenged by her classes. She was dating college men, but her studies came first. She returned home for the holidays and left again, refueled by good food, lots of sleeping and a brief mother-daughter shopping spree.
Months later a friend of mine, whose daughter grew up with mine, called to chat. During the conversation, she made reference to my daughter being a lesbian. I gasped. I felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I excused myself and hung up. I went into the kitchen and drank a large glass of water. Then I called my daughter, and before I even said hello, I blurted out what I’d been told. She burst into tears and said, “I never wanted you to find out like this,” and we both cried. The pain of separation stretched across those once-insignificant miles.
I told her I loved her, but inside I was confused; how does someone go from dating men to dating women? I assured her I would accept whatever path she took, but my heart was racing as if someone had turned her into someone I didn’t know anything about. I was dumbfounded, but I forced myself to act politically correct: Why did it matter who she was dating? I pretended I was fine, but I felt insincere. When she began to date men again, I didn’t ask her how she was feeling, even though I claimed to care about her happiness. I only talked around the subject, the way you might walk around a table in the center of a room. Once she said, “Mom, you fall in love with a person, not a gender,” and remarkably, that made sense.