How do I get her to accept me for who I am?

Nov 30, 2011

Q: I am a lesbian who came out about 4 months ago but my mom completely disowned me and says I’ll burn in hell how do I get her to accept me for who I am?

A: Dear Disowned,

I am sorry to hear that your mother has been so traumatized by this news. What she does or doesn’t do in relationship to her acceptance of you is really out of your hands. There are a few things you may want to try, like talking to her spiritual advisor (e.g., priest, minister, rabbi, etc.) and asking that person to speak with your mother. You could also get her information that explains and educates people about sexual orientation. Organizations like Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLG) or a local LGBT center can provide this kind of information to you. You could ask her to go to family therapy with you if you are SURE the provider is supportive and knowledgeable about sexual orientation. The other option is to continue having your normal relationship with your mother and give her time to see that you are happy and fulfilled; she may just change her feelings about this. Be clear that you do not believe you will be burning in hell. You may like to know the the actual Hebrew translation of the commandments “Don’t take the lords name in vain” is, in fact, “Don’t speak for God.” None of us has the right or privilege to determine how or even if what one does will even get God’s attention. Be true to yourself. Be happy and loved. Your mother will always be your mother and you her daughter. Be the daughter she will be proud of, because then you are being the person you will be proud of. Stay strong, true to yourself and best wishes to you.