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Question
There's no PFLAG chapter within a 90 minute range and my mom seems to be having a really hard time with me being a lesbian. She hasn't told anyone besides her aunt, who had a gay brother and has a gay grandson, and I think it's wearing on her. How can I get her to be more comfortable when she has no support system?

PFLAG's Answer
Dear Friend, Thank you for contacting Stay Close. Here are some ideas you might want to explore to help your Mom be Ok with your sexual orientation. You should be aware that is takes time for parents to be comfortable with the fact that their child is gay. They go through phases of shock and denial and guilt before starting to acknowledge that it's ok after all. That's why PFLAG tries to spread the correct information about LGBT people and encourages everyone to break down stereotypes so that being LGBT becomes a non issue. - does your Mom have access to a computer? You could refer some sites like PFLAG's where she can get information. Be sure to do the research first and give her the sites your find relevant, as if she searches herself she might fall upon offensive content. - you could get her some books so she can read about other families in similar situations and what they've done to become accepting and to keep relationships strong. If you go to www.pflag.org, you'll find a list of recommended litterature. - you could contact the PFLAG chapter and find out if there's a volunteer who could talk to your Mom. If not at the PFLAG near you, for sure you can find a volunteer at the National PFLAG (www.pflag.org). - have a discussion, let your Mom express herself, try to see where she's coming from, what her concerns are. Maybe she prefers to email you or write to you about it if she's not comfortable talking about. Keep the communication open, and try to offer information in a helpful way (not in a heated discussion, not in a defensive way, not in an accusing way). - could you talk to your great aunt and have her talk to your Mom? By showing other family examples that are close to her, she might be more willing to be accepting. - go to a LGBT event one weekend so your Mom can meet other parents and develop her own support network. - find blogs where your Mom could communicate with other parents. I hope you find this advice helpful. You're on the right track: spreading information, providing support systems to parents and friends who don't understand. Good luck and Stay Close! - a Stay Close volunteer

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