One of my children came out to me with a cookie cake. Another one made a pronouncement while I was in the midst of berating his brother about incomplete homework. The last one continues to tell me important stuff via snapchat, cookie cake, and occasional dance shows.
Lately, an inordinate amount of controversy, mud-slinging, conversation, hatred, and general being an asshole has surrounded gay marriage, restroom use, and other various and sundry social topics.
I don’t know about everything, but I can tell you what to do when your child comes out to you. But first, a quick primer: coming out can mean any number of things. Your child may come out as gay, transgender, or other labels that we have to put on people to define them so we feel comfortable. Your child may come out as a football fan, a curling aficionado, a surfer, a pizza maker, or even . . . wait for it . . . a Chicago Cubs fan.
Whatever your child identifies as, you have ONE job as a parent: love your kid.
That’s it. Easy.
It was easy enough for you when the blob emerged from the cut-open uterus or slithered out of your partner’s vagina or cuddled up to you in the orphanage lounge or caught your heart through foster care.
Why is it hard when the person you would give your life for defines his/her/their personhood? Why is it hard when your child does what you have always taught him/her/them to do: think for themselves?
Love your kid.
Your child may grow up to be similar to you. He/She/They might not.
It does not matter.
He/She/They are a person. Love your kid.
I am continually stunned by the number of otherwise normally reasonable adults who believe their children should be mini-mes. Maybe – just maybe – that worked in another generation – maybe, but I doubt it. Regardless, your job is to love your kid.
You might not understand everything. Love your kid. You might have trouble with pronouns. Love your kid. You might have objections. Love your kid.
Seriously. That’s all there is to it: love your kid.