Question: My daughter started college in the fall and I knew something was wrong when she stopped returning my calls (which is unlike her). I decided to go visit her at her dorm one weekend. When I knocked on her door, it was unlocked so I opened it and another girl was half-dressed and laying in bed with my daughter. I saw my daughter trying to get dressed and cover up. I was in absolute shock. I didn't know what to do, so I walked out and left. I started crying in the car and drove straight home.
I never thought she was into same-sex relationships and though I would like to be open-minded about it, it still bothers me. I have tried to talk to her since and I always end up crying. I am having a really hard time dealing with this reality and I don't want this to ruin our relationship. I am in need of help, any advice or coping mechanism will help. (Newton, MA)
Social Shrink: Always remember that no matter what, she is still your daughter. Who she loves is her choice and she just wants to be happy – therefore, you should be happy for her. It is possible that this is just a phase and a crazy college experience. Let her experiment and see if she is more comfortable being with other girls. If she chooses that path, then all better for her because she found who she is.
Though it is hard for you, times have changed since you grew up. Being gay/lesbian/transgendered/questioning/bisexual is no longer taboo and the more accepting you are of this lifestyle, the better your relationship with your daughter will be! Although the way you found out may not have been the most ideal (walking in on a couple in bed is embarrassing no matter what the gender), talking with your daughter and letting her know you are there for her as someone she can talk to is crucial at this time. The last thing your daughter wants to feel is ashamed or embarrassed that you walked in on her. Building that bridge toward acceptance starts with a conversation with her and an open-mind.
You may not understand it, but you do need to see it as part of your daughter's life. Make sure you are open with her and let her know that it may take some time but that you are supportive of her decisions. Maybe see if there is a support group in your area for parents of gay/lesbian young adults, if not, you can certainly start one! The two of you seem to be close, so use this opportunity to get to know this part of your daughter. Inform her that you will be by her side as she learns more about who she is!