the closet & LGBTQ parents: an ongoing journey

The closet is a hard place to be. For many of us, we think of the
closet as a distant memory. And some of us are still closeted, to
varying degrees. Some of my LGBTQ friends aren’t out at work, or
aren’t out to certain family members. In fact, my grandparents
still don’t know that I’m gay
– at the request of my mother.
It’s a request that I’m finding more and more difficult to

The closet presents a whole different set of challenges to gay

For one, parents have to decide how and when to come out to their
children. Knowing when to “come out” can be a real issue. For help
tackling the tough questions, and arming yourself with the best
age-appropriate language, you can download Family Pride’s
Talking to Children About Our Families

Interestingly, gay and lesbian couples may find themselves outted
all the time – courtesy of their children. I immediately think to
the many stories of children in shopping carts exclaiming to
strangers, “I have two daddies!”

I’ve heard many lesbian mom couples complain that strangers often
assume that they are sisters, asking “who’s the mom?” It’s a
question that can’t be answered without disclosing your sexual

Some of us are in closets by choice, and some of us are in closets
because people assume we are straight. This is especially true for
bisexual parents with an opposite-sex partner. Many transgender
folks pass, and many transgender folks identify as straight. Coming
out of the closet doesn’t happen just once for most of us, it’s an
ongoing journey.

For some good Sunday reading, delight in
this article
that recently appeared in the OC Register. The
headline? “At 88, Laguna Woman Comes Out.” After a 44 year
relationship with another woman, this article chronicles Loraine
Barr’s decision to come out.