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'My daughter came out to me. She wants us to cut off my parents, I want a middle ground.' UPDATED

'My daughter came out to me. She wants us to cut off my parents, I want a middle ground.' UPDATED

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In a perfect world, we'd get along with all our family members, but that's simply not the reality for many people.

"My daughter came out to me and wants us to cut ties with my conservative parents while I try to find a middle ground solution without breaking my family apart."

For context we live in a traditional part of a first world country that has not yet fully normalised and accepted queerness. Children 18+ that are still living with their parents is normalised which is why my daughter still lives with me.

I'm retired. She works a part-time job and goes to college at the same time.

Today, my daughter (25), let's call her Jane (fake name, obviously), came out to me (55, F, widow) as gay and I need advice on how to proceed. I know i can just google it but I'm seeking more specific direct advice.

I obviously told her that I support her and she'll still be my daughter no matter what, but here's the thing, I've been raised by extremely religious and conservative parents (75m, 73f) who do not tolerate the queer community. Jane knows this and believes we should both just cut ties with them, she even went on a rant about how family is the one you choose not one that is picked for you.

So there's a conflict here, I'm willing to defend Jane no matter what from anything my parents might try to say to dehumanise her but they are still my parents, and I do not wish to cut ties with them, but at the same time, I do not want to upset Jane. So, I came up with a sort of middle ground solution: I can try to change their world view.

Right now, they don't know about her, however tomorrow, they're visiting for personal reasons (irrelevant to the post), so I expect a whole debate to start like it always does when they visit but this time, it's waaay different and more personal since Jane is now openly lesbian.

I want to try to change their world view and try to get them on the same page as her. This isn't easy since she's as hostile to them as they are to gay people and potentially to her.

That's when problem #2 arises, Jane believes they're not going to change and will further try to find a way to criminal*se her. I told her they're my parents and it's not fair for me to cut ties with the people that raised and fed me until I was able to walk on my own.

That's when she went on the rant about family being the people that you choose. I ended the conversation by changing the subject entirely to bide some time. So, I came to post this in hopes that someone might help me find a way to make both parties happy without causing my family to break apart.

TL,DR: my daughter (25f) came out to me (55, f, widow) and wants to cut ties with my parents (75m, 73f) who are extremely conservative. I believe I can change their world view but daughter is not willing to give it a try. So I need help playing peacemaker before all hell breaks loose when they visit tomorrow.

People weighed in with their thoughts on the dynamic.

Fluffy_Sheepy wrote:

She is an adult. She can decide who she is and isn't willing to speak to. She can't force you to make that decision. But if your parents hurt her, she may resent and blame you for that, and may move out and chose to cut you out of her life along with them. Meanwhile your parents may disown you for having spawned a gay person. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.

Vegetable_Business897 wrote:

My brother married into a sundown town family. My mom's still in communication with him but I am not. My info of my life goes to her and no further, info on my brother and his life go to her and no further. The second there is cross contamination, she knows we're done. 8 yrs so far.

StoneyMcMunchie wrote:

You may just have to have separate relationships with them. She does not want them and wants to cut ties. That is her choice to make. You do not want to. That is your choice to make. It gets sticky when you try to force her to be around them because that’s not your place to force.

She can’t dictate whether you have a relationship with them or not, but you can’t force her to hang out with them either without it lowering her self worth. “Just see them separately” is the closest thing to middle ground I can see that’s healthy because trying to force others to change is not.

chucktheninja wrote:

If you think they're just going to magically change their minds after 7 decades of hard big*try, you're delusional.

I'd still agree to give them a chance, but in all likelihood, it's not going to happen.

ximdotcad wrote:

So, do you know which church they go to? I ask because before you typo take on this peace mission you need allies. Research their church and see if there is ANY outreach to the gay community. If you can find a religious leader/mentor/scholar to meditate for you, it will be a good start.

This was my friends method when trying to reconnect with her conservative Dutch family. Please do not make your daughter defend herself to them, it isn’t fair to her.

The next day, OP shared an update.

So my parents came, everything was going well but then my mom said something questionable about a my daughter's foreign college friend which sparked an argument between all three of them. In the heat of the moment, Jane came out to them. One thing led to another and my dad made a snarky remark which prompted me to intervene.

This started a shouting match between my parents and I while Jane stood aside and seemed nervous. she told me to stop but I couldn't. It was already too late. My parents made even more homophobic comments and I started the personal attacks. At this point Jane was in another room and while things calmed down, I went to check on her and saw her crying. We started talking.

In the end, she admitted she was going to cut ties with me but decided against it since she now knows she can fully trust me but still feels guilty. Reassured her that everything is going to be alright. In the end, she told me she wants to invite her girlfriend over who she's been dating for two years now and only felt safe doing so now that she knows i fully support her.

Back to my parents, they still seem to be giving me the silent treatment but they left. I guess that's the last time I'll see them here. I'm not sure what's going to happen, I'll try to mend things between me and them but at least my daughter now feels safer which is what matters.

TL;DR: parents came and left. An argument sparked which made Jane come out in the heat of the moment. I stood by her. Had a shouting match with my parents who are now giving me the silent treatment but my daughter seem to trust me a lot more which is great seeing as I risked getting cut out by her according to her.

The internet continued to share their thoughts on the dynamic.

FirebirdWriter wrote:

I question the last sentence. Why should you be responsible for managing the feelings of your parents? They have shown you they cannot love your child without restrictions. So why are you doing all the work to maintain the relationship? Give it time and see how you feel not having to manage these grown adults. You might actually prefer it.

OP responded:

I'm not so sure tbh, it's this thing where I feel I must fix things between us, I know it doesn't make sense but it's like an urge. guess I'll get over it as you said, hell, as harsh as it may seem, they'll be dead in a few years so doubt it will matter that much anyways.

Besides, you make a good point; my daughter is all I hold dear in this world so if they don't want to support her so be it, it's a sacrifice I'm willing to make for her.

Used_Mark_7911 wrote:

So your parents are r*cist and hom*ph*bic and won’t accept your child. She doesn’t feel safe around them, and that extended to you since she didn’t tell you about her 2-year relationship. What is the middle ground here? I see none. Thankfully you’ve shown your daughter that you are on her side. I just don’t understand what you think a compromise might look like.

JanetInSpain wrote:

Your daughter is right. Relatives ≠ family. If your parents are going to hate and verbally ab#se your daughter just for who she is then you must back away to protect her. “But family” is a stupid reason to tolerate ab#se.

Usual_Canary_7764 wrote:

Everyone has made their position in this clear. Why are you looking for middle ground?

Your parents are giving you the silent treatment because you defended your daughter as they had a screaming match with her.

Everyone has their corner. People need to stop trying to 'fix' things and start accepting them as they are. OP your parents don't accept your daughter who is independent. Your are not a referee. Move on, support your daughter and let your parents be

Sources: Reddit
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