Runner-Up of the Written Category
"Learning from Each Other"
By Anonymous
2012 KarMel Scholarship Submission
KarMel Scholarship 2012
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Description of Submission:
"The struggles a mother faces when her daughter comes out, and the struggles/loss they both feel. " - Anonymous

Why Karen and Melody Liked It:   
This shows a real personal journey of a mother coming to terms with her gay daughter.  Sometimes it takes others
time to come to accept that their child is gay.  This is a great personal story showing that with time, people's opinions
can change.
Do you like this?  Then feel free to send an email message to
Often I sit back and think about the trials and the struggles which were experienced through the years after coming
out. The heart ache, loneliness, anger, and depression seemed more than anyone would be able to cope with. To
be ostracized from my family and my faith was enough, but to later become the victim of hate crimes felt like my
breaking point. What I needed most was a family. I searched desperately for one, and eventually my heart found
exactly what I was searching for among a group on my college campus. However, even after people took me in with
open arms and loved me for me, the only thing I truly wanted was my mother.

     My mother is an amazing woman. She attended each and every classroom party in elementary school. On my
birthdays she would bring up her incredibly scrumptious sugar cookies and join me for lunch at school; it was the
best part of my birthday every year. That woman was my biggest fan at each and every dance recital, orchestra
concert, and swim meet. I couldn't’t have asked for a better cheerleader, constantly encouraging me and believing
in me. I remember the smell of a candle always burning when I walked into our clean home after school each day,
often finding my bedroom already clean so I could finish homework and go right out to play. She taught me so
many things both in the home and at church. She was my church leader for majority of my time spent in the youth
group. I was taught how to be a homemaker, how to bake, how to stand up for myself, how to be independent, and
what kind of mother I wanted to be. She was by far my favorite and the best teacher I’ve ever had.

     Then there came the afternoon in early March 2009 that changed both of our worlds. I felt I had been hiding a
terrible secret for far too long. It was the one thing I never really knew how to talk to my mom about. I didn’t know
how to disappoint her as well as our faith. I knew this would tear her apart, but I was tired of feeling torn myself. I
remember telling my mom that I’m gay. The silence was painfully uncomfortable, the anger I recall seeing in her
distraught face crushed me, and the feeling of letting her down was overwhelming. This was something though, no
matter how emotionally draining it would become I could not budge. This is me, and I can’t go back into hiding.

     The move happened a few days later and I finished my high school year with a close friend. The conversations
between my family and me became at times hostile and very heated. It seemed as if we could only argue, there was
no happy medium. The arguments would occur on our facebook pages, over the phone, through text, as well as in
person. It seemed as though it would be a never ending battle. According to my mom I was too ‘in her face’ with my
new lifestyle. She didn’t want to see the pictures or see the comments between my partner and me. She did not like
my involvement with the LGBT group on campus. It became an issue that wasn’t to be discussed any more,
because it was too emotional. Then in my eyes I felt like she wasn’t being a good mother. What kind of a mother
doesn’t accept their child for who they are? I felt like she was abandoning me or embarrassed by me. I wasn’t being
brash about who I was, I was simply being who I am. With that came frustration due to my mothers lack of
acceptance, and that had a tendency to make me very confrontational.

     Days turned to months, and months turned to years. My mother saw that I wasn’t budging, this was past the
point of being a phase. I saw my mother wasn’t budging either, she would never accept this part of my life. For me I
slowly began to accept she would never agree with my lifestyle, discuss it in a positive way, or meet my partner.
Even though she started to see this wasn’t a phase she still could not accept the fact that I’m gay. To her I’m her
little girl. The same little girl who loved barbies and makeup. I was the same little girl who loved dress up and dance
class, and later turned into the young adult who loved going to prom and homecoming with her dates. In her eyes
she should have seen a sign, and she simply never saw it coming. We both did reach a state of acceptance
though. She saw this wasn’t necessarily a phase, and I saw she would never accept her daughter to be gay. Then
both of our worlds seemed to change yet again, and for the better.

     After finding the love of my life I decided to make an incredibly big decision. I was moving to England seeing as
that is where my partner/fiancé lives. My mother was not thrilled about this decision to move, but knew it was my life
and there was no stopping me. She came to a decision on her own to meet this girl I would be moving far away
with. I couldn’t have been more thrilled and terrified at the same time! What if this went terribly wrong? What would
my mom think of her? Will this end up becoming a fight? So many questions were running through my head that
could only be answered by going through with this meeting. Then the day came and we met my mom for lunch at
her work. It couldn’t have run more smoothly. My mother and my partner were quiet, but my partner spoke when
spoken too. She didn’t want to feel as though she were pushing herself onto my mom, and that meant a lot to my
mother. Before we left the three of us had shared stories, shared laughter, and had ALL exchanged hugs. I couldn’
t have been more proud of my mother.

     After years of struggling to get along and understand each other, we have finally made it. I understand the
struggles she had to face with all of this over the years, the heart ache she felt, and what seemed like the loss of
the daughter she once knew. She understands what how I felt and what I experienced a little bit better now as well.
We can talk calmly without the frustration now. We can respect each other and our boundaries, which is vital
considering my move back home to finish my education. The real change came from my mom though. The
strength, courage, and effort she has shown has truly amazed me. She now speaks to my partner, sends her
encouraging e-mails as she would me, and has let my partner know she has a place to come to anytime she visits. I
have never been so proud of my mom as I have been within the last year, and I continue to be. She was my
favorite teacher from the beginning, and she still is. Showing me what true strength, courage, loyalty, and faith in
God are she has taught me some of the most important qualities to carry though this life.