Margaret's Story

My partner and I became involved with Manchester Parents Group when her 26 year old daughter came out to us.

Many of our friends couldn’t understand why this should upset us so much as we are in a gay relationship and have been for the last 30 years. We blamed ourselves because of our lifestyle and the fact that our friends were mainly gay couples.

Unlike heterosexual couples we could not claim to have been a ‘normal’ family. Because of our sexuality we have known rejection from the Church, from employers and from society as a whole and we would not have wished this on our daughter.

I once heard a comment from a lady who said she couldn’t understand homosexuality, as it never existed in her young days. It just goes to show what a low profile we had in the 60’s.

Neither my partner nor I ever came out to our parents because we were afraid of rejection and we didn’t want to hurt them, also because, as all of you know, it could have involved them in embarrassing situations.

Whilst listening to other parents at the support group meetings, we began to realise how not ‘coming out’ had affected us. Most of our lives, we have lived a lie, pretending to our mothers, and society as a whole, that we were just ‘friends’. There have been occasions whilst I have been in hospital, that I have had to explain to my mother, that my ‘friend’ had to be on my records as my next of kin, as she would not be given any details about my condition, as only family members are allowed to have this information.

Be grateful your children have ‘come out’ to you, because when my mother died, I felt a certain amount of relief, that at the age of 64, I could really be myself, and for that I now constantly feel guilt.

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