January 12, 2012

A Parent's Perspective

[Editor's Note: On Tuesday, out of the blue, I received an email from my dad. In it was the post you see below, and a message asking me if I would post it on the BDU Blog. I was shocked--not because he hasn't been supportive, because he has been since day 1 (and even before)--but because I never expected him to show his support in this way.

We haven't had parents post in the past (we did once receive this most fantastic anonymous post), but I'd like to take this opportunity to invite parents to write in either publicly (please check with your students first!) or anonymously. Email us your submissions and we'll put them up throughout the semester. This blog is primarily for students and is a venue to build community, support each other, and celebrate our diversity of identities, and as such we reserve the right not to post a submission that runs contrary to this or violates the terms of our anonymous posts.]

Dear BDU Community,

I read a great deal about the numerous posting from so many of you when you came out to your parents. I thought you might like to hear about the issue in general, from a parent’s perspective. I am not trying to hold myself out as a typical parent. When Risa told me, “I am going to date the person not the gender” my reply was (and I will clean it up), “start having sex with someone as it is too much fun to miss out on”.

I cannot possibly comprehend the great amount of stress that is contained within your body when dealing with considering whether to come out to your parents. I know that some parents are more accepting and understanding than others. I can only imagine the relief when it is done and over and finding that your parents react favorably. I know some are very unaccepting and that very concept breaks my heart.

To me, the issue of coming out, is like any other communication issue that parents and children deal with. If you have trouble talking about grades, politics or social issues and the generations either ignore each other or it erupts into a fight, then coming out will be the same way. If you are comfortable to talk, debate and disagree so that at the end of the dialogue there is still love between the generations, then coming out will be anxiety laden but easier to accomplish.

I have long felt that religion does more to screw up society by creating “absolute rules” than to make it accepting of the differences. I would suspect that a modern day God might only allow Vanilla ice cream and punish all those that want Chocolate, let alone Strawberry. If your parents are practicing a religious lifestyle that mandates a limited view of the world, then coming out might be tough, unless their Church is open minded. However, don’t eat Strawberry when out and Vanilla when you come home. Find the courage to have the discussion with your parents then order Strawberry whenever you want to.

Parents are a lot like children. We don’t like change any more than your generation does. We have an image of our kids that was created when they were born. We only want the best for them and some changes are threats to our Yellow Brick Road. Ultimately, we can migrate or mutate as need be. You just have to be willing to help us change.

I hope you find comfort with your decisions and actions.


  1. TOO MUCH. Really sweet, Mr. Isard. Thanks for writing in :)

  2. great to hear a parent's perspective

  3. Parents on the blog is probably my favorite thing. Forever and Always.

    Thanks for the perspective and comfort Mr. Isard, you're awesome <3

  4. I guess you have mellowed from the time you told me that my son mutilated himself with multiple piercings (and implying we were permissive and degenerate parents). How time adds perspective! Good to see this post.

  5. @11:41

    Was that really necessary?