Today, the coming out stories that we hear about are generally by youth or those in their 20s. However, there’s a certain part of the LGBT population that has a very unique experience when they come out — parents with kids.
Though attitudes about the LGBT community have changed over time, a new documentary on the BBC shows that it’s still difficult for parents with kids to come out to them, and for some of those kids, it can be a struggle to understand or accept too.
My Lesbian Mums is a documentary that follows a young woman in Scotland who examines how her family dealt with discovering that their mom was a lesbian. Twenty years ago, Jillian Stewart’s mom came out to her when she was 4 and then later, when her mom married another woman, they became the first lesbians to marry in Scotland.
In the documentary, Jillian reflects on how it was for her learning that her mom was lesbian. She also interviews her brother, and two stepsisters to find out how their experience went. Though most of the children had positive experiences, one of her stepsisters did not. She was bullied in school for having a gay sister, and therefore, felt the need to hide her mom’s sexuality to protect herself and her family.
Jillian also spoke to a gay couple raising kids in the present day. One of the fathers was previously married to a woman and he details the struggles of trying to explain to his kids about their new family life — with a stepfather. His son asks question like why his fathers kiss when “boys aren’t supposed to” or why his dad doesn’t love his mom anymore.
Though there are some struggles for some kids learning that their parent is LGBT and definite fears from parents to come out to their kids, Jillian ends the documentary quite positively, seeing that though the fears and struggles are valid, most families — both parents and their kids — end up happy and proud.
Watch the full documentary below: