Road Trip!!

25 05 2012

 

My son had been out for a few months and we were all settling in with the new knowledge. Well, my husband and I anyway. As a parent of a queer kid you should realize that by the time they tell us, the parents, they have researched, thought, and pondered all of this for some time. It is like they are already at a place of understanding when the news is sprung on us. Then we start the journey all over again that they have already taken.

My friend and mentor that was helping us through our processing advised us to attend a PFLAG meeting. PFLAG stands for Parents, Family, Friends of Lesbians and Gays. It also includes Bisexual and Transgender – I guess those letters just don’t fit as well! 😀 Anyway, we did not have a PFLAG chapter in our town and after researching we found a chapter a few hours from our house. ROAD TRIP!!

So, we shuttled our youngest kid off to grandma and hit the road one Tuesday evening. When we arrived to the address we had been given there was a big sign in front of the building that said “United Church of Christ”. There was dead silence in the car. NOW – in case you don’t know, just as we didn’t know at the time, there is a big difference between United Church of Christ and  regular ole Church of Christ. United Church of Christ Churches are open and affirming of LGBT people, too bad we were ignorant of that! So, we stop in the middle of the street, in front of the sign, and my son’s voice comes from the back of the van, “We are NOT going in there!”

So, we drove on down the block and stopped at Walgreens for chocolate. What? Isn’t that what you do when you are stressed and need a bit of comfort food? I can’t be the only one, come on! Anyway, got our snacks, and sat in the van and pondered our predicament. We had about fifteen minutes until the meeting was going to start. We decided we had driven two hours one way to attend. We also decided we were adult people who could get up and walk out if we wanted to. So, off we went.

I can still remember the fear walking into that door. It is a scary feeling walking into something like that for the first time, especially since we were not sure that they were not going to start praying over us or something. I wouldn’t mind a prayer – just didn’t want an exorcism. We weren’t really greeted when we came in. I am a pretty self-assertive person so I walked up to people and introduced us, etc… The meeting was fine. It was a business meeting really. They discussed upcoming events, but no one told stories and there wasn’t much support offered.

Then the meeting was over and everyone headed out to their cars. There was one other person who was at the meeting for their first time. It was a mom of a teenager who is transgender. For the next forty-five minutes we stood out in the cold wind and talked, cried and hugged. I left there that night realizing that what I experienced in the parking lot was what should have been happening inside the meeting. I have since heard that chapter has changed things and is doing more support. I am glad.

We came home and within a few months we started a PFLAG in our town. I think our experience of attending the meeting in a strange town was good in a lot of ways. We know that when someone walks through that door for the first time they need to see a friendly face and a warm smile. It is hard stepping out of our comfort zone. We also try to keep our business to our PFLAG Board meetings and use our support meetings for education and support.

If you are interesting in researching more about United Church of Christ they have a website: www.CathedralofHope.com

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2 responses

25 05 2012
julia christine stephen

I would like to thank you for loving your child, sounds weird, but I hope you know what I mean…there are a few parents of transgendered and gay kids on wordpress. 🙂

26 05 2012
michelesmusings

thanks Julia.

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