(Needs to be reviewed) When my daughter told me she was gay…

By Linda Ma

When my daughter told me she is gay, I was
devastated. Because I love my daughter so
much, I decided to try to understand what being
gay is all about.

I have always thought that being gay is wrong;
however, as I learn more about people who
are gay, I realized that most of the things that I
thought I knew are wrong. For example, the vast
majority of scientists believe that being gay is not a
choice and is not a disease. In fact, the American
Psychology Association decided three decades ago
to no longer consider being gay as a psychological
disorder. Even to this day, no one has been able
to demonstrate that sexual orientation can be
changed. There is also no evidence to suggest that
being gay is the result of molestation or bad family
environment. Many mainstream organizations such
as the American Medical Association, American
Family Physicians Association, American Psychiatric
Association, and American Pediatricians Association

all support same-sex couples’ freedom to marry.
The American Pediatrician Association also supports
adoption by same-sex parents.

Studies also show that the real cause of gay
people’s hardship is not being gay but rather
anti-gay prejudice. People who are gay or who
are perceived to be gay often become targets of
verbal and physical assault. These types of attacks
cause a high level of depression, anxiety, anger,
post-traumatic stress, and other symptoms. Anti-gay
prejudice also increases the instances of suicides.
Gay youths who are contemplating suicides are
often deeply affected by anti-gay prejudice and
experience a much greater level of ostracism from
their families.

Because I now understand what it means to be
gay, I have decided to accept my daughter. I
found information online, read books, and had long
talks with my daughter. I now know much more than
I did before, and I accept my daughter’s real identity.

In Chinese culture, the pressure to form a family
and have children drives many people who are
gay to get married and have kids. These pseudo
families lack mutual trust and open dialogue;
this hurts everyone in the family. I have met many
young students from China who are waiting for their
parents to pass away to begin living authentic lives.
The more I hear about these stories, the sadder I

The family unit has always been the foundation
of Chinese culture. A family’s life is often filled with
moments of joy and disappointment, but it is love
that will keep the family together for the long haul.
If a member of your family comes out to you, you
may feel incredibly shocked in the beginning. But
just remember, this person is saying, “I am telling
you about the real me, because I love you.” And this
feeling of love should be cherished.

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