chapter  Letter 17
Not Coming Out
WithTara Goldstein, benjamin lee hicks, Jenny Salisbury, Pam Baer
Pages 5

While most of the parents the author and team interviewed came out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) before their children were born, Victoria Mason (a pseudonym) came out when her daughter was aged 11. While Victoria’s daughter has been supportive about her mother’s new identity and life, she asked Victoria not to come out at her school. In an essay on Black lesbian mothers and daughters, written in 1995, Canadian writer Makeda Silvera also writes about the ways homophobia has challenged her daughters’ response to having a lesbian mother. Victoria realizes there is a contradiction between wanting the school to normalize LGBTQ families and not coming out to school staff herself. While it is important to write and read about the difficulties facing LGBTQ families at school so that we can work to create change, it is also important to talk about the pleasures and triumphs of LGBTQ family life.