“It’s probably a phase.”
When I was 16yrs old I told my Nigerian father that I liked girls. He didn’t yell, he didn’t get angry at me, he didn’t disown me or make me feel bad and somehow inadequate. He did not say anything to make me regret what I had just revealed to him. Instead, he kindly told me his thoughts. “Nne, it’s probably a phase.”
While I grew up knowing that I like girls, I did what my parents and the rest of the world expected of me. I married a man, tried to live happily ever after, and went about my business. Then I had my first child. And from the age of 2 to 3, I suspected my child was gay. I also knew that my ex-husband, like most Nigerians, is intensely homophobic and somewhere deep inside, my heart sank.
I worried about my kid. I asked God multiple times why I was given a gay child. I cried and I hurt, and I worried some more. What would people say? How would I respond to them? What would the Catholic church to which I belonged, say?
What would my friends, family and coworkers say? And most importantly, how would the rest of the world react? How would they treat me and my child?
I was so consumed with my “worriation” that I didn’t remember that my child also had feelings. My child was also going through stuff. My child was also trying to become, trying to understand who and what was going on, trying to make sense ow what was going on and what it all meant.
At the age of 12, I asked the then preteen about it. “I am not sure,” was the response I received. At 16, my kiddo (who never “came out” officially), helped establish the Gender-Sexuality Alliance at their high school. Fast forward to the Summer of 2020, at the graduation from Stanford University, the announcer kept saying “they” this and “them” that when referring to my kiddo.
That was the day I first heard the term non-Binary.
I did not understand it, so I pushed back, and struggled with accepting the entire new pronouns thing. My stance hurt my child so much that our relationship became very strained. Eventually, we went head-to-head one sunny afternoon and that was when they said the words that cut deep into my heart; “It’s not about you, mom!”
Words that I will never forget!
As a result of that encounter, I started thinking and re-evaluating my entire outlook in life. I realized that if I, a queer woman, a mother and physician who knew her child was gay from a very young age, could struggle with understanding and supporting them, then for sure there must be other parents (gay or straight), who are also struggling with the same.
Since I work in the youth suicide prevention arena, I know that suicide is very common in the LGBTQ+ community, particularly amongst transgender children. I also know that African American children aged 5 through 12 are twice as likely as their White counterparts to die by suicide. I also know that parental support plays a HUGE role in ameliorating the mental health struggles and suicidal behavior amongst queer youth.
So, I quit my job as a general pediatrician to focus on preventing suicide in our youth.
I decided to pivot and work with parents of LGBTQ+ kids like me, because I know the power of a supportive parent in a child’s journey.
Parental rejection or non-acceptance is one of the key reasons these children have a hard time living authentically. It contributes to self-harm, substance abuse, homelessness and even suicide amongst these youth.
I am here to partner with parents of LGBTQ+ kids who are needing support with their parenting journey.
I walk hand in hand with you along your journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and self-love. Those traits, I found are fundamental to your role as a guide for your LGBTQ+ child(ren). I become your trusted confidant and accountability partner. I will work with you to create a safe space in your hearts, in your homes and in your child’s world at large. I will also help you become the parent your child will be proud of.
I have compiled this FREE PDF
of 7 mistakes that many parents make when they find themselves at these crossroads. It is also available with your subscription to my newsletter. I hope you can find some answers in my words…
Thank you for reading, now it is time to take the necessary steps toward becoming the parent your beloved child needs. To do so, click this link and join me and other parents like you who are walking hand in hand on this journey.
Your first session is FREE, you have nothing to lose!
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I’ll see you inside 😉 Ciao!Dr. Lulu
The LGBTQ+ Parent Coach
Pediatrician, Mom, Ally