I watched this show for the first time last night. This was the end of the third episode and this was a difficult scene to watch. I think most people would be affected by a scene like this because it shows rejection and pain. It’s a bold scene, especially being portrayed by a black family.
I felt compelled to share this because I wonder if parents in these situations think about what their kid feels after they’ve taken a stand for what they believe in. I 100% believe that when things like this happen a lot of parents are hurt and upset – sad that they felt they were backed into a corner. I understand that side – as a matter of fact – I was ok with that rationale for a long time. I STOPPED being ok with that rationale when I realized that I was actually OK – that I liked myself, that I didn’t deserve to feel like there was something wrong with me.
While sorting through this phase, I would get really defensive and be ready to fire back with: oh really, I have a problem? That’s weird because I went to one of the best universities in the country, I’ve worked in professional sports, I’ve broken and set records. I have a masters degree… and so on.
But then I would be reminded that I had nothing to prove.
PSA to my LGBTQ+ Family: YOU HAVE NOTHING TO PROVE TO ANYONE.
In order to break this whole scene down, let me provide some context. Earlier in the show we see Temea and Patience hanging out. Temea invites her over to hang out and they kiss in her room before falling asleep on the floor. Nothing else happened. In the morning, her mom walks in and wakes them up and tells Patience she should be getting home before her mom starts to worry.
- It’s obvious that her mom has something on her mind. She knows something is going on with her daughter but instead of talking to her about it, asking questions and accepting what she already knows – she puts it on the other kid and hides behind church. What should have happened is the mom should have said, “hey, I want to talk to you about something.” Or “I want to ask you something.” Start the conversation and be strong enough to handle the answer. Do you realize how crushing it can be to realize that your hero (a parent) really isn’t one?
- If your kid tells you that they are gay or bi or trans or WHATEVER, it’s likely that they are NOT confused. It’s not a fun joke – it’s not an easy thing to say. It’s not to get back at you. It’s real. They don’t know why – and it has nothing to do with the way that you raised them. ABSOLUTELY ZERO TO DO WITH THE WAY YOU RAISED THEM. You can’t raise someone “right” in an effort to keep them from being gay. You can raise someone “right” in an effort to mold them into a great human being. The end of this clip kills me because Temea is trying to keep it light, hoping her mom will actually LOOK at her and see her.
- Kicking your kid out of the house is your prerogative. It’s your house. You pay the bills – I don’t necessarily have an issue with that principle – I certainly take issue with the reason behind it and the way it was delivered. It would have been exponentially better if the mom was like look, I know you are (because she does) – I love you, I always will and I accept you. You can’t live here because you know my religion, Jesus, etc… I’m conflicted… ANYTHING… I acknowledge that she started off with “I love you Temea” – the problem is the way it came out and the way her daughter heard it was: “I love you Temea, BUT.” THERE ARE NO BUTS. The blow of being kicked out could be lessened because at least you said the magic words: I love you and I accept you (no buts). It’s still a blow because you are in effect taking sides with someone you’ve never met based on stories believed to be true. But at least it’s something to hold on to.
- As an aside, Temea had also started running with gangbangers but she can live in the house and do that, NO ISSUES THERE.
- As a double aside, you don’t have to condone anything.
- And finally, your kid – the person you are supposed to love and be there for no matter what is in pain. Hurt and rejected by the person or people that are always supposed to be there. That’s a fail by you.
Kids go through this every. single. day. Someone, somewhere is out there alone because their parent didn’t accept them for who they are. I hate that about the world. I was never kicked out of the house – my timing and experiences were different. For example:
- My dad’s response when I decided to tell the truth was “What did I do wrong?” (you did nothing wrong dad)
- My mom cried in our kitchen when I told her I was seeing a woman. (nobody ever wants to make their mom cry)
- My grandma told me that the person I was seeing wasn’t welcome at her house. (that was unfortunate)
- I was trapped in a room undergoing prayer for what seemed like eternity. (one of the worst moments of my life)
Things happen. Some of those things happened 20 years ago. I’m a better parent and stronger person because of it. Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE my family – SO MUCH. They are wonderful and loving and supportive. I would die for any one of them. They have accepted my wife and kids, they love me and I know it. That doesn’t mean I forgot or ever will. I won’t.
And neither will your kid.
Think about that.