An Introverted Actress

When I Am A Parent... (A response to Love, Simon)

I went to see the film Love, Simon last night. I was invited by Gay Times Magazine (Thank you!!!) who have interviewed me in the past and I did an Instagram takeover for them back when I was in The Addams Family. I was honoured to have been asked to attend their screening of this new movie that I'd heard so much about. I've not read the book (originally Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda) so the only thing I knew about it was that it was the story of one boy's complicated experience in coming out. I don't want to spoil anything (and I won't!) but as the majority of coming out stories go, there comes a time when you tell your family. Your mum. Your dad. Either or both. The people we look to for approval on nearly everything we do. Even in present day, I'll stand in changing rooms in clothes stores, desperately angling my body and the movable mirror on hinges behind me, to get the best snap of myself in the dress that I'm already very much in love with, just to send to my mum to get her final seal of approval. I won't hand over my debit card until mum's text back with the all clear. I think the majority of us know what it's like to desperately seek approval from the people you love so much that you couldn't bare to see any hint disappointment in their eyes. Now, I'm not gay. Apart from kissing a few girls in my brief existence, I'm pretty sure I don't fit on the LGBT+ spectrum anywhere. So, I can't imagine what that conversation is like. To sit my mum and dad down, and reveal a part of myself that has always been there, that they've never seen. Knowing my awesome parents, they'd be cool with it...which brings me onto why I'm writing this blog. Although, it's less of a blog and more of a vow...

When I am a parent, I vow to love my kid(s) unconditionally. That means, if they come home from school one day, sit me down and tell me that they're gay, I'm going to wrap my arms around them and tell them that I love them. I'm going to say that they're still the same person as yesterday. Maybe even more so than yesterday because today they're not keeping secrets. Today that weight has been lifted and they can be more themselves than they've ever been before.

When I'm a parent, I not only vow to love my child no matter what their sexuality, I vow to create an environment in which they don't feel like it's a secret that ever needs to be kept. From the moment they are born I will make sure they grow up knowing that whoever they turn out to be will always be fine with me. 

When I am a parent, not only do I vow to love my child no matter what their sexuality and to create a safe and loving environment in which they know they can tell me anything, I vow to not make being straight seem like the default. Love, Simon brings up the very valid point that straight people never have to come out, so why does anyone else? Why is it only the people who don't identify as heterosexual that have to go through that terrifying time in which they feel they may lose everything just because of who they are? With regards to sexuality, we still often look at the people like they're iPhones, with default settings. Go to Settings> Sexuality> Flip Straight to LGBT+. No. No, no, no. No two people on this planet are the same. People do not have default settings. Straight isn't the default. So, I vow that my kid(s) will know that just because mum is straight, that's not an example. That's just me (and as someone who has happened to mainly date bisexual guys...it genuinely may just be me!). Whatever their sexuality, that is their default and mum won't tell them otherwise. She won't let anyone else either. 

Our generation and, even more so, the generation below us are more tolerant and more accepting than ever and so I know I'm not alone in making these vows. There will always be people who won't listen. People who will deny the undeniable and try to change the unchangeable but there will come a day when we'll outnumber them a thousand to one. A day the the voices of love, acceptance and hope will drown them out. We're very much already on the way there. 

I may not identify as LGBT+ and I may have never had to come out but I am a firm and unwavering ally and I have a part to play. I have a responsibility. So, when I am a parent, a mum with a child, who comes home and tells me they're gay, I will wrap them up in my arms like I did when they were a baby, I will look down at them and I will still see the same person. I will still see my child and I will still love them. 

Not a thing will have changed. 

xxx












16 comments

  1. This is so true. I believe this entirely. I'm straight yet I still believe in equality. All my friends: straight, bi, gay, whatever know that they are welcome to be them around me and that I encourage it. I feel everyone should have a space to be them and that this should be excepted. It makes me so feel so angry that we have to fight for the right to be human and that we have to make a point of writing our acceptance and telling people that there is no normal in a person. I will fight for the rest of my life for everyone to be them and hope the rest of the world will join me.

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  2. I wish my parents (Especially my mum) had had this same attitude when I came out as Bisexual. I knew how they would react, so I hid it for most of my life, until someone I thought I could trust told them behind my back. I then got the whole "attention-seeker" speech, about how I don't know my feelings and that I should stop trying to follow a trend. I think, if they had reacted how Carrie said she would, our relationship would be much better, and I wouldn't be hiding the fact I have the most wonderful girlfriend in the world

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  3. I'm lesbian and married to the most wonderful woman (our one year aniversary is just coming up!) and out of all my relatives only my parents know that I'm married. We had a small but lovely wedding with a couple of close friends. I haven't been able to tell my grandparents, aunts, or uncles, and keeping such a big part of my life a secret from my relatives has been so hard. It is so difficult to live like this, but I'm so happy to see people younger than me be braver and happier and more settled.

    Just because there has been progress we don't want to become complacent though. I'm luckily to live in a country were same sex marriage is legal in the first place. For others their identity could still be a death sentence. Keep fighting the good fight!

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  4. This is amazing. I identify as a lesbian and my whole family know. Someone (annoyingly) outed me to my parents but I have never been more scared. My whole family know now and they are the most supportive bunch! I feel insanely lucky! At first my mum was unsure but now she’s come to terms with it and it’s great! I have no secrets from my family now and feel like our relationship is stronger than ever.

    I just wish more people were on the same page as you when it comes to this topic.

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  5. As always it's a pure pleasure to read your words. And it made me tear up. That's exactely how I vow to do it as well. Can't wait for you album and to go to your concert on April 1st <3

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  6. Oh I do love you Carrie. Such an amazing post xx

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  7. I absolutely love this and are in exactly the same position as you are. Heterosexuality isn't normal, just common. Love is love and nobody should feel the need to 'come out' because if someone is in love and shows that person to friends and family, its just that. Plain simple. Hopefully more people will understand that more and more these days :) thank you for this beautiful piece of writing! X

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  8. Carrie, I absolutely love your positive attitude towards the community. One day you'll be a wonderful mother xx

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  9. This is everything! I’m in my second year at university and have only just come to accept that I’m not straight, I’m bisexual. I’m currently seeing a girl and I was terrified to tell my family. I was scared about telling my friends at uni but they were all so accepting. But the thought of telling my family made me worry so much! I told my mom crying as she was dropping me off at the station for me to go back to uni. She seemed to accept it. She didn’t react badly and she just asked all the usual questions you would when your child is dating someone. I feel so much better after telling everyone who matters to me. I still worry about it every now and then but it feels like such a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that I don’t have to hide my feelings

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  10. My mum is very new to the whole LGBTQ+ thing, and by that I mean that I guess she doesn’t really understand it, but she is very supportive and loving no matter what. The way I came out to her as pansexual was that I was very drunk and angry, and I just texted her. She didn’t even know pansexuality existed until then, but she told me that she had known for a while I wasn’t straight, and even if I hadn’t actually hidden it, she had still respected my space and given me time to tell her myself if I wanted to. The reason I was angry the day I told her was because my dad can be a bit of a twat to be frank, and he had told me that he would be okay with me if I was a lesbian, but not with my brother if he was gay. I don’t resent him anymore, because I know that he was raised to be a twat, and I’m done trying to change it. I know that if my brother was gay, my mum and me would support him. I also think he knows that I would fight my dad until my last breath to protect him, haha!

    Now, my point is that although I don’t have the kind of parents who would send me to conversion therapy or anything, I can still see other members of our big and beautiful LGBTQ+ Family who don’t have it as “easy” as I do, who face prosecution every day. I wish I could change how their parents feel and behave, but I can’t. Instead I hope that they know that we in this beautiful rainbow family, and those who support us like you do, are here no matter what.

    To anyone who may read this: I know it’s hard, and you shouldn’t have to fight this battle. But now that you do, because you have to, know that we are here to fight alongside you. I love you all

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  11. This was beautiful! Thank you for just being you

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  12. Alice ๐ŸŒˆ5 April 2018 at 07:31

    This is so beautiful Carrie - I'm close to gushing ๐Ÿ’ž

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  13. Everyone should just be able to go to their mum/ dad and say I would like you to meet my girlfriend/ boyfriend and it be normal whether you are gay or straight and cut out the bit where you have to say I'm gay

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