My amazing daughter. Alternate title: I don’t think you’ll have a problem with this at all but if you do you can fuck all the way off.

A few years ago when Hailey was 12 she announced that she had something to tell me over breakfast.

“I’m gay.”

I responded with “Okay.  But could you hand me the syrup?”

I suspect she was disappointed in my reaction because it was scary for her to say out loud but it didn’t really affect me for two reasons.  One: At that time it seemed like lots of very young kids were coming out and I was a little concerned that for some of them it was an identity they were just trying on.  It worried me for kids who really are LGBTQ if a ton of young people came out and then later decided they were straight and that being LGBTQ was just a fad.  And two:  Because I’m not an asshole.  I support all people.  I’m openly bi myself.   I told Hailey that it wasn’t an issue but that maybe until she was older she should embrace the “no labels” concept.  Ironically, the “no labels” idea requires you to label yourself as not having a label but it felt right at the time and I was very proud of the way that Victor and I handled this, which was by not handling it at all because it wasn’t a big deal.

Except?  It is a big deal.  Maybe not to me or you, but to her.  And by not taking it seriously and discussing it I think she thought that we didn’t care, or that we didn’t think it was important.  It’s easy for me to say that the world is so much more open and caring than every before but that ignores the fact that everything a teenage girl goes through is viewed through the lens of low self-esteem and fear and shame and hormones and that is all magnified if there’s also an otherness that you are carrying around with you…a fear that comes every time she explains who she is.  Everything in junior high sucks but there’s an added layer of hell that comes with knowing you’re not like everyone else.

Hailey is very lucky.  We support her fully.  She’s out at school and has friends who support her.  Her family loves her.  There are communities she can join and there are far more out kids in her school than there ever were when I was growing up.  Today there are parades and twitter trends and celebrations.  It’s different and better and I’m so thankful to the people who’ve come before her who have made this path so much easier for her.

I’ve never been to a Pride parade. I’m not a parade girl.  I’m not a people girl.  But last year I told Hailey we should all go.  Victor and I were ready.  She was not.  She was out to her friends but not loudly out, and she worried about what would happen if kids from her school saw her there.  I explained that tons of straight people and queer allies go to those parades.  I reminded her that I was bi.  I told her it might be good for her to see difference celebrated.  She thought about it for a while but decided she wasn’t ready for that yet.

And I understand it.

The concept of Pride is a weird one for me too…the idea of celebrating something that is as simple as who you love.  It’s weird that it’s still something that has to be fought for, that we’re still in a place where it’s considered brave to be exactly who you are.    But at the same time, there is so much shame and prejudice around sexuality that it’s necessary to loudly support all people in order to combat the hate that still exists out there.

So we let Hailey take the reins on how she wants to tell her own story.  Over the past few years she’s become more confident in who she is and the fear is still there, but it is not as great as her need to be loved and accepted for who she is.  Today she told me that she would be okay with me telling this part of her story.  In fact, she said, it would make her happy.

And that makes me happy.  You’re only as happy as your saddest child, after all.

Having a teenager is hard.  You fuck up all the time.  I think maybe I shouldn’t have acted like it was no big deal when she told me.   Maybe I should have recognized that even though it wasn’t a big deal to me it was a big deal to her.  I don’t know.  I only know that I’m trying my best and that I will do anything to create a safe passage for her.  As safe as can be.

Hailey is now 14.  She is openly a lesbian.  After two years I can tell you it isn’t a fad.  It’s part of who she is.  It’s one of many amazing parts that make up the brilliant woman she is becoming.  She is a singer, and actress, an honor roll student.  She works lights for the theater.  She has a temper.  She can whistle.  She is too young to date but one day she’ll make a great girlfriend to a lucky girl.  She stands up for others.  She can’t keep her room clean.  She memorizes dramatic monologues for fun.  She wears braces for bad ankles and is taking Opera lessons and loves her pets and can’t write in cursive and wants to be a neurosurgeon and adores American Horror Story (although I fast-forward through all the bad parts) and is so much more multifaceted than anyone sees.  The same as all kids her age, I suppose.

She’s my daughter and I am so very proud of her.  I hope you are too.

990 replies. read them below or add one

  1. Jenny, you and Victor are amazing parents and Hailey is an amazing person.

    Gaz recently posted Nature’s cheezels.

  2. Proud of her? I want her to run for president. And I’ll do my damndest to help make sure she wins!

    Jodie Utter recently posted Ending your too-long struggle with secrecy and shame: tell your hard story to break the heavy bonds of self-imposed silence and finally begin to heal fully..

  3. BRAVA! I’m crying. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  4. What a beautiful brave daughter you have. And this heartwarming tribute is giving me all the mom feels. Well done 👍🏻 to you both! 😍

  5. I am. And I am so proud of my own daughter, who is gay as well, and wants to save the world and make people’s lives better, one person at a time. Our girls can do just that.

  6. You’re amazing. ❤️💜❤️ And so is she!!!

  7. Congrats to you and Hailey, you are both lovely and we are all proud of you (and Victor too, just in case he feels left out).

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Palmer

    Kudos to all of you!

  9. Hang on. I am grabbing tissues. I think I have goosebumps. Happy tears. You are so accepting and sweet and that makes me cries. Here’s a trophy for parent of the year.
    Hailey, you are beautiful and amazing. Thank you for sharing and inspiring us. It’s nice to see diversity being celebrated, to counteract all the negative stuff happening in the world. If anyone ever teases you, they suck. And tell them you have an army of millions The Bloggess Tribe members behind you.
    If I see one negative comment, I’ll combust. Go away.

  10. You can bet your ass we’re proud of her!

  11. OMG, I’m crying. I’m so proud of her, and you, and even Victor. I had no idea you were bi, none. The love in your family just leaps right off the page. Thank you so much for being amazing parents and for being there for her. You’ve broken my heart in the best way possible today. Love you, Jenny.

  12. good for her for confidence and love!! xoxo

  13. I didn’t think it was possible, but I love you even more… Xxoo

  14. Hailey you are a wonderful girl! I am with your mom in that it isn’t a big deal and yet it is such a big deal…I firmly support everyone’s right to love whomever they choose and every person who loves proudly is helping make the world a little brighter…without light we lose to the dark and love shines brighter than anything else!

  15. Hailey is wonderful and has wonderful parents. Love to all of you!

  16. But did she pass you the syrup? And were you having waffles or pancakes?

  17. This is wonderful! My son came out to me last year. Hailey, thank you for sharing your story. You are a beautiful young woman on the outside and inside!

  18. Lovely piece. And if it makes you feel any better, when my daughter came out to me (she was around the same age as Haley was), I misheard her. (I wear hearing aids and they don’t always help.) Anyway, she was trying to tell me she was pansexual. But I didn’t hear her correctly and couldn’t make sense of what she was saying. “What? What? Your pants don’t fit? What does that have to do anything?” She gamely said it louder and THEN I heard. She has lots of support from her friends and family too but thank goodness that moment was several years ago. Because I had suspected she was and was, at that moment, trying to let her know I’d be supportive no matter what. But I had never heard the word “pansexual” and thought she was changing the subject to tell me that her pants don’t fit.

  19. I didn’t think it was possible, but I love you even more… Xxoo

  20. Go Hailey, go! I wish her all the happiness in the world. (One day, with a wonderful lady who’ll know how lucky she is to have her.)

  21. ❤️❤️❤️

    Leah recently posted Backstory or Why it Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time.

  22. You all are lucky to have each other!! My teen daughter came out over breakfast too. I feel like there should be a name for that… petit dejeuner special, maybe?

    askyermom recently posted Truth or Blarney: Halloween in 1895 was essentially a lame party with apples.

  23. You are a terrific mom of a beautiful daughter. My daughter’s 19 and we couldn’t be prouder of her. Her character and intellect have consistently amazed me. Her high school and later her college girlfriends have been welcomed into our family. You did great Mom.

  24. What a wonderful story, and what a wonderful daughter you have, and what a wonderful mother you are. My daughter came out to me at around the same age. She was afraid to tell me because she thought I would hate her (which shattered my heart into a million tiny pieces), but how could I hate a child who I’d birthed, who I’d watched grow up into a lovely, sweet, empathetic, funny, sassy, smart, talented young lady? It made me realize how horrible a parent must be to be able to look their child in the eye and say “You are no longer my child”. I thought of her statement in the way you thought of your daughter’s – that maybe she was just trying on a persona. My daughter is 14 now, she’s bisexual, she’s quietly out (close family doesn’t know, a handful of her friends do), and she’s the most amazing young lady I’ve ever known.

  25. 25
    Adrienne Van Houten

    Proud of her and of you.

  26. I am kvelling (Yiddish for gleaning joy). Thanks so much for sharing Hailey’s glory.

    Burns the Fire recently posted All is well.

  27. <3

  28. Go Hailey! Go victor. Go jenny

  29. All Hail Hailey! You ROCK girl!

  30. As a many decades ally of the LGBTQ community, this post makes me furiously happy! Congrats to Hailey having the confidence to come out at such a young age, and to you and Victor for being the awesome parents that you are.

  31. You’re an amazing family, and Hailey is an amazing young woman. I’m sure she knows how proud you are of her– as you should be.

  32. I am so proud of Hailey!! From one lesbian to another: Youre doing great sweetie!!!

  33. 33
    A Nony Mouse

    Hailey is a beautiful girl and she sounds like a remarkable person. I’m sure that’s due in no small part to the fact that she has a remarkable mother. I won’t say don’t beat yourself up for your initial reaction to her announcement – that’s what parents do. But I think if Hailey didn’t understand why you reacted that way before, she will now when she reads this. Hailey, love the pics. Your shirt is great and you and Dorothy Barker look absolutely darling.

  34. Stunning, brave, bad-ass. Super proud of her, and of you.

  35. I think your daughter is amazing. I adore your whole family.

    Amy recently posted Week 6 Results.

  36.         Ps. You just posted it in your blog. Isn’t it safe to say she’s loudly out now ?    
    

    (Yep. 🙂 ~ Jenny)

  37. This was so beautiful, Jenny. Thank you and Thank Hailey for sharing her story.

    Chrissy Woj recently posted Things I did when I was seventeen.

  38. I wish I had had you for parents when I was a teen

  39. This is a beautiful tribute to the human you made! My daughter came out last year at 12 years old, as well. She was lucky to have great supportive friends and her father and I who love her exactly the way she came. Wishing your family all the light and love possible! We are excited to attend our first Pride event in 2019 and show our love and support for the whole community. I am thinking about having a free mom hugs booth for people who just need a mom hug!

  40. Proud of all of you. ♥

    Jenny Williams recently posted Silvia.

  41. 41
    MistressMousey

    Hailey is as beautiful, inside and out, as they come, and I’m not only saying that so that you’ll post more videos with her brilliant laughter in them (though if you want to do that, I’m down). Tell her she’s a hero for me. Also, tell me where she got that t-shirt, because it’s awesome. And then smile a little brighter, because you’re doing something right to raise such an amazing person!

  42. You are amazing parents to an amazing kiddo. Raising a teenage girl is HARD FUCKING WORK and I’m super proud of you. And you can always come to Seattle and attend Pride here. My kiddo and her dad have been walking in it for years, long before she was out to us as Bi. We raise her to be loving and accepting of all types, though admittedly we all struggle with accepting those who do not accept us (work in progress).

  43. My Mom can’t whistle. You are one furiously blessed Mom. Don’t regret how you responded. Sometimes there is no right or wrong just what happened and where you go from there. Thank you for being a bright light of honesty to this Mom.

  44. Hailey, I’m awfully proud of you. (I’m just a random internet person, so that has no weight in the real world, but I’m proud just the same.) Keep being true to your awesome self. <3

  45. 45
    Seniorgreymom

    You have an amazing young woman!

  46. Gorgeous post. Thank you to you and Hailey for sharing your story. As a parent of teens, I completely understand the fucking up and the desire for safe passage. I just love them so much you know? Doing the best I can, and celebrating the best of them, in solidarity with you.

  47. What a wonderful story. Halley is so lucky to have y’all and y’all are so lucky to have such an amazing daughter. Congrats to you all. ❤️💜💙🌈

    LAL recently posted Tis The Season.

  48. I love how much love you and Victor have for your child, and how completely you accept her for who she is. That makes all the difference, doesn’t it. Building a better world one child at a time. Well done.

  49. What a lovely tribute to your beautiful daughter. Hailey is in a supportive, loving home with parents who accept all facets of her personality and life. It should be that way for all children.

    babbsela recently posted Book Lover T-Shirt Reading is My Happy Place Unisex by BabbselasDesigns.

  50. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  51. ALL THE YES. So much support and pride. What an amazing young lady. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

  52. Im mom to a fabulous unicorn too <3 You are both amazing. One of the bravest things a person can do is unapologetically embrace who they are <3

  53. I’m very proud of my adopted princess Iwish Haley the best in life and all haters can hmm off! May godbless you both I can relate its OK god loves us all and I love you all keep shining my beautiful princesses be you gay lesbian bisexual or transgender sorry for my spelling I fared love you allbe kind be nice but stay strong and honestim not perfect just a old disabled man but I’m very proud of you all

  54. I am so glad she feels comfortable letting her full story be known. We often take for granted what living our full truth really means. At 14 she is getting a head start on a lot of us. Keep showing her what living as part of the Rainbow means. Let her lead her own story. You know, basically just keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

    Denise recently posted Lucky Lady....

  55. 55
    Brittany Perkins

    awww, this made me cry. I wish my mom would have been as supportive as you! You and Hailey are both amazing people that I am so lucky to have met! Tell Hailey You go girl! for me 🙂

  56. Beautiful story, beautiful daughter. We do our best with this parental role. Always second guessing ourselves. There’s no manual (unfortunately). Keep doing you.

  57. 57
    East Coast Girl

    I am crying. She is a beautiful soul.

  58. 58
    g2-f5b6a36d37f0bc42e50e8c954fc0dd70

    You have raised an amazing woman.

  59. Beautiful story, beautiful family, beautiful girl!!!

  60. All the heart emojis go here.

  61. <3 <3 <3

  62. Could not be more proud if she was my own daughter. So many girls her age have no idea who they are and spend most days trying so hard to be someone else. Seems like she and you were matched perfectly for life. There is a reason all other animals send their young off into the world and never hear from them again. Parenting is hard. Loving is hard.

  63. “Except? It is a big deal. Maybe not to me or you, but to her. And by not taking it seriously and discussing it I think she thought that we didn’t care, or that we didn’t think it was important. It’s easy for me to say that the world is so much more open and caring than every before but that ignores the fact that everything a teenage girl goes through is viewed through the lens of low self-esteem and fear and shame and hormones and that is all magnified if there’s also an otherness that you are carrying around with you…a fear that comes every time she explains who she is. Everything in junior high sucks but there’s an added layer of hell that comes with knowing you’re not like everyone else.”<<

    Thank you for this. <3

  64. What a wonderful girl, and what a wonderful mama she has.

    maggie recently posted 36 hours.

  65. Welcome, youngling! There are so many of us out here who can’t wait to celebrate you at our next PRIDE event – even if it’s only in our hearts.

  66. Please tell Hailey “thank you” for trusting us enough to share this part of herself. You’re lucky to have her as a daughter and she’s lucky to have you for parents.

    Library Heather recently posted In which I discuss pancakes and librarianship..

  67. I think Hailey is extremely lucky to have supportive parents and circle so she can be herself. In a world that will not always be kind, having a soft place to land is important.
    HIgh school is a hard place for the LGBTQ community. ROCK ON HAILEY with your awesome self and let the haters hate themselves. Because that’s who they truly hate anyway.

  68. “You’re pretty. Here, have a taco.”

  69. She is everything lovely and wonderful, and kids like her give me hope for the future.

  70. Great parents, great kid. Well done everyone.

  71. She seems like a wonderful kid!

  72. 72
    David W Gant

    Maybe my favorite post that you have ever written and I love them all…

  73. Her smile lights up the room. She is so lovely and I am so proud of her. You and Victor are wonderful parents.

  74. It makes me so happy to see a parent who loves their child no matter what instead of the kinds of parents I grew up with. Hailey is a beautiful girl and she has wonderful parents! Thank you for sharing her story 🙂

  75. I’m glad she felt comfortable enough with herself to allow you to publish this. As a result, she’s got an international support system that will be there for her for the unfortunately inevitable time that some jackass treats her poorly because of who she loves. Keep being awesome, Hailey! We’ve got your back.

  76. She is beautiful!!

  77. What a great story! I’m 100% hard core thinking now…my niece told me she was pan this summer and my response was okay. I’ve been worried ever since…as she lives in a different city I see her maybe once a year and maybe she doesn’t know that my okay is b/c to me it is not something she should have to announce to the world. I love her one way or the other and whoever she loves is just that who she loves. Thanks, for the words I have a lot of thinking to do.

  78. You’re a wonderful mom and you both have support from our strangle little family in Or.

  79. Hailey is amazing girl and you guys are amazing parents. Honestly, I don’t see why this should even matter. She is Hailey and she is beautiful. Who she loves doesn’t change anything and I don’t know why people make a fuss about this – one is who one is; nothing to be ashamed of; nothing to be proud of. Hailey is just … Hailey! And she is wonderful!
    ❤❤❤

  80. Hailey, your parents are so proud of you, and so are all of us who have caught glimpses of your life over the years.

  81. Thank you for sharing this Hailey, Jenny, and Victor! What a wonderful family you are.

    Emily Guy Birken recently posted What I Read: July Through September.

  82. So much love to all of you.

  83. I’m so happy for all of you! Life is better with loving and supportive people in it.

  84. You are the people that make the world worthwhile! Go forth, Hailey, and build the world you want to see!

  85. Amazing parents = an amazing kid. While my heart breaks for those kiddos who don’t have the love and support you show your daughter, she’s been blessed with parents who are the best in what parents should be.

  86. 💖💕😘✌❤

  87. You are ALL loved. She’s amazing. You’re wonderful. Hugs all around.

  88. As the parent of a 17 yo struggling to find their place as a non-binary, maybe trans, maybe gay person, thank you for sharing this aspect of Hailey’s life. I appreciate your honesty that as parents we fuck up all the time. Today I feel like a real fuck up, but it’s nice to know I’m not alone! Proud of Hailey, Victor and you!

  89. 89
    Lavonne Weller

    She’s beautiful and all that, but she can whistle?!? Now that’s something to celebrate! I think we should have parades for people who can whistle! (Seriously, I can only whistle by sucking air IN rather than blowing it out, and even at that it’s a crapshoot whether any sound will come out.) I hugely admire people who can whistle.

  90. I am 41 and still can’t keep my room clean. Solidarity, Hailey! So glad she has such excellent, supportive parents and some good friends.

  91. At a time when I’ve felt we’ve made no progress at all, this reminds me that we have.

  92. She’s magnificent. As are you.

  93. Your love is blinding. So awesome.

    Brian recently posted you’re so fucking special.

  94. Not that you really need our validation, but if she were just a fraction as awesome as her mother, she would be amazing! She is that and more. You and Victor did good, Jenny.

  95. 95
    Jami Shofner

    HAYULL YAYUH!! This made me smile/tear! I am a major proponent of letting your children be independent people! My daughter is a senior in high school, and is a theater geek who sings and also sometimes does stand-up. One of her avowed principles when doing comedy is to make as many adults uncomfortable as she can. So, she did this bit at last New Year’s Day “100 1st JOKES” show in Austin:
    “When I tell people I’m 95% lesbian, they always ask what that means. So I’m going to tell y’all what that means: It means I really love women, but I wouldn’t turn down a chance to fuck Vin Diesel or Jason Momoa.”

  96. I am abso-fucking-lutely proud of her. From what I know of her, she is an amazing young woman. I hope that my nieces are as brave as she when they are her age.

    Hailey, you are a ROCKSTAR.

  97. All the stories you tell about her make her seem like an amazing young woman and I’d say you’re doing an awesome job raising her. Also I love her shirt in those pictures.

  98. She’s grown up in front of more people than most people ever will, and Ihope she knows there’s nothing but love from this side of the glass

  99. 99
    Fictionfiend

    I am gay, too, although I didn’t figure it out until way later.
    Welcome to the family, Hailey. <3

  100. 100
    Cynthia Turner

    You handled her coming out really well- except for the “no big deal” part! You are correct, Ma- it is a VERY BIG deal to a young person, coming to terms with her sexuality in general! As you know now! I am in awe of all parents who love and support their children. You and Victor are amazing . Isn’t it sad, though, that there are still people who feel they have to hide who they are from the world? And worse, from their family.
    Tell Hailey she absolutely has a divine right to BE WHO SHE IS! 🔆🔆🔆🔆

  101. So much love to you, Victor and Hailey! What an amazing family you are!!❤️❤️❤️

  102. <3

    Cris recently posted We could just say NO.

  103. 103
    Samantha Shoop-Volz

    I am crying. What a beautiful family.What a beautiful life. Congratulations to both of you for being such an inspiration!

  104. I am much more blown away by the news she takes opera lessons! That is a fairly marvelous thing. She sounds like an amazing younvg woman and I am glad to know she is in the world.

  105. Hailey is beautiful inside and out. I’m “proud” of the three of you!

  106. I hope my daughter grows up just like her.

    Well, I mean, not just like her. That would be some weird doppleganger shit. But you know.

  107. 107
    Lalena Daigneault

    I love everything about this. So much.

  108. 108
    yertlebturtle

    This is a wonderful story, and she is a beautiful young woman. You can be very proud of her!! Being of the generation where this was never thought about or talked about, I am so proud that we have come this far (still a long way to go!) and everyone who’s ready can be who they are.

  109. I’m so proud of Haley! She sounds like a wonderful person and it’s great she has such supportive parents.

    My child came out as transfeminine/non binary a few years ago and I worried that I was a little too low key in my response as well. I completely support them and wondered if I made it seem like no big deal, which of course, it was to them. They’re now 19 and away at college and doing great!

  110. I always feel a little weird being proud of people’s kids when I only know them through their limited online presence, but I’m so proud of Hailey. She’s awesome.

  111. So wonderful to be open. I wish I’d been supported when I was growing up. Instead I was shunned and basically ignored. Many of us are Bi when the right one comes along. You are a strong and wonderful family and role model!

  112. Thank you for sharing your truth with us Hailey!!! You are amazing and will do great things!!!

  113. Love all of this!!!!!

  114. 114
    Sholeen Nett

    I agree, I can’t wait until we don’t need parades. But in the meantime I’ll be marching right along with my rainbow and my pink pussy hat and my black lives matter sign!

  115. Please tell her that this 53 year old lesbian is damn proud of her! I wish I could have voiced that when I was her age…it took me till I was 22 to figure it out and put a name on it. You both are great parents and she is is a fantastic young woman!

  116. Lady – never apologize for raising a strong, confident, and good human being. Our kids are the ones that will fix the mess we’ve made of the world.

  117. One of our sons is gay. He didn’t come out until he was in college. When he told us, we jumped up and down in celebration and hugged him tight. We are enormously proud of him for being exactly who he is. Our only condition…. he still has to provide us a few grandchildren. Surrogate. Adoption. Who cares. We want babies!!! 👶🏼👶🏽👶🏾

  118. I’m absolutely proud of her. Hailey, don’t ever let anyone tell you NOT to be who you are, or that it’s not enough. It’s magical.

  119. 119
    Amber Lafrance

    I’m very proud of you, for being the light she can see no matter where she goes. Hailey – you just keep on being fantastically, amazingly you!

  120. Hailey – continue to embrace who you are and appreciate the amazing parents that you have!

  121. If your child ( or my child) is lucky enough to find someone that she loves that loves her back and they treat each other well the rest is just details.

  122. Of course I’m proud. Good on ya kid!
    I am a mother to an amazing daughter who just happens to be bisexual. I was kind of sad that she had to come “out” at all. I can’t imagine having to sit down and tell my parents, “Hey guys, I’m straight!”. Hell, I didn’t want them to have ANY knowledge about my love life at all! Damn, I’m 48, and I’ve been married for 29 years. And guess what? I still don’t want them contemplating about my love life. LOL
    All I want for my child (and yours) is a loving partner who appreciates the fantastic being that she is. I want that for everyone.

  123. You and your family are such wonderful, amazing people. The world could use more people like you!

  124. My daughter is 11 and exclaims fiercely that she is gay, despite unrequited crushes and tense elementary school personnel. I had the same thoughts as you, is she just testing her identity? Time will tell. No matter what, I tell her that she can exclaim that she is a giraffe for all I care, I love her just the same. Our girls ROCK! Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

  125. God bless you all! You are wonderful parents and have raised her well. Best wishes and Godspeed on the incredible journey through this all!

  126. Oh, Jenny, I don’t comment often, but I am now. You have done so much to make me feel not alone and ready to handle my mental illness, work, parenting, and negotiating everyday life. You’ve made me laugh so many times and helped me find that still center of acceptance. Now you also are the mom of a Queer young teenager, and that is something else we share. You are a gift to me, and a gift to so many out there. Thank you for sharing your perspective and your ups and downs. Your daughter is an amazing soul. Her pictures glow with purpose and beauty. She’s got this.

  127. 💛🧡❤️💜💙

  128. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ All the love for Hailey – and you for being an awesome mom! Xxxxxx

  129. Quite simply, Hailey is an amazing, delightful, inspirational young person and I’m sure she understands that while you don’t care who she loves (genderwise) you care about her happiness and comfort and being who she is. <3
    I adore your entire family and my personal challenges always seem a little easier to bear when I remember what you all overcome every day.

    Shannon akaMonty recently posted WOO! BOOK REVIEW!.

  130. Hailey is a super cool girl and we’re all rooting for her.

  131. Such an amazing story. I feel honored that Hailey felt that she could have you share her tale with us. She’s beautiful and has amazing parents. Yo love and support her and that’s what matters.

  132. I’m so glad that I took the time to read this… I think I would have also defaulted to acting like it’s no big deal (because to me it isn’t) but I think you are correct in that not being the best response. My kiddos are 8 & 10 and while we’ve not had this conversation, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do in the next few years. I’ll try to remember reading this and handling it with the grace of yourself and Victor. I’ve always admired Hailey for unabashedly embracing the joy in the world that others might consider “odd” or “weird” and now I have another reason to admire her!

  133. GAY DRAMA/CHOIR KIDS REPRESENT

  134. She is the epitome of grace. There isn’t a road map for how we should respond when people share their truths with us, but acceptance and love and compassion (and maybe syrup?) are always the right response. Bless.

  135. This is awesome. I have a friend whose daughter came out to her and she’s supportive but bio-dad was a f*ck-nut (AKA a Clitwit). After a time, the daughter disowned bio-dad and was adopted by her stepdad. It was lovely. I’m hopeful reading all these wonderful supportive people here that we will all be the future of the world.

  136. 137
    Colleen Gilgenbach

    my niece was lesbian and then she was goth and then she was bi
    Who knows where life will lead you. What is soooo cool is her and your acceptance of who she is no matter what that might be or not be. YAY!

  137. Live your best, authentic life, Hailey! And thanks for this story–I might have been too cavalier about the declaration myself. Now I know.

    And knowing is half the battle. <– I couldn’t resist.

  138. Thank you for sharing this. My Hailey who is 12 came out as gay to me a week ago today. My response was “ok but you still need to study.”

  139. I am where you were two years ago. My daughter came out to me and her dad as bi this past spring, right before her 12th birthday. And I had a similar reaction to you – that we support her and love her no matter what and that it’s fine with us. But, I’ve been wondering, too, if perhaps it’s a phase to try on and see what it’s like, as we are in liberal eastern MA and it’s totally okay here. I still sometimes wonder if it’s a phase, but i don’t think it is. I’m so proud of her – she’s comfortable with who she is, she joined the Gay/Straight Alliance at school, and she’s told many of her friends. And I worry for her, but most of all I’m proud of her. And I’m proud for you, Victor and Hailey. But it is scary as a parent. No doubt about it.

  140. I’m so proud of her being able to be herself in the ways she needs. That she has has super supportive parents is everything. I’ve tried to make sure my son knows that he can always tell me anything and that no matter what I will love him through everything. With the age of social media, so many of our children are more mature, and relating to the outside world. I believe we have the power to help them and show so many more how to seek guidance in these trying times. Keep up the dialogue, listen with our hearts more and stay open minded.

  141. This. This is my life…with my oldest kiddo. We jokingly say he was the last one to figure out he was gay. And he’s amazing and so tolerant of his mom’s ‘ooooh, wanna go to the Pride parade?!?!?’ excitement. It’s really encouraging to watch him get more and more comfortable in his own skin. And while it’s nerve-wracking to balance my desperate need to shove a ton of support information down his throat versus letting him do him, it’s also so exciting. Kudos to her for sharing her story!!!

  142. 143
    karenbaratta

    she is truly wise beyond her years. i’m proud to call her “woman.” she has is beautiful, brilliant, talented and brave. go, hailey!

  143. HI CRYING HAPPY TEARS

    hugs for ALL OF YOU!

  144. After watching what my brother went through coming out I became a lot more understanding of what that takes. I am glad Haley gets the support she does on her life’s journey. You should be proud of your awesome kid.

  145. You and Victor are doing amazing and we’re all so proud of Hailey !

  146. 147
    SquallyGirl

    You’re doing everything right by her, momma. ☺️ She’s a beautiful person, both inside and out.

  147. Love to you and Victor and Hailey! Our oldest child came out to us as non-binary in the last year, after a long year of talking “around” the subject with us. They are also in a school that is very supportive of all the wonderful variety of being human. I’m so glad they are growing up in this world, and I hope we can keep it going for them!

  148. 149
    Jennifer Hood

    Such a beautiful story. I have twins (boy & girl) that are about the same age as Hailey so I can definitely relate to a lot of your stories. It’s definitely a different world for them and as a parent, its scary navigating them through it. Much love!

  149. Hailey is very lucky to have such loving and supportive parents. I wish you all only the best. Brava to you for using your public forum to hopefully open some minds and make the way easier for not only Hailey but for everyone who is forced by this society to be courageous in embracing their true selves.

  150. ❤️

  151. This just made me happy cry. Everyone deserves parents as lovely as you and Victor. Well done, Lawson’s! Well. Done. 🙌💗

  152. Well this made happy tears come to my eyes. So glad Hailey has accepting and loving parents. Also, important question, WHAT IS THE LIPSTICK HAILEY IS WEARING? Good god that shade is gorgeous.

  153. Absolutely beautiful! ❤️

  154. Honestly I think you responded much the same way I would have. My stepdaughter dated boys all through high school but came home on a break from college with a girlfriend. She never really “came out” and we never had that conversation but I think she knew that both her parents loved and accepted her. I wonder if she always knew but was afraid to own it until she was away at school.

    Maybe Hayley wanted more support 2 years ago but I think you did OK. You gave her unconditional love and acceptance.

  155. I remember so well the loneliness of undeclared difference, the fear, the interrogations of self. I am so proud of her, and I am so happy she has a family she say these truths out loud to ❤️

  156. Sending so much love and support to your family, and to all children and adults who struggle with their ‘otherness.’ You matter. You are here for a reason. You deserve happiness and love and all the good things. Jenny, I am so incredibly grateful to be a part of this tribe. We are living proof that even broken crayons can still color, and often the broken crayons are the most beautiful, because we may have been broken, but we shine on!

  157. ♥ but much bigger 🙂

  158. I’m so glad she has parents who love and accept her for exactly the young woman she is. I’m proud of her and I’m proud of you as a parent.

  159. I’m proud of all y’all. Awesome kid, awesome parents. Go forth and continue to be awesome.

  160. ALL THE LOVE!!!

  161. I am awestruck over being included as a witness to this part of your family’s life. This type of communication (on any topic) is not something that was encouraged; I never experienced it as a child, or even as an adult. Hailey is a remarkable, beautiful soul … and her parents helped her reach for the stars.

  162. Thanks so much for sharing a part of your story, Hailey! ❤️

  163. ❤️ from the mom of a 15-year-old gay son. We got this!

  164. It is so important to have support in those stages where you are really figuring yourself out (not limited to teenage years). Good for you, Victor, and Haley for navigating that safely.

    Wolf of Words recently posted Terrifier (2017).

  165. This broke my heart, in a good way. Much love to all three of you, plus pets.

  166. 💙💚💛💜❤️
    So much love for all of you. Go Hailey! Thank you for sharing do much of your loves with us.

  167. Love and hugs to Haley for embracing her true self, whatever form that takes. She’s very lucky to have such supportive and loving parents. Love to you all!

  168. But did she hand you the syrup? And might she be interested in dating a pretty freshman from Oregon? Maybe the distance is too big a hurdle for now, but I can dream of my daughter having fabulous in-laws like you all someday.

  169. You’re such a great mom. I hope to be as great a mom to my kids are you are to Hailey!

  170. After reading this blog post, I had to go back and change my like to a love on FB. This is amazing. Hailey is amazing. You are amazing. Be yourself without fear and shine bright. Love is love. You all have got this.

  171. Great and wonderful post! Your daughter is an amazing person no matter who she loves and I am so happy she has two parents that support her. Not everyone is as lucky, even in 2018 unfortunately.

    I understand why these celebrations and pride stuff exists and it is meant to fight for a good thing or is suppose to be a good thing , but for true equality to truly happen we also need to stop having those in my honest and brutal opinion. I support all walks of life (except for serial killers, pedos etc but even then perhaps they can be saved even?) and I respect everyone the same. I support and think we should be allowed to love whoever we choose. However, neither should be celebrated or made out to be ‘prideful’ I did not have to have some deep discussion with my parents on how I am heterosexual, and homosexuals or whatever it may be shouldn’t have to either. If it is true equality than it is the same for all. I fear the pride parades, social media hype or whatever it is actually more damaging. The more we hype it up I feel we are saying it is still different when really it is not to me. ‘Hi, I’m straight.’ ‘Cool, nice to meet you I am gay’ SWEET move on. I also have heard at some of these pride parades things can get a bit out of hand and way over the top. Like I don’t need to see a man walking down the street wearing a thong or whatever the eff to support trans, dressing as the opposite sex I am not sure what this proves??? to support LGBT because I also don’t want to see a woman doing that either. Some people are also way too sensitive and very quick to pull the homophobic card these day. Calling people hateful because they made a comment on two men making out in public. I am like maybe they are not homophobic they just don’t want people making out anywhere in public no matter the sexual orientation. I hope what I am saying makes sense. I am not hating on ayone, I just think sometimes these kind of events can be counterproductive. For true equality we all need to shut up about it and let people love or do whatever they please with no judgement. If it is the same as heterosexual than you don’t get a parade just like I didn’t get a damn parade.

  172. You go, Hailey! Be true to yourself, and with a mum and dad who love and support you, you can reach for the stars. Wishing all your family much happiness xxx

  173. Perfect just the way she is!

  174. I will tell myself you handled and are handling this relationship beautifully. I say this because I could have written almost the same story about my daughter. It’s wonderful and painful to watch children develop their understanding of who they are.

  175. She’s amazing and I thank her for sharing her story. You have a truly wonderful family.

  176. I LOVE YOU THREE!

  177. You’re all amazing and such a great family! Well done, Hailey, for recognizing your true self. You’re so lucky to have a family that loves and supports you for who you are. I hope my daughter feels the same way in her life too.

  178. Love this post! My 13-year-old has known he was gay since first or second grade. We always suspected and our hunch was confirmed when he was in fourth or fifth grade. Now he’s proudly out, and as we always say, it’s just one part of him. This is both the best and worst time to be LGBTQ. Sending hugs in solidarity!

  179. This is beautiful. And she is beautiful!

  180. Thank you for sharing this. Your family is beautiful and amazing, and it is so wonderful that you are so supportive and mindful. I have so many friends whose families turn their back on their children for being themselves. Much better to react too little than too much!

  181. Fantastic. Thanks for sharing, and to Hailey for being so brave.

    I’m staggered by your line “You’re only as happy as your saddest child.” Like, gasping. My daughter is struggling with Panic and Anxiety disorder and I am surprised by how miserable it has made me. This swept that all up into a statement I can understand.

    Thank you.

  182. Love. <3

  183. You are an amazing person, Hailey. So brave and talented. Some girl will be really lucky to have you some day. Nothing changes, you are still you. Much love

  184. ❤️😘

  185. And, just to clarify, I am NOT saying that being any part of LGBTQA+ means you are broken. It was my way of saying that those of us who are often struggling in their ‘otherness’ have seen some shit, if you will, and keep on going. And, whether that shit comes from being mentally ill, gay, too tall, too short, too skinny, too fat, too this-that-the-other, we keep living. There is great power in letting our weird lights shine, and knowing we are not as alone as we feel. This tribe makes me feel like finally, I have somewhere where even I can be me, without judgement.

  186. Proud of both of you! She is stunning, and talented and so incredibly blessed to have you and Victor as parents ❤️

  187. Y’all are great parents and I am so proud of u r daughter as well. My daughter came out to us as bi recently and though I already suspected for over a year now I know it must have been hard for her. However I took it similarly in stride as she approached me in the kitchen while I was cooking. I did hug her and tell her that was fine and I was proud to her for coming forward.we have friends who are gay and bi and I’ve always told my children that I would never judge them for choices or anyone else and would love them no matter what.

  188. 190
    Raw Dog & Bail

    You are an amazing parent and are raising an amazing daughter.

  189. Great post! She sounds like a great kid. I am specifically jealous of her ability to whistle. I can’t do that.

    theycallmetater recently posted Tater Takes on Political Christians.

  190. I am proud of your whole family! It should never be a issue who/what anybody identifies as. Power to her for not hiding. Power to you for letting H. take the lead on this.

  191. What a beautiful young woman and so lucky to have accepting parents. So glad she is feeling confident enough now to let you tell her story!

    Kat recently posted A Basic Blog Post.

  192. I’m so proud of her, and you and your husband! It is a big deal–and I’m so honored that she chose to share it openly with us. You are such a lovely family.

  193. You and Victor are wonderful parents and she is an amazing young woman.
    You are a beautiful family.

  194. My daughter just turned 15 a few months ago and we’ve had a similar experience. She is in the “unsure of who she is” catagory though and has friends who are gay, bi,and trans. Hubby was a very late bloomer and didn’t like girls until later in High School. She seems to be having the same experience. She’s had boyfriends and had a girlfriend last year. Each time she breaks up with them and says she just doesn’t have those feelings that everyone else has. I told her to just be patient and those feelings will eventually come for someone. I love her and accept her if she’s straight, gay, bi, or asexual. I’ve tried not to minimize her feelings when I tell her to just be patient because there’s no rush. She loves you and was asking to listen to Furiously Happy on the way home last night. She feels like you get her struggle with being the odd one at school. Thank you.

  195. So, so proud of her.

    I used to think, as a lesbian, I wasn’t allowed to be happy, to have an amazing wife, to have kids…my family grieved this and me as though I were dying. Fast forward to now, and I have that amazing wife, and a daughter, and I can’t imagine what it would have felt like to have parents like you guys. So I guess what I’m saying is…good job, mama. I’m proud of all of you. Let’s just love and accept our kids as they are, right? Is that so hard?

  196. Holy shit! Is it weird that I feel honored that she let us in? Fuck yeah Hailey!

  197. She is obviously becoming an amazing young woman. You are amazing. Parenting is hard and I think you are doing a great job!! As always, I wish you and your family nothing but the very best of everything!

  198. You are all lucky to have one another, and I am so grateful for you! I will share my favorite coming out story – my friend was (understandably) terrified to tell her mom she was gay, and when she finally did, her mom sighed and said “Honey, I don’t care if you’re a lizard. Just don’t shed on the sofa”. It always makes me giggle.

  199. This post brings me joy, and renews my faith in humanity. My daughter is 13 as well, and shared the news she is gay with me a year ago. She thought I would be upset with her, but I had much the same reaction as you…… I have always said, “you love who you love.”

    We haven’t marched in any parades, but if she asks to, I will gladly walk beside her. My daughter was so excited when the rainbow flag, and pan flag arrived. They hang in her room brightly.

  200. Congratulations Hailey on living your truth and generally being awesome! As an out and proud, happily married lesbian myself, I can tell you that the world is full of magic and wonder and love and occasional heartbreak and that it is all a wonderful adventure and even better when you can walk through the world strong in the knowledge of who you are. Be bold and kind, dear, the world needs more like you!

  201. Your daughter is awesome and you guys are great to be so supportive! It makes my heart happy and I wish Hailey all the best in love and life!

  202. This just made me cry! So happy for you and your beautiful daughter. My favourite saying at the moment is “We contain multitudes” and that is so very true of Hailey. I wish her all the best for love and happiness in the future.

  203. She’s perfect. ❤️

  204. “….and is so much more multifaceted…”
    Like the diamond she is. Shine on, sweet girl, the world needs your light!

  205. So, so, so proud of her. She’s amazing. Watching her grow up through your stories is a privilege. She’s so talented and brilliant, and I wish I had a fraction of her courage and self possession and intelligence at her age. And now. Or ever.

  206. This is brilliant. Congratulations, Hailey! I didn’t come out till much later and I was still terrified (My mom almost immediately asked me what was up with Lady Gaga, because apparently all queers know about Lady Gaga). I hope you find so much love and happiness in your life.

  207. <3

  208. Your daughter is awesome and you guys are great for being so supportive. I didn’t know that much about myself at her age so I’m in awe of how together she is. I hope she had the best in love and life!

  209. 211
    Laurel White

    YAY Hailey!!! YAY Mom!!! YAY Dad!!! Thank you for trusting us. Sending you all lots of L O V E

  210. 212
    Natasha Mascara

    Hailey sounds like an awesome young woman. She is courageous and I’m so proud of her. ❤️❤️❤️

  211. I came out as bi when I was 13. My mom cried and told me that she was worried if I would ever have children. My dad told me that it was a phase and I was doing it for attention. When I brought my first girlfriend home he refused to look at her. He still tells me that being bisexual is not a thing. I’m 19 and out happily to my moms side of the family and my friends. I’m in a long term relationship and planning my life with a guy who knows I’m bi and understands. My dad’s side of the family will never know. My grandmother happily uses gay slurs and will pull people aside to tell them why she thinks they’re going to hell. My aunts and extended family too. I still love them but it sucks to not be fully myself.

    Hailey is ia very lucky kid to have parents like you and Victor. She’s a good kid with a good heart.

  212. 214
    Melanie Woodall

    Love this.

  213. Whoo-hoo! Welcome to our team, Haley! You look a lot like your mom, which is a really good thing.

  214. Thank you, Hailey, for sharing this part of your story and your self. Being yourself and sharing it with the world makes it a better place, without question. And thank YOU, Jenny, for sharing YOUR part of this story. I recently had a near-identical conversation with my own pre-teen daughter and had very much the same reaction you did. This is some wonderful food for thought on how I can make it clearer to her that I genuinely embrace ALL of her.
    So much love to you all, thank you for being brave and awesome, thank you for being yourselves and choosing to share it with so many of us.

  215. i see the change in society. even my most conservative friends don’t really care who loves who(m?). it might be slight, but it’s there. and congrats to hailey for being her authentic self. that’s hard to do at 40, let alone 14!

  216. My daughter also came out to me when she was about 12. LGBTQ+ teens are so cool. But it is hard to know how to parent them sometimes. It’s hard to know how to parent teens at all! But especially the not-so-straight and/or not-so-binary ones. And I SO want to be the best possible parent for her. But I also really believe that talking about them and telling their stories (with their permission!) is a way to help make the world a better place for them. And show them how proud we are of them including and because of who they are. (And we’ve been the Boston Pride twice with my daughter. It was awesome. And also – big enough that she didn’t run unto anyone she knew. Which I think let her feel acknowledged and celebrated and also anonymous at the same time. Maybe going to a Pride parade in a different city is an easier way to start?)

  217. 219
    donna griiffin

    you are the best kind of family

  218. From one internet stranger, just wanted to say that Hailey – you are brave, and beautiful, and amazing. You make the world a better place just by being you. We need you here in this world to be YOU, and this post makes me so happy to see you embracing that. Parents have this tough job of knowing how to love and support us and help us fly – but I think your parents are doing a pretty great job, and it sounds like they must love you a whole lot. Praying that your future stays as bright and beautiful as you are.

    Jenny – keep doing the next right thing. We all believe in you💜

  219. You’ve got a winner in that kiddo. And she won the lottery on parents. 🙂

  220. You’re wonderful parents to a wonderful girl 🙂

  221. Wonderful story! Lovely girl!

    Tata recently posted Aiming Straight For Your Back.

  222. As a queer man, I have to say, the most important thing you left out was…what kind of syrup was being passed? Maple? Blueberry? Strawberry? These details are important. All kidding aside–it’s hard to gauge what type of reaction is best for someone’s coming out. Some people want a blase attitude–some want glitter and sparkles and dancing (think “The Wiz” when Evillene dies). I think as long as you made it clear that you loved her (and I’m 200% sure you did), you didn’t fuck up at all. There’s plenty of time for musical numbers later.

  223. How wonderful! I’m so glad she felt comfortable enough to come out and live her truth at such a young age. You’re doing things right.

  224. 226
    Elizabeth Jones

    Yay for all of you and especially Hailey. Both my husband’s and my families refused to acknowlege gay children–the results were cruel and unforgivable. This world needs more rainbows.

  225. Congrats to Hailey for being brave to come out to all of us. The world is changing but, unfortunately, not fast enough. When you think about how some parents handle the news, I think it was brilliant to not make it a big deal. You are letting her be herself and create and share her story in her own way. That’s awesome!

  226. you guys are the most awesome people I have ever “met”. This gave me all the feels- you are an amazing woman who has helped mold an amazing daughter.

  227. She’s lucky to have you and you’re lucky to have her. Hugs all around.

  228. It is hard parenting a teen (or 2). Hindsight is always 100% (or whatever the saying is). Yay Hailey glad you can be yourself, and yes, thanks to all of those who have gone before, it’s unimaginable what they did and the conditions they did it in. Awesomeness all around, past and future. No matter who or how you identify kindness is the biggest thing of them all.

  229. Thank you and Hailey for sharing. You guys are lucky to have each other.

  230. Hailey, you are amazingly, uniquely you and this world is a brighter, better place for having you in it! I am so glad that God gave you to your parents, who are amazingly, uniquely them and the perfect parents to raise such a great kid! Wishing you all bright and wonderful things in the years ahead!

  231. Yay, good job Jenny
    My kid started Gender Sexuality Alliance club at her middle school. I am scared of her getting bullied.
    She wore a pride flag as a cape that day. She is proud.

  232. The immortal Harvey Milk said that it was his hope that no child would ever again think they were the only one. I’m so happy that for Hailey and for so many others, there are examples of happy and successful LGBTQ people out there. Being accepted by those you love and not feeling alone is incredibly important.

    My generation struggled with coming out. I wasn’t fully out until my Sophmore year in college. That’s years and years of being afraid of people, including people I considered friends and family, finding out who I was. No child should ever have to experience that.

    Thanks for the awesome story, Hailey. I look forward to reading the next chapter.

  233. <3 That is all!

  234. Yay for supportive parents!! I’m glad Hailey has who know love is love.

  235. Gorgeous girl (not what 14 year olds looked like in my day – but maybe I’m just bitter.)

    She’s lucky to have you. In the past few months I’ve become very aware at how hard it is for LGBTQ+ kids in today’s social/political climate. It takes gut to just be themselves. My kid came out as trans recently and I have learned so much. We went to our first pride this summer.

  236. 238
    Bad Example

    I’m so happy for Hailey, that she has very supportive parents and can be totally herself. My oldest (also named Haley) came out as pansexual and non-binary, and my youngest as transgender just in the past few years, as adults. They both say they repressed feelings and didn’t really even know they were LGBTQ when they were younger, probably because when they were kids we tried being a good Christian family and I’m sure I inadvertently or maybe not so inadvertently sent them the message that being LBGTQ was a sin – which I feel horrible about now. Haley had several gay friends and it was partly getting to know them that made me start changing my thoughts and beliefs (also a documentary about intersex people that really made me think a lot about the science of it all). I’m thankful I finally came around in time to be totally supportive of my transgender granddaughter when she came out at age 7 (apparently it runs in our family), and both kids when they told me. I think the fact that your Hailey felt comfortable enough to tell you at such a young age speaks volumes!

    The TL;DR version – Hailey is awesome and you and Victor are amazing parents! <3

  237. You are wonderful parents. My Mother couldn’t handle it when I waited to get married at 19….this was in the 1960’s!!!!!

  238. I also have the concern about some kids trying on LGBTQ identities who may later decide they don’t fit, but it’s so lovely that your amazing daughter knows herself and can be herself at her own pace in a loving family.

  239. Hailey has such self-awareness and strength for her age it astounds me! When I was 12 I didn’t even understand what “gay” was, but looking back I understand that I was definitely drawn to girls as well as boys from a fairly young age. Still, at 37 I can’t imagine coming out to my parents. While I’m not necessarily okay with the fact that they may never truly know me, I also don’t feel ready to break their hearts for the sake of lifting a weight off my own. I am so incredibly grateful that Hailey will never have to carry this weight. The world needs more parents like you and Victor!

  240. Sounds like she is a lucky girl and you guys are great parents!

  241. I love love love love this. You guys are awesome, and I am so happy for Hailey that she felt ready to share with your readers. Keep being true to yourself, kiddo!

  242. Jenny, that was fantastic of you to post that. However, much like your syrup comment all I was shocked by in there was that she can’t write cursive. She’s is a great kid, and she needs to know what a wonderfully brave and self aware being she is. It’s rare at her age. No cursive though?

  243. I have so many feelings. Haley you are awesome! I wish I was brave enough to accept who was at that age. I’m almost 30 and barely started on that journey. I’m aromantic asexual.

  244. I cannot understand parents calling themselves parents yet not accepting and loving their whole child. But, I know that happens, as friends of our children have sheltered in our home after their parents threw them out for having come out. I cannot understand that behavior. My children are my children. Forever. No matter what. And, for that reason, it almost seems ridiculous to write a post like this, one expressing support for one’s child. Shouldn’t supporting one’s child be such the norm that discussing it is ridiculous? Sadly, that’s not the case. So, while I celebrate your unconditional support of your daughter (and mine of my daughters and sons), I’m saddened by the fact that is considered an exceptional thing to do, rather than simply the basis of parenting it is, by so many.

  245. THANK YOU for sharing – both to Hailey and to you two parents. Love to all.

  246. 248
    Amber Bingham (Ana Chronistic Cosplay)

    My daughter is 17 and originally came out to us as lesbian. She later ammended it to bi. My son
    Is 19 and came out as bi but later ammended it to pan. Sexuality can be fluid, especially when you are young and exploring. I also encouraged my kids not to label themselves, and both found their labels broadened as they met and fell in love with new people. I don’t honestly care anything about the genitals of the people they love. I care about their hearts. Oddly enough, they have both landed in heterosexual relationships currently.

    I hope when Hailey is ready to date, she finds people with good hearts. She is lucky to have understanding, loving, supportive parents. I was lucky to have the same in my mom and tried to model the same for my kiddos.

  247. And, according to everyone who has ever tried to read it, I cannot write cursive either. #greatminds

  248. Much love to you all. I am right where you are with my two wonderful, beautiful daughters. While I don’t give a rats ass what gender they love, I want them to be treated with respect and adored. Doesn’t matter to me who is doing that for them.

  249. I love her, she is wonderful. I love you, and you are too! <3

  250. The reminder that these pre-teens and teens are feeling such a particular mash-up of insecurity is important, essential. Thank you for reminding me. Hailey is awesome. You and Victor are awesome.

    I have a 14 year old, too, a boy, who has not expressed any sexual identity preferences aloud, but that’s his quiet way. He is one of the kindest and most open-minded people I know, even though he yelled “fuck you” at me several times last night (oh, I did the same to my mother and she was the best mum one could ask for). I have his back no matter what, even (especially?) when I make him frustrated enough to curse at me. I am sure I am doing many things wrong and many things right. First and foremost, he knows I love him no matter what and that I think he is brilliant, not perfect, but fucking amazing. I can say with some certainty that he trusts me, and that means so much to me.

  251. What a lucky kid! You’ve done well by her. Coming out is difficult, and while you might second guess your reaction, it was honest and came from a place of love. You can’t ask for more than that.

    Jen recently posted On Accusations and Lies.

  252. This is full of so much awesome. Love it love it love it.

  253. 255
    Mary kohen

    I can’t really add much to all the fabulous posts that have already been posted, but, you are amazing parents, your daughter is amazing and you have made my day feel so much less shitty know there are still amazingly caring awesome people like you out there. Much love to all three of you. 💜

  254. My daughter just came out to me a couple of months ago. She is 12. I told her she is free to love whoever she wants, but my only condition was she find someone who treats her with respect and kindness. She hasn’t come out to other family members yet, including siblings. I am glad you posted this- I wonder if I should have said more to her that day, or if my response was enough. I am concerned about the road ahead for her and the best I can do is just be there for her.

  255. I love you. And I love Hailey. And I love love. My daughter is 20 now and I can assure you that you will make more mistakes but YOU CARE. And YOU LOVE. And in the end, it will all turn out okay. Also, having a 20 year old kid that can also be one of your best friends is kind of fucking badass so you have that to look forward to!

  256. It’s brave as FUCK to stand up and be who you are. Kudos to her, and to you and Victor for not being assholes. 🙂 You are born the way you are. Full stop.

  257. 259
    Catie Phillips

    I don’t know your child very well – I know only what you’ve shared about her – but from what you’ve shared she sounds like a wonderful person that is the type of person the world needs more of.

  258. I didn’t come out to my family until I was 32. That was 2 years ago and I still struggle with the feelings of shame and acceptance. Hailey is so lucky to feel comfortable coming out to you and Victor as a 12 year old. She is amazing. Thank you both for sharing this story.

  259. I am so proud of her! Please thank her for sharing her story with us.

  260. 262
    JoAnna Smith

    Awesome. She’s so very fortunate to have parents that easily accept her for who she is and willing to follow her lead in supporting her.

    Also – my stepson told his dad that he was gay and my husband’s response was, “OK – what does that have to do with you not getting a job?” So, yeah… we don’t always handle things perfectly. We honestly thought he was saying it to get a rise out of us and he wasn’t prepared for us to be perfectly fine with it, but he really needed to get a job.

  261. 263
    Linda S Amstutz

    Brave moms raise brave daughters. I’m proud of both of you. ❤️❤️

  262. She is a very brave beautiful young lady. My oldest came out to me this last May. He is transgender. I think part of me knew it was coming, so I also didn’t make a huge fuss over it. Maybe I should have. We are navigating some very unknown waters here and we just moved to a new town, so new school and new friends on top of that bombshell have made for some very interesting months. My parents have been supportive to us. No idea how they feel behind closed doors, but if they don’t approve they are at least respectfully keeping it to themselves. My in-law’s however are a different story. They are religious and cannot accept it. They say all they can do is love him (with the implied but not stated “until she changes her mind”) and I have decided to not even give them an audience anymore.
    I love my kids and if they are happy, I am happy. I now tell people I am a proud mum of four boys. If this IS a phase and he changes his mind, I will be a proud mum of one girl and three boys. I need them to be comfortable however they want to live their lives. I just hope I don’t fuck it up too much. 😉 I have already warned them that it is likely. 🙂

  263. 265
    Jacqueline

    Our son came out to us at 13. He couldn’t say it out loud, so he left us a letter and ran off to school. I baked him a cake. I stuck a flag on top. And when he got home we celebrated him. All of him. I too am very grateful for those that came before. And the more stories we tell, the more ok we make it. Like you said, it’s just a part of who they are. And, to be honest, it’s really nobody’s business who they fall in love with. Thank you for sharing and making the world just a tiny bit better.

  264. 266
    Willatbird

    “You are only as happy as your saddest child”. Man, does that hit home! My youngest has decided to reject his parents full out. He is bright, creative, funny, and handsome. He got his dad’s anxiety (and other) and his mom’s depression. Poor kid. I can only hope that at some point he outgrows some of it like his older brother did. I love him fiercely but it means nothing to him. The rest of my life is pretty darn good, but I’m miserable because he is.

  265. Sending love to you, Hailey, Victor, and to anyone out there who needs it.

  266. She is a beautiful, talented, amazing person and she is lucky to have parents that are the same. It’s sad that we have to say that because we should all be able to love who we love.

  267. Yay! ❤💛💚💙💜

  268. Cheers & love to all Lawsons!

  269. OMG! WOOT WOOT! You go Hailey, take that world by the balls and make it your own kid. And like your mom says the rest of the world can EFF right off! Good job on raising a great kid Mom & Dad, keep it up!

  270. I have wondered what I would say if a young person close to me told me they are gay. Like you, I would probably say okay, and because I don’t think it is a big deal, move on. Thank you for reminding me it is a big deal to whoever is telling me. Hailey was born to just the right parents. This world needs all the love there is. 💕

  271. I’m reminded of a close friend who called me one morning, fresh out of the shrink’s office, to tell me he had just come out. Having “suspected” (read: known) he was gay for almost a decade, I simply replied “Okay”. He was quite upset that I wasn’t surprised or shocked or jumping for joy, and told me later that he was extremely disappointed that his coming out didn’t include a parade with showers of confetti and a musical appearance by Diana Ross. To me, out for many years at that point, it wasn’t a big deal or a surprise, but I’ve never forgotten it was a big deal for him. I think most of us want our orientation to be okay, no big deal, nothing to write home about, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to celebrate the effort and preparation and bravery it takes to come out.

  272. 274
    Ari Rooney

    We love Hailey so much! And you and Victor are wonderful parents. HUGE HUGS TO ALL OF YOU!!!

  273. Thank you, especially Hailey, for sharing. Love to you all.

  274. You really are a rather wonderful family. Certainly one for us drive of oddities to respect, admire, and support in any way we can, even if that’s just to say – you’re all ace.

  275. My SIL sat everyone down individually, took a big breath, and came out (but no labels on it, she wasn’t ready for that) in her late 30’s. My husband and I had nearly the same reaction as you, but closer to “Obviously. Now what do you want to drink?” She kept trying to explain, because the calm reactions from her family was unexpected, it was her friends who had reacted with complete shock and surprise. Now 20 years later she is married to a wonderful woman, and kinda settled on lesbian, but still does not like labels. There will be so many times in the future that Hailey will love that you don’t have a public reaction, because other people will follow your lead and it will suddenly be ok to just be who you are, no matter what.

  276. Reading this post and the way you support your gay teenage daughter means so much to me (and yes, maybe I’m crying a little bit).
    When I was twelve I knew that gay people existed but I did not think that being gay was something that could apply to me. Even though looking back I realize that I had my first serious crush on a girl at that age.
    At fourteen I realized that bisexuality is actually a real thing and I felt like this was the right term to describe how I felt.
    At fifteen I first came out to a few friends as bisexual. I acted as if it was no big deal. But it was and I was so scared that people would think I’m weird.
    At seventeen I realized that bisexuality was not how I identified after all, it was just a label to make it easier to accept that I’m actually a lesbian.
    When I graduated from High School (in 2012) there was one other girl in my year who was openly dating a girl, a friend of mine had come out to me as gay but told me he wasn’t ready to come out at school, and there were rumours that I was a lesbian, because I was pretty casual about it but never fully came out at school. There were over 100 students in my graduation class.

    Reading stories like Hailey’s and how supportive friends and family are means so much to me, because it shows how the world has changed for gay teenagers in just a few years. I’m sure it’s still hella scary to come out in school, but man have we taken a big step towards more openess and acceptance already!

  277. Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! Beautifully written, thank you for sharing. Hugs to Hailey and all the kids who will struggle with this journey.

  278. My unlimited love to you all. So proud of the entire clan right now.

  279. You created a space where a twelve year old felt safe and loved enough to tell you this. Go you guys and go Hailey for knowing her own mind well enough to be herself

  280. I took my son to Pride this year. Because I am proud. Having a gay kid is like discovering a unicorn in the backyard. It’s something precious, to be treasured and protected and loved.

  281. Being a parent is hard, and yes we fuck up all the time. Hailey is a beautiful young woman, proof that you done all right ❤️

  282. Girls rule! ALL the girls rule!! (Would be nice if we actually did, but then what would the boys do then?)
    Let me repeat, GIRLS RULE!

  283. Unconditional love. This is what we promise our kids as soon as we find out that they’re growing inside us; or coming into our lives however that may be. Yes, we will screw up. Screwing up is like a right of passage into parenting. But as long as we keep our promise – to love them unconditionally – we are doing okay and they will make their way in the world on the most solid ground we’re able to provide for them. Hurray to you for loving and accepting Hailey for all that she is. After all, isn’t that what being a family is all about? Congratulations, Hailey, on your confidence. Most of us – some of us more than others cough – only get to realize who we truly are, and accept ourselves with confidence, at a much later age.

    Mona Andrei (aka Moxie-Dude) recently posted I’m not a feminist. I’m an equalist..

  284. That was really beautiful and made me cry and congrats on being out and loved and respected Hailey! But I have a very important question that I haven’t seen addressed in these comments, and I hope you’ll see and answer it.

    What does the bottom of her shirt say? I’m all about tacos, and that’s a great color on me so, you know.

  285. She is an awesome person and I think you and Victor are doing a great job.

  286. Your family is amazing and wonderful! I keep Hailey in mind as a guide for parenting as my girl gets older. Much love and support to the Bloggess family!

  287. First of all, to Hayley: You’re awesome and incredible and good for you for being out and open and owning who you are! It’s the young women like you, who are still honest even in the face of fear, that pave the way and make it easier for those who come after you.

    To Jenny: I remember when I came out as bi in high school. My mother didn’t believe me right away because I came out during an argument (a rash and reckless decision, but it was relevant to the argument) and it bothered me. I think it took her a while to come to terms with it, but I can’t be sure. When I told her I wasn’t sure I was a girl a few years later, trying to explain why I was so on edge and uncomfortable all the time, she was a little more understanding. She said she couldn’t imagine what that was like, but then the subject dropped and we didn’t discuss that, either.

    I’m thirty now and we’ve still never really talked about any of it. She knows. I go to Pride and wear rainbow buttons and bi-flag buttons and agender-flag buttons. So, she knows, but we still haven’t discussed it. It’s not something she really acknowledges at all until I bring it up.

    I think it’s great that Hayley has parents like you and Victor who are willing to talk about it and share her story (even after the fact). You may have been a little dismissive at first, but at least you eventually came around. The fact that Hayley said she was comfortable with you sharing this is a testament that she knows she can talk about it with you and you will acknowledge her identity. I love my mother dearly, but I would never trust her to explain my sexuality or gender identity to anyone, let alone the entire internet.

    You’re doing great, Jenny! Keep it up!

    Adie // The Cupcake Witch recently posted Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Parmesan.

  288. Amazing young woman with awesome parents!!!

  289. The world has changed a lot since my best friend came out when we were in high school in the early 1990s. I supported her then, and I support her still today; she and her wife were just here visiting me this past weekend, in fact. It is very brave of Hailey to let you share this with so many, given your visibility (and hers, by default). It shows that she has found the strength in herself to live her truth, and that is amazing and beautiful, just like her. It’s not uncommon for families to stumble a little in the beginning. You’ve found your footing and are all walking tall together again. Thank you both for sharing this very personal piece of your lives with us. We’ve been witness to many of your personal moments, but this is truly special. <3

  290. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜

  291. She is beautiful — both inside and out.

  292. Let’s hear it for unconditional acceptance! Welcome to your world, Hailey. Know that you are loved, respected, and accepted!

  293. I was in my mid-50s before I came out to a few trusted friends, but I grew up in an era (born in 1952) where it was very dangerous to be publically gay in the U.S. My parents loved me, but I know they wouldn’t have understood or accepted me, and there was a strong chance I would have been disowned and thrown out of my home had I told them. I’ve known I’m gay since I was 7-years old. Didn’t know the terms used, but knew I was attracted to girls. I dated the occasional boy, but only because that’s what society and my parents expected of me.

    I’m so thankful that Hailey has such loving and supportive parents like you and Victor, Jenny dear. I’m also thankful that you’re backing off and letting her take things at her own pace and comfort level.

  294. So, so happy for a positive coming out story. Rainbow hugs and love to all three of you!

  295. 297
    Angie Green

    I fucking love every single one of you. Go Hailey!

  296. 298
    Laurie A. Garner

    She is amazing!!! I was just wondering the other day, as a mom with mental health issues, what you have done that I could try so I can hopefully have as good a relationship with my kids as you do with yours! I see how my anxiety affects then and I worry. Don’t we all? Anyways, it is absolutely wonderful that you’ve both created an environment where she felt safe to explore and learn who she really was so early in her life, and that you’ve created a place that’s safe enough for her to come to you and be honest. I know we all doubt those times we didn’t do things perfectly, but I think you’ve done a pretty kick-ass job already just by creating that situation.

    Speaking of kick-ass people, my sister is a very talented neuroscientist. She is a huge proponent of helping other people in the field, and I know she would be excited to talk to Hailey, if she ever wants someone to discuss things with.

  297. Hailey, we know a little about you through your mom, and we have come to know an amazing young woman. You will wear many labels on your life, some you choose, some are placed on you. Take the ones that represent you and wear them proudly. Sometimes someone will try to place a label that doesn’t fit; you have every right to reject those. Add, subtract, change your labels as you mature, but over everything else, be proud of being Hailey.

  298. Also, to Hailey: Sorry for misspelling your name about a thousand times. I know, like, six people, all named Hayley (with two y’s) and it’s just ingrained into my brain now. Sorry again.

  299. As the oldest sister to an amazing bi-queer-gravity challenged sister, I, too, was unfazed by her proclamation. There are so many wonderful parts about who she is that this was only one of them. She’s like an onion; her layers make me cry. After having been the most wonderful girlfriend to a girl, she now has a boy crush. I’ve been told that flirting is not the same, and as she is the most awkward person I know, this is another adventure that I am happy to be on with her. winks with both eyes. It’s going to be a long adventure… Keep on rockin’ Hailey (the lipstick, the shirt, your bad-assery)

  300. Every love in the world to her today.

    DayLeeFix recently posted Schedules, String Cheese, and EmmA's Homework.

  301. 303
    terriwelch62

    Yay! Similar story — my child told me and I said, “ I thought so. Want some ice cream? We’ve talked about it but she doesn’t like parades so probably no pride for us except I want to go and give out hugs. ”

  302. I’m so proud of Hailey. And of you and Victor for having such an amazing daughter. It’s good that she knows who she is and is lucky enough to be able to live it.

  303. The most lovely coming out stories, to me at least, are those that show how it is accepted so easily by. I can see this being a center part of a glorious wedding speech 🙂
    Huge hugs for you all, I went to my first Pride march this year and loved it. I hope you guys have as much fun when you go!
    (and tell Hailey she has allies and internet aunties and uncles who will have her back all over the world)

  304. 306
    Melanie Thomson

    “You’re only as happy as your saddest child, after all.” Ah jeez….this got me crying at work. For a completely different reason than the topic of your post, but boy does that one sentence ring true. My 13 year old son (eldest of 3 kids) suffers from anxiety and depression, having been diagnoses at age 7. I get glimpses of happiness, like the sun breaking through on a cloudy day, when things are going good, when his mood is up, but that’s above a baseline of anxiety, worry, stress. We take it day by day sometimes, but it’s nearly impossible to remember a time when things were care-free.

  305. I had exactly the same reaction with my daughter, and I’ve also worried she didn’t think I took it seriously enough. But I don’t want to bring it up again, I want her to be ready to do it. What’s a mom to do?!

  306. 308
    Sherry Silguero

    I’ve watched your daughter here, growing into a lovely, silly, compassionate young woman. Who she loves is just that, who she loves ❤️ Many hugs and much love to your amazing family from this old bi broad ❤️❤️❤️

  307. You rock Hailey! And your parents do too. : )

  308. You are an amazing parent and Hailey sounds like the coolest 14-year-old ever. Sending hugs for your whole wonderful family <3

  309. She has a fire in her eye and you guys lit the match. What a wonderful family you are!!! (…I hope it’s clear I meant you are all awesome and I love this post, and not that you are setting each other on fire. I’m having an anxiety day. Trying to be poetic. …sigh. You are all role models for how to be great even when you don’t feel it!)

  310. My son came out as trans when he was 11 or 12 – I had much the same reaction, except mine also included ‘oh – does that mean I get to name you again?’ The answer was no FYI – he got to pick his own name. She’s beautiful and smart and kind – you should be very proud of who you raised.

  311. Crying here. I’m so happy Hailey has good people around her who let her be who she is. The world is becoming more open, but it is still hard to be young and gay, and I applaud her courage.

    It’s hard to know whether to make a thing of it or not. It took me a long time to come out to my parents because I was all “straight people don’t have to “come out”, I’m not gonna make an announcement, they’ll figure it out eventually”. Which meant we just didn’t talk about it, and it was kinda weird. It really shouldn’t be a big deal. But I still see lesbian as part of my identity, and I don’t want that erased. So it kind of does matter, somehow.

  312. 314
    Jennughhhh

    I love that you fast forward through all of the bad parts in AHS. Is that for you, or Hailey? Personally, I love the show but am squeamish so I conveniently “pretend” to not pay attention during those parts.

  313. Good for all of you. I am a lesbian, and things in general were a lot harder for us when I was that age. I couldn’t come out to my family….no way, no how. It took until I was in my mid-twenties and even then it was very hard. Credit where it is due, my family ultimately accepted me. I am always very happy to hear such a story as this, because it shows me that in spite of everything, all the ups and downs, and the current downs, some things have changed for the better. Thank you, Hailey for the courage to tell the world through your amazing Mom, and never forget how amazing and full of natural beauty you are yourself.

  314. This is everything. Also ” You’re only as happy as your saddest child, after all.” made me cry. I don’t know why

  315. My son came out to us several years ago as a twenty-something. It wasn’t a big surprise, I think we always had an inkling this was the case. But he is who he is and we love him for who he is, that won’t change.

  316. Crying. You are a wonderful mother. The fact that she can confide these things to you at such a young age speaks volumes about the kind of relationship you have. She seems truly magnificent.

    I could never keep my room clean either…

  317. Kudos to you as a parent! My son came out in 5th grade as gay. We knew for a long time. A llot of our family thought he was confused or just being trendy. He’s in 8th grade now. It’s def not a phase. The kid has never had a crush on a girl and he’s into fashion and polishing his nails and wearing a mix of girl and boy clothes and accessories. We love him no matter who he identifies as. I wish people would be more understanding that young tweens and teens are capable of making decisions about who they like.

  318. You, Hailey, and Victor are all awesome. Please accept this reassurance from a stranger on the internet: Y’all are doing it right. Much love to all of you.

  319. Opera lessons?!?!?! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you’re ever in Kansas City with her, bring her by the Lyric Opera offices and I’ll give her a tour!

  320. Love this, and I loved that you were aware enough to realize it might be a big deal to her even though it wasn’t at all to you! Also, I’m completely in love with Hailey’s lip color!

  321. 323
    Juanita Grenot

    I love this.

  322. I came out to my mum three years ago and honestly, I would have liked for her to make it a bit of a big deal because it really was for me and she basically just ignored it. I don’t think she ever really thought about her reaction or even if she did she’d never tell me so I’m really happy for Hailey because having such amazing parents who care and who think about their actions is just great. You are a wonderful family.

  323. I am so proud of her. Love to you all

  324. Beautiful. Brave. Compassionate. Words which clearly describe your daughter… and her mother. 😊

  325. She’s a wonderful girl and she’s lucky to have such wonderful parents. I’m so glad young people can be out and proud these days without adults running around with their “You’ll grow out of it!” crap. Having a support system literally saves young LGBTQ lives, and its importance cannot be understated.

    And I could not love the title of your post more. You fucking rock, woman.

  326. She is amazing, just like her Mama. I have a queer kiddo too and have had similar conversations with him. Sending loads of love and understanding.

  327. You and Hailey both are h*eckin heroes. Victor, too. Thank you for sharing this — it means a lot to see the good in people and not have the internet be nothing but a big heap o’ hopelessness. Be your beautiful, wonderful, oddball selves, because you’re awesome. Go Hailey! 🙂

  328. After this last week…………….thank you for this. Love Wins.

  329. Thank you Jenny, for sharing & Hailey for asking your mom to share. I have goosebumps from reading this because I can hear how proud you & Victor are of the woman she is growing into. And at the sometime, voicing all of our fears as parents that we fuck up quite a bit while trying to raise our kids to be cinfident, happy and proud of who they are. People, not all, but the loudest, suck. And it’s even worse at the moment. But then you read stories like you’ve shared and you feel hope and a sense of belonging because we are all a little broken and that’s okay. Love to your family & pets!! 🧡💛💚💜

  330. 332
    Rosalie Wallis

    I’m with you: something so fundamental as who we love doesn’t feel special or different; it’s just who we are. Your the beautiful mother of a wonderful girl. How lucky you are to have each other. I smile every time I see the love and happiness on your faces.

  331. My 15 year old daughter is gay. I knew long before she did but I let her find herself without my interference. For a while she thought she might be bi, but now she knows she’s “full on faggot” (her words, not mine). She is an advocate at her school, and a great example to live who she is, especially for all the younger kids who aren’t sure. Both the school and I are very proud of her. She finally told her Dad a couple of months ago just before he got married (she figured he had other things on his mind) and he had the same response as you did. It was something she struggled for ages to tell him, but it was a relief for it to be no big deal to him.

  332. How wonderful! I wish I’d had the current environment (some) queer kids are growing up in—I don’t know that I would have figured out I’m a lesbian by 12, but by 18 would have been easier, at least. Glad Hailey has so much support around her.

  333. Proud of her. Proud of you and Victor. What a beautiful young woman. Tell her she’s got fun family in Colorado, there’s a bulldog to snuggle and a place to hang out should she ever want it. xoxo

  334. 336
    Jenny Baker

    I think your family is perfect. Your daughter’s grace is evident. And, she’s gorgeous!

  335. There will probably be hate come her way, but as long as she has you two as her parents, she will have love. Power to the next generation!

  336. I’ve always thought Hailey was pretty special. Though you are (rightly) very careful of how much you reveal of her and her interactions, it’s clear what you say and don’t say depict a strong, loving, brave, and intelligent young lady. What gender she’s attracted to is entirely beside the point and none of my business. I just hope she finds the people in her life who will light it up and be good to her. As I think she has.

  337. You’re awesome, Hailey. And it makes me so happy, that you’re comfortable coming out to all of us, that you trust us, all of your mum’s weird and wacky readers. That you too know that this is a safe and loving community.

    (and btw, I met my first boyfriend when I was 14,and we were together for seven years, so don’t let your mum tell your you’re not old enough to date 😉)

  338. I was fortunate to grow up in Chicago where Pride was something I have attended in support for 25 years. I was lucky my parents had a lot of gay friends when I was a child, so it was not something strange or unfamiliar to me. I know I am blessed to have always had openness and love in my life. I think you’re doing right by Hailey – keep it up, you awesome parents you!!!

  339. Oh, my HEART! So. Proud. This was so beautiful, Jenny. Give Hailey a high-five for me!

  340. Jodie utter-
    For some reason I read the last part of your comment as “and i want to do her hair. I too want HAiley to run fpr President. You will do a great job with her hair, i am sure. Ill cater.

  341. 343
    LeAnn Woodward

    <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

  342. 344
    genniegrove

    This might be my favorite of anything you’ve ever written. I’ve long thought Hailey was the coolest and reminded me of my own daughter, age 13, who came out 2 years ago as well. Here’s to strong, amazing kids who bring hope for a new generation. Here’s to learning how to support them thte way they need, in that moment. Here’s to them being kick ass girlfriends and kick ass people and being true to themselves for ever.

  343. This is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for sharing the awesome.

  344. Hailey seems like a really cool kid! I do have one suggestion: As a fellow classically-trained singer, I would like to remind her to breathe from the diaphragm, not the chest. 🙂

  345. Goddamn it your family is awesome!!! When I came out my parents said”you aren’t one of THOSE!” But here I am being one of “THOSE” and with the woman I love for 31 years👊🏻 It hasn’t been easy…but definitely worth it to just be me.

  346. Just sending love. My daughter struggled a lot in high school, not realizing WHY she didn’t want to date, like all the other girls. She was 22 before she fully realized and accepted that she’s gay, and having that realization has given her so much insight into so much about her teen years, in retrospect. Good for Hailey that she is so self aware and able to embrace herself at such a young age. My girl is much more comfortable in her own skin, now, and I friggin’ LOVE that she’s gay, because it’s who she IS. Your girl is gorgeous and wonderful and amazing (psst – so is mine), and I love that we get to be parents to such amazing people. Yay you! … and me … and them. 🙂

  347. I cannot love this enough. I relate to so much in this story. Please let Hailey know that she has so much support. Thank you for being the mother that you are. Thanks to Victor as well. My daughter attended her first Pride parade this year. It was everything she wanted it to be and more.

  348. When I was 16, I fell in love with a girl. Silently, I carried not only the shame of my secret but the agony of an all-consuming and unrequited love. Oh what I would have given to be able to tell someone that I was a girl who was in love with a girl and to hear that person say the words, ‘It’s okay.’ God, what I would have given to hear those words. You may question your response to her, Jenny, but the fact that you and Victor support and accept her, and she knows that you do, will guide and help her in ways she can’t yet imagine. What a gift that knowledge is. Please thank Hayley for allowing you to share a piece of her story with us. What a beautiful, strong and precious soul she is. Just like her mom.

  349. Thank you for sharing, both to Hailey and to Jenny, for letting us partake in the details of your family life. I hope Hailey meets the most wonderful girl 💖

  350. Ugly crying. This is so beautiful thank you Hailey for letting her share this with us. All the love and support.

  351. 353
    Cassie Steger

    I’ve always thought Hailey was amazing, this doesn’t alter my opinion one bit. She is brilliant and talented and so beautiful. You can only be the best mom you can be. You’re doing great.

  352. Ah, yes. If we could just keep it all that simple for everyone, whomever they are. Just be. The best you can be. And celebrate others’ beingness.

  353. My son came out at 13 and I had a similar reaction. I didn’t want him to miss out on anything and not realize that Bi is a thing too (I’m also bi). I’m so proud that he was brave enough to tell me. 4 years later, he’s definitely gay and out at school but not ready to tell everyone. I’m a very proud mamma.

  354. 💜

  355. Being a mom is hard, and we always second guess ourselves. You handled it the way I would have. By respecting her autonomy and by allowing her to paint her own narrative you’re being who she needs you to be. And that’s a big deal too. I have so much admiration for your family and how genuine you are. Proud to have you on my life team (that autocorrected to peeps to have and I feel like that might be even more appropriate).

  356. The only thing more uplifting than this post are all these comments! WOW you people are amazing too!! i was a teen when i came out to my folks and they freaked out and said those awful words “I don’t think I love you anymore”. That began ten years of estrangement while they figured out that i wasn’t just making this up to hurt them and i figured out they were hurting too- they just weren’t prepared for a world that looked different than the one they grew up in and they did their best.

    We got through it. Flash forward 20 years and mom (now my best friend) and i are sharing a girls night out with cocktails and tipsy mom leans over and grabs my hand and slurs- “I am so sorry! Sssso Sorry!! We didn’t know! We just didn’t know!!” And then she broke down and cried in her dragon fruit yuzu mojito.

    Moral of the story: don’t carry the guilt of not reacting perfectly for 30 years. You did your best and Hailey probably knows that. Or will. But get past it and forgive yourself. Cuz no 45 year old wants to have to be consoling their sobbing drunken mom in the bar at P.F. Chang’s at happy hour.

    Love you all!!

    candice recently posted The Country Code.

  357. SO MUCH LOVE to both of you. Beautifully written post about your beautiful daughter.

  358. I cannot even begin to explain how much I love this. ❤️❤️❤️

  359. She is so lucky to have both of you as parents.

  360. In addition to all the wonderful things you’ve said about her, she is also spectacularly beautiful and ridiculously photogenic (and I am SO envious of that!) and fortunate to have such wonderful parents. You be you, Hailey. Because YOU are awesome.

  361. I hope you did the right thing by not making a big deal of it, reinforcing that it would have no impact on your love for her and encouraging not to label herself at 12. I hope you did, because that’s what I did too. My daughter is still fairly fluid, I think, and is realizing that being fluid is okay. Support and love to Hailey and all our Hailies 🙂

  362. <3 <3 <3

  363. Plus, according to her shirt, she likes tacos. Which is an absolute prerequisite to being an awesome person.

  364. Jenny, you, Victor and your beautiful Hailey are all utterly and completely amazing. She is an incredibly lucky girl to have the two of you as parents. Not all LGBTQ children are as lucky, as I’m certain you know. You ROCK, Hailey. Keep on being you. I yearn for the day when this sort of thing simply will no longer matter to anyone! (Wishful thinking, I know…)

  365. This hit me in ALL THE FEELS. I, like you, support everyone loving everyone (well, maybe not all at the same time, cuz EWWWWW, and who’ll bring the wet wipes?) but at 12 my daughter (now a ripe old 13) told me she identified as Pan. I barely knew what that was, let alone why she felt she had to identify as ANYTHING at such a young age. I thought and said to her EXACTLY what you said to Hailey about it maybe just being a phase, and trying out the “no label” idea. But I also told her, as I always have, that I didn’t care who she ended up loving (as long as it’s human) and would never reject her for it. She was still upset with me because I didn’t acknowledge the statement she was making and I think she felt I was saying it wasn’t important, but it was with her. So I just told her that if her heart felt it wanted to love everyone and anyone (a rather lame summation of being “pan”), then I applauded it because it reflects who she really is in her beautiful heart and soul. This piece just made me feel like maybe this isn’t another thing I messed up raising an only child teenager!!! THANK YOU!!!

  366. The three of you are wonderful humans!!

  367. Well done Jenny. This piece moved me to tears. I’m proud of Hailey and I’m so very proud of you and Victor. I only wish that there were more parents out there like you two. One of the previous commenters wants Hailey to run for president. I do too. I’d vote for her. Hell, I’ll volunteer for her campaign. ❤️🦄🌈

  368. 371
    Tracey Taylor

    <heart bursting> Truly, tears of pride/happiness/love as I react to how wonderful you and your family are.

  369. 372
    Christina L.

    So proud of your sweet girl! I am big, but can’t be “out” to my family. Trusted friends know, but my family wouldn’t be supportive. Hailey is so, so lucky to have such awesome parents and friends.

  370. Hailey’s awesome! And so are you!

  371. Proud of her, in awe of her, and so moved by your words. ❤️

  372. I don’t post, but love you, Hailey, not just because our dog was named Hayley, but because of all of the parts of you our mom described, and the things she didn’t because you’ll keep inventing new parts, hopefully forever, even if you’re an old broad like me.

    And if you had said to our dog, “Hayley, I’m Hailey!” she would have jumped up and down on her stubby little legs (part dachshund maybe?) and wagged in delight, and loved you even more. Carry on!

  373. Yay for your beautiful daughter and for your beautiful family. I didn’t come out until I was an adult (with two kids, by the way) because being gay simply wasn’t an option for me growing up. I’m so glad to see the world progressing in the right ways sometimes. <3 Love to Hailey because love wins.

  374. 377
    Rebeca Ramirez

    This is so heart warming, Jenny. How lucky will be the woman she loves and gets you as a mother in law.
    Please tell Halley that there are lots of people out there who advocate for gay rights every day.
    Love to you both,
    Rebeca

  375. I’m so proud of Hailey for having the strength and confidence to tell you at such an early age. I didn’t come out as bi until I was 18, and it was one of the most difficult things I ever had to say out loud. I told my parents I had to tell them something and it took me a long time to choke out the words. My parents, bless them, waited in silence until I finally said it, and were completely unphased by the news. “Oh, is that all?” My mom said, “I was worried it was going to be something TERRIBLE”.
    I’m proud of you too. As a parent, I think it’s natural to second guess everything we say and do, but I’m sure Hailey knows how much you love her and support her, and that’s important. The world would be a much better place if every kid had parents who love them like that. ❤

  376. How fortunate she is! And how loved!

  377. Absolutely! I am proud of everyone who comes out, but especially young people. You go, Hailey!

  378. You’re and Victor are wonderful. Our daughter came out to us at 14 much in the same way Hailey did to you. At the table and we were equally casual about it. But it was such an important thing and we had to take it seriously and we did. She was and is so brave. It was a difficult road through middle school and high school and her coming to terms what it meant and with how out she wanted to be and what it all meant. We often say being gay means coming out over and over again. She has a lovely girlfriend, is in college now living her best life and is so happy. We have always and do now support her 100% Everything you say in this post is so true and so powerful. Thank you for writing it.

  379.         My daughter (18) told me she was bi several years ago. I’m grateful that times have changed and that our kids can live their lives as they are intended-free to be who they are.        
    
  380. Way to go Hailey!! Welcome to the Rainbow Tribe🦄 🌈 ❤️🌈🦄

  381. Beautiful girl, beautiful story. Of course you are second guessing your reaction (which was fine and totally within the realm of supportive, acceptable responses.) What else would moms do for a hobby if we didn’t second guess? xoxoxo

  382. I adore you. I adore Victor. I adore Hailey. Thank you for posting and for being awesome.

  383. Yay for all of you and congratulations to you Hailey for knowing who you are.
    But this post did make me think of Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette: the bit where she says pride parades aren’t for her (and she even finds the flag is a bit busy) ❤️

  384. You guys are all beautiful, inside and out, and I think you have made a wonderful family.

  385. As a longtime reader and a gay trans man – this makes me so happy to read. Y’all are raising an amazing kid – Hailey, if you’re reading this, I’m so proud of you! I’m so glad that you have the confidence to be yourself, and a safe supportive environment in which to do so.

  386. 389
    ChicagoSheila

    I would have reacted the same way as you…because I really don’t care. I tried. I don’t. I have always found it weird that some people think it’s somehow their business to know how or with who others want to spend their time.

  387. 390
    ocularnervosa

    Oh thank goodness, I thought she was going to come out as a Republican and a supporter of Cruz. Now that would be scary.

  388. I am so proud right now I feel like my heart could burst. But not in the gross icky way. More like bursting with stars and unicorns and rainbows and really good chocolate.

  389. She’s lovely and I hope the world always shows her the kindness she deserves

  390. Congrats to you and Victor for being great parents. Congrats to Hailey for embracing who she is. Love proud! <3

  391. I’m afraid I would have ‘under-reacted’ as you did. It’s not a big deal, but maybe to her it is. She sounds like a wonderful person.

    Sue recently posted Lego Ghostbuster Firehouse.

  392. 395
    mommakatmont

    She is strong like you and is the product of great parenting. We are all so proud of her (that sounds weird, but as someone who has watched her grow up through your blog, you understand). Wishing all of you the very best of everything! ALWAYS.

  393. Lovely young lady, and love is love. I’m leaking at your telling of the story, Jenny, and heart leaping for Hailey that she has such supportive and loving parents. You go be you, girl. ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  394. I’m proud of her and of all of you. You’re a terrific family. Thanks for sharing your stories with us, every day. All of you together are one big gift.

  395. 398
    Anne, Cranky Cat Lady

    I’m proud of Hailey and of her excellent parents.

  396. I did about the same thing when my son told me he was gay, “ok, cool” He was in 7th grade, just started going to an art school, with plenty of other out kids, and i kinda thought it was a fad- or a exciting way to fit in, too. We totally supported him, but not as gay, just as like free to feel however he wanted, and we did the no label label push. In a let’s not make middle school any harder than it has to be type of way. Well, that’s not how this all works, obvs. Teenagers are bloody difficult, and it’s hard to know what is right in the moment. But, now he knows we have his back, no matter what; love him, no matter what; and are so proud of him.

  397. What an amazing story to hear during a time when shitty stories are all we hear. Thank you for sharing. <3

  398. Hailey is AWESOME…and You & Victor are AWESOME Parents!
    Nothin’ but Love to you all!

  399. Congrats Hailey on feeling comfortable in who you are and being strong enough to be vulnerable with those who love you! Congrats Jenny and Victor on fostering a sense of safety and acceptance in your home so Hailey knew she had support to share. May you all find yourselves joyously at Pride one year when you’re ready!

  400. I think that you are very lucky to have each other.

  401. So incredibly proud!!

  402. Be blessed and happy. Be furiously happy. Love is not love if there are conditions in place. Be furiously happy, furiously brave, and furiously kind. Be furiously YOU! We are all of us magnificently weird and wonderful, broken and whole. Crazy and sane. Each of us has more facets than a disco ball. But dang it, WE SHINE!!

  403. Beautiful girl.. NEVER NEVER NEVER lose that confidence. Never let anyone tear you down. Always be true to yourself! We sometimes lose ourselves as adults. Be the kind of person when you grow up that your 14 year old self would be proud of! Because there are many people so proud of you! And you have AMAZING parents too!! You will do amazing things in this world!

  404. 407
    joshuamneff

    First, I used to tell people that I grew up in a family with openly gay members and I knew that if I had come out as gay, my family’s reaction would have been “That’s nice. Could you pass the salt?” (That being said, it took me a long time before I came out to anyone, including myself, as bi, and I’ve never directly told my family, although I’m sure at least some of them have seen me post about it on Facebook.) So I kind of love your reaction, even if you now feel it was less than what Hailey needed.

    Second, GO HAILEY! Good for you for being comfortable enough with yourself and the people around you to come out. I’m so glad you have family and friends to support you when we live in a society that, while much more open than when I was your age, is still riddled with homophobia and bullying and general intolerance. Also, when my daughter started college and was moving into her dorm, every room had a form on the door that you could fill out, letting your floormates know your name, hometown, major, blah blah blah, and the pronouns you use. So you can look forward to at least a little more tolerance as you grow up.

  405. 408
    Jacque Banks

    You have somehow managed to convey the emotions everyone is feeling, from you as an accepting parent to Hailey as a teen making her way in this world. Reading this brought tears to my eyes, so thank you for sharing this beautiful story about a beautiful young lady. Thank you to Hayley for allowing it to be shared. She is one lucky girl to have such a fabulous family. And you are two lucky parents to have such a fabulous daughter. ❤️💕

  406. You and your daughter are badasses. I am so envious of her, knowing who she is and not shying away from it, especially at her age. I was pretending to be a lot of things back then, mostly because I didn’t really know who I was. I am so proud of both of you for being so “you”. Never stop.

  407. I don’t have the tacos, but I can tell her she is pretty. And I want her hair.

  408. Marvelous! All the love to the Fam. <3

  409. Hi Hailey. One wlw to another, my heart is doing the Kermit flail for you. Welcome welcome welcome. We have so many memes to share with you, and there are so many of us out here holding each other’s hands and sending you all the joy you can hold.

    We love you. Thank you for being everything you are, and again: welcome. 🏳️‍🌈

  410. All so beautifully said, even in looking back and realizing that maybe you all didn’t handle it as gracefully as you initially thought. Things for the LGBT community are so much better, but they’re far from, “Okay, pass the syrup.” But learning together is so lovely. Much love to you all. Also? Your daughter has kick-ass tastes in t-shirts.

  411. It feels odd to be so proud of the daughter of someone I barely know through the internet, but maybe that’s part of what PRIDE is. Being proud of each other for being each other, for being ourselves, whether we personally know each other or not. I AM SO FREAKING PROUD OF YOU HAILEY! (Also, you are surviving your parents. Yes, they’re awesome, but they’re also crazy and you are SO SURVIVING them! GO YOU x Infinity!)

  412. She’s gorgeous! I’m so happy she has the courage to be her! You have a lot to do with that!

  413. It’s sad that this is a thing…. But I’m proud of you.

  414. Hearts. Simply. Hearts. <3

  415. Please thank Hailey for letting your share her story and what you learned from it. I will keep that lesson in mind as I raise my own girls (8 and 4), should the circumstances arise. I appreciate you sharing your experience, Jenny.

  416. Beautiful blog post. Recognizing that coming out is a big deal even when you are fully supportive is so important and I’m so glad you spoke to this. My friends had a very similar reaction when I came out and it was stunning because it was something I agonized over for a long time. It’s also so heartwarming to me that Hailey had the room to discover this at a young age. Worrying about who you are has such a profound affect on a person, even if it isn’t totally hellish to come out and live openly. The fact that Haikey got to speak to it at 12 and at 14 is fully embracing who she is is really amazing. Thanks for posting this. Much love to you and Hailey.

  417. Like you, I wish it didn’t have to be something to announce. I wish she could just be. When my daughter (who is now 16) came out at 12, my white, cisgender, straight husband somewhat excitedly said, “now I have some liberal street cred.” She has since explored her gender identity and ultimately identifies as gender queer or non-binary. We’ve attended Gender Spectrum conferences, Pride parades, and she’s organized a “day of silence” at her school for LGBTQ students. But, she’s also skipped those same events and chosen to be “stealth” on occasions when she just didn’t feel as open. Hailey is clearly a special and talented kid who has SO very much to offer. I’m glad she has you and Victor to make sure she can focus on what matters. Kids like ours give me hope for the future.

  418. […] via My amazing daughter. Alternate title: I don’t think you’ll have a problem with this at a… […]

  419. Families and people come in all types. You guys happen to be an awesome family filled with awesome types. Also, congratulations on raising a child who felt loved and confident enough to trust you and trust herself. That is so rare. Thanks for being a light to all of us. .

  420. 423
    TheMariaLima

    To Hailey, I am so very proud of you! It took me WAY too many years to publicly come out as bisexual, and am so glad you can do this now. All the hugs and loads of love to you all.

  421. You know, the more we can all be “Okay. But could you hand me the syrup?” the world would be so much better for it.

  422. 425
    Kelly Stoker

    I have a group of about 8 close friends. We became friends when our children were very little. The oldest child is a junior in college now. There are 3 transgender children, 1 lesbian and one bisexual that I know of in our bunch of kids. This is out of 15 children. I believe that sexuality is far more fluid than we believe. If one of my children told me that they were gay or lesbian, I would have said close to what you said. I am so glad that children now have some resources for help, but more is needed. I worry so much about those children who don’t have the support system and end up in bad situations. We need to vote on Nov. 6th and we need to vote in people who aren’t assholes.

  423. I just cried! You make me feel so normal!! I am divorced after 13 years of marriage and openly bi but currently dating a man and dealing with anxiety (can’t say it will last but I am really trying and this is the only person I have dated in 5 years post divorce). My sister is a lesbian after being married to a man and divorced years ago. Back in spring my 11 year old daughter told me that she has a crush on her friend who is a girl and all the other girls in her class have crushes on boys. I was calm and told her there was nothing strange about that at all and that I had crushes on both boys and girls when I was her age. I somehow suspect that her strained relationship with her father will come to a screeching halt when he finds out, but I won’t be the one to tell him. I worry about everything 24/7 but my daughter’s future preference for the gender of her partner is probably the only thing that doesn’t keep me up at night. Just be you.

  424. This is something I wrote to my daughter many moons ago after she came out as bi: http://ghostmoss.blogspot.com/2012/06/to-my-daughter.html

  425. Love to Hailey from her stranger-auntie-on-the-internets! I see her complexity and beauty and I am here for all of it.

  426. So very proud of her!! And proud of you and Victor as well. It might seem like you’re fucking things up as the parent of a teenager but honestly, I think you’re doing everything right. She’s happy, she’s healthy, she is surrounded by love and support. Most of all she knows she can come to you when/if she needs too. All kids need a soft place to land. Well done.

  427. 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

  428. You, my friend are a great mother! She has all the support she’ll ever need with her parents and that says a lot. Hailey is an amazing girl to allow you to share her story with your followers! You three (or four, five or six if we’re counting all the cats and dogs n’ stuff) are an inspiration! Love you much!

    thehuntress915 recently posted Birthday’s Are Different When your an Adult…….

  429. I don’t normally post comments here – typically since other readers either are FAR funnier, or because they’ve said something similar to what I wanted to post – but I just want to say that this post is wonderful! I’m so happy for Hailey, and that she’s supported by wonderful family and friends.

    I’m only out of a few as bisexual (my husband being one), and it’s encouraging to see. Maybe I’ll get the courage one day to come out to the rest of my family.

  430. This is so amazing. She’s amazing and brave and strong and courageous. And y’all handled it in what you thought was the best way at the time, tho I can see what you’re saying about how you were trying to convey how it wasn’t a big deal but maybe didn’t realize how much of a big deal it was to her. Still, it’s been two years and I’m glad she’s out and proud and that you and Victor are so supportive. If she one day chooses to share her life with someone, I hope she finds a woman as strong and smart and amazing as she is.

  431. This is great. I’m a lesbian, as well. I came out 23 years ago when I was 19. The world was a very different place back in 1995 but not a VERY different place. I remember I spent a lot of time wallowing in mental anguish over it all, but it was really for no reason. Even back in 1995, most people (the good people) didn’t care. It’s nice to see a young person figuring things out and gaining confidence as she goes.

    I sort of envy her. Now she’ll have more time to experience the extreeeeeme drama of teenage relationships. (I don’t envy Jenny.)

  432. 435
    Donna Giles

    This made me cry harder than anything you have ever posted. I’m speechless. I’m so honored to “know” you. How do we get everyone else to think like us??

  433. My, then, 16 year old son came out on Christmas Day last year. It was actually a very funny story, but maybe too long to explain it all here. Basically, I bought him a gag gift and decided not to give it to him in case, what I thought was hilarious was actually hurtful to his teenage brain. I told him about it on Christmas morning and he replied that he wished that I had given it to him because he is gay and it would be perfect. I, too, said “OK” and carried on with the day.

    We’ve talked a lot about being gay in the months that have followed. He knows he can ask me anything and I’ll be straight with him (no pun intended). We’ve gone to the Coming about Monologues and gone to Pride. His family is here for him no matter what.

  434. This is awesome, and a tribute to your parenting and times that have thankfully changed. My best to all of you!

  435. You have a beautiful, amazing child. She has the best parents. Add in the cats and Dottie and you have a near-perfect family. I’m so happy for all of you..

  436. Hailey is so lucky to have such supportive parents! She’s so strong and amazing for knowing something so big of who she is and to open up is amazing! Hailey, may you continue to walk through this world 100% unapologetically you!

  437. I could say so much about this, but I’ll keep it short and simple – you’re all amazing and lucky to have each other. Sending all of you so much love. ♥

  438. You are so clearly an amazing woman who is raising an amazing woman.
    Love love love to you all. <3

  439. So proud and happy for Haley, she is very lucky to have you and Victor. Please tell her she has many allies! Big, huge love to your family!!
    Massiel, SW Texas

  440. My daughter came out to me this year. She’s 12. Thank you for sharing your daughter’s story.

  441. 444
    Toni Sumner-Beebe

    Power and love to Hailey! And power and love to you and Victor. You two are raising an amazing young woman.
    I know how you feel about your reaction. When I was in college a friend of mine came out to me – I had known him for several years at that point, we met when he was still in high school and I was a college freshman. Several years later, he came out to me, but he had been nervous all night – a huge lead up, you know? And then when he finally told me, I blurted out “Is that all?!?” (cringe!) I told him that I thought he was going to tell me his is dying of cancer or something. Of course, now I realized how stressful it is to come out. I told him I supported him, that I would have gladly supported him when we first met. I have apologized to him several times for that reaction. We all do the best we can.

  442. I really needed this post for a lot of reasons. Much love to you and Hailey.

  443. This post made me #FuriouslyHappy. I am so honored that you both shared this with us, that we get to see Hailey grow up and be the amazing woman she is becoming. I wish all the best for you all and joy in living life as your true self.

  444. She’s amazing and beautiful. She looks a bit like Judy Garland in these photos!

  445. Thank you for sharing your story and your daughter’s story. You all are amazing people. I am sure this will help a parent somewhere who wants to be supportive of their own child.

  446. This amazing kid is going to rule the world someday… with an army of supporters behind her. Biggest love to you all, and THANK YOU for your bravery, truth and light.

  447. So proud of your daughter and bravery. She is a beautiful young lady!

  448. She was already amazing. Now she’s an amazing lesbian super heroine. Love that kid without even meeting her. And good job, parents.

  449. 452
    Luanne Glynn

    Love your story about your daughter Hailey!!! My youngest grand daughter is named Hailey too. May Hailey’s future be filled with happiness, love and peace. There is no instruction book that comes with raising kids…..not to mention teenagers!!! You just have to do the best you can and you and Victor have done a fabulous job!!! Thank you for sharing!

  450. Kudos to all that you have such a relationship that your then pre- and now teen can talk so easily about this. And especially that you realized what is not a big deal to you is a huge deal to Hailey. I’ve totally forgotten the whackadoo emotions of those years and the perception that everyone is looking and judging. Hooray all around!

  451. Hailey was already amazing. Now she’s an amazing teenage lesbian superheroine. I love her without ever meeting her. And good job, lucky parents.

  452. Nice. Well done Mom, well done Hailey. and well done Victor.

  453. She is amazing and brave. Keep being true to yourself. You and Victor are badasses.

  454. She is glorious! Seems to me that your lil’ fangly is loving each other just right!

  455. This is so lovely! She is so very lucky to have you guys (as lucky as you are too have her!)

  456. 459
    Karyn Doherty

    In PROUD of you all!
    And anyone who isn’t CAN fuck the hell off.
    And she sounds amazingly accomplished for someone twice her age.
    And tell Dorothy Barker she is crazy photogenic, too.

  457. I look forward to the day when, as parents, our children don’t need to announce their sexuality to us but can just bring their partner home to dinner. Until then, I’m proud of Hailey for figuring out who she is and how she wants to share that. And you and Victor are wonderful. <3

  458. Jenny, please tell Hailey thank you from me. I am very proud of her. And very proud of you and Victor!
    I have a 9 year old son who we are waiting to see how he identifies for himself. The sharing here of Hailey’s story helps me be a little more equipped with some language for when the time comes. I love the suggestion of “no labels”. He is so loved and we don’t want to handle it poorly if it comes up. Bless you! ❤️

  459. Yes, so proud of her! And you! The teen years are rough and if you don’t fit the norm in some way (I have a teen with ADHD and another with anxiety/depression) it can be so very hard. She sounds like an amazing young woman and I wish her happiness and eventually, the love of some lucky girl.

    The phrase “happiest as your saddest kid” is so true. It just kills me when they aren’t doing well. I can’t imagine being the kind of parent that contributes to the unhappiness of my children. Kudos to you and Victor for being the support system she needs.

  460. She is a very lucky young woman to have parents to love and support her so honestly and strongly. This will make her stronger as she creates the life that is meant for her. Thank you, and Hailey, for sharing this with us.

  461. This is beautiful. You made me cry. My parents were completely accepting of my pansexuality and it really helped me by letting me just be. It was already such a confusing thing to have to deal with internally so they completely helped me just deal by accepting and loving me. That’s all kids need. Love and acceptance. You guys are so awesome. Big hugs!

  462. This sounds like exactly what happened in our house, although I’m not a few years into the future yet. I’ve been bisexual all my life and have told my kids all of theirs that they can love who they want, but I’m afraid that living in a super-religious small southern city gave my daughter ideas that it wasn’t okay. She is 11 and recently told me she was gay and I was nonchalant about it just because I wanted her to know that it wasn’t something I was upset about or even thought it was a big deal. I don’t think our sexuality should define us (although I do see the need to be open and proud in combating prejudices). I just want her to be her. Maybe I’m wrong? I wish there was a parenting handbook. sigh

  463. Very proud of her, vicariously. It feels weird to be proud of the daughter of a friend that I’ve never met, but I think you will get it. Hopefully, so will she. I’m a 53 year old straight white woman from the South and I think she’s pretty dang amazing. And, as I said on Facebook, I want her t-shirt! She’s growing into the person she’s supposed to be and doing it beautifully.

  464. I’m with you, Jenny! Why should it matter who our kids love/are attracted to? I also may have ruined my daughter’s sharing of her status. We do the best we can. Parenting is hard. Hailey is amazing and we love her.

  465. My amazing daughter came out to me in 6th grade. Her friends and family know, we go to pride and have a rainbow bumper sticker. I am also queer, and her oldest bother is gay, but still she knew by 4th grade she was a lesbian but didn’t tell me until 6th. Actually, I think she tried to come out to me in 5th grade, but I didn’t understand the subtle hints, unfortunately. Anyway, our daughter are the best lesbians ever and will eventually take over the world. I, for one, can’t wait to welcome out lesbian overlords.

  466. Everyone should be allowed to be their best self, not who everyone else expects them to be,but who they are. Hailey is so beyond lucky she has you and Victor for parents so she can grow and blossom as she’s meant to be. I love you, I love that your daughter is such a graceful young woman, and love the most that she can talk to you both and just be her most perfect self, just as she is. Love is love, just as it should be.

  467. That is fucking amazing. Despite all the fuck ups (because when you only have one child, everything is kind of an experiment because you’re going through this for the first and only time ever), y’all are clearly doing something right. 😀

    Y’all handled it way better than I am currently handling my own teenager’s issue. He has a thing, apparently, for pregnant women porn. And I have NO idea WTF to do about THAT because he’s 14.

    mommatrek recently posted I can’t even…..

  468. Jenny, the way your love and pride in Hailey shines through in your posts is so beautiful. Thank you both for sharing this, hearing other people telling their stories is so important for those of us who are still figuring it out.

  469. Thank you for sharing something so personal with us, Hailey, and for trusting your mom and us with your truth. What a privilege it is to know and share in your story and your journey! You have more strength and confidence than most do at your age, and I hope you’ll find support and love wherever you go. Jenny, you’re doing a marvelous job as a parent and I appreciate you sharing your side of things with us as well. There are lots of resources for LGTBQ youth in San Antonio, should you need them, and of course here in Austin as well. I edit my friend Emily’s blog, http://www.profilesinpride.com, and she’s based in SA and would be a badass contact, if you needed to connect with someone nearby! Proud of you, Hailey, keep being your true beautiful self, the world needs more authentic, lovely people like you. 💜

  470. When my kid came out to me, she came into the livingroom marching. She announced, “Mom, I have something to tell you.”
    It seemed important so, I don’t remember if it was an art project or s laptop, but I put it aside to give her my undivided attention and said, okay.
    “Mom, I’m gender fluid and pansexual.”
    “Okay,” I said, “I get gender fluid. What do you mean by pansexual?”
    “Gender and gender identity don’t influence who I attracted to. I could date anyone.”
    “Okay, cool.” We stared at each other for a few beats. “Anything else?”
    “Umm, no…”
    I nodded and went back to whatever I was doing. She turned and went back to her room where she and her friends boggled at how well I had taken it. Evidently my reaction was not the norm.

    @katy_del_moxie

  471. I LONG for the days when people can just be who they are (race, religion, sexuality, etc) and the haters just go away, or they become the silent minority. Hailey, i am pleased you know who you are & are trying all the amazing things you love, to find out where you will fit in this crazy world of ours. uROCK!

  472. ❤️❤️❤️ Reading this and all the comments that follow give me hope that we really are evolving into a nonjudgmental, loving, inclusive world. Thank you for that and so much more.

  473. Your daughter is amazing. And you and Victor are doing it right. Love to all.

  474. 477
    Katy Moxie

    When my kid came out to me in the 7th grade, she came into the livingroom marching. She announced, “Mom, I have something to tell you.”
    It seemed important so, I don’t remember if it was an art project or s laptop, but I put it aside to give her my undivided attention and said, okay.
    “Mom, I’m gender fluid and pansexual.”
    “Okay,” I said, “I get gender fluid. What do you mean by pansexual?”
    “Gender and gender identity don’t influence who I attracted to. I could date anyone.”
    “Okay, cool.” We stared at each other for a few beats. “Anything else?”
    “Umm, no…”
    I nodded and went back to whatever I was doing. She turned and went back to her room where she and her friends boggled at how well I had taken it. Evidently my reaction was not the norm.

    @katy_del_moxie

  475. You are a good mama and your daughter is beautiful. Hailey, you keep growing up and being the best you that you can be! You are loved.

  476. I’m a fan of your books and writing, just recently discovered your blog. One of the reasons I started a new blog was to discuss my son’s transition from being born a girl. Thank you for sharing. If you’re interested, check out finethanks.blog

  477. I would have done the same thing if one of my girls said that to me when she was 12. I would say the same thing if she was 30. It isn’t a big deal to me as a parent. She is still my daughter and I love her and want to protect her but she has to live in this world and not everyone will be nice about something that is none of their fucking business. I don’t understand with the preoccupation that some people have with what other people do in the privacy of their own bedrooms. If they aren’t hurting anyone, just fuck off and leave people alone. I know it is different in the US from Canada, thank Christ, but really take care of yourself before you throw stones at others.

  478. This is wonderful and go Hailey for being herself out loud!

    Also…WHEN DID HAILEY GROW UP SO MUCH?!? I found you in the Beyoncé the chicken era and I didn’t realize that was so long ago!

  479. (I’ve supported many AIDS rides since the 90s, and attended many Houston Pride parades.)

    Last year my girlfriend and I escorted my college roommate’s (now) daughter to he event. I’ve known her since childhood. She lives in a smaller town. I picked her up at grandma’s. We enjoyed walking around and sitting and watching the pre-parade festivities. She was mostly quiet, but you could feel her absorbing it. And then the fun of the parade.

    I know you’re not a crowd fan, but I’m sure Hailey would enjoy herself there, and I think you would too.

  480. I’m crying. This is so wonderful, and y’all are great.

  481. “You’re only as happy as your saddest child, after all.” You captured my day with this line.

    Thank you for loving your baby so well. It is a joy to see.

  482. Lady, you are fantastic & wonderful for knowing who you are at such a young age. I was in college before I realized all girls didn’t look at other girls the way I did. And that was in the 90s. I’m happy for any small thing I’ve done to make sure you have a society where you have support and love. I’m proud of you!

  483. What a beauty.Thank you all for sharing.

  484. I already posted on Facebook how beautiful your daughter is (and YOU are, don’t forget) inside and out, but just wanted to add it here as well. I’m bi. I’m even a smidge poly. Not as openly in some circles as I want to be, because I struggle to explain it to people who don’t understand this because I’m married to a man, or they might be fine with it but assume I’m lucky to not have to deal with it the same way. And that may be true. But my point is that you, sharing that about yourself on top of everything else you’ve been so brave to share is amazing. And it’s completely obvious why your daughter is the awesome sauce she is, with a mom that not afraid to be who she is, no matter how out there. Because it turns out there’s a lot of us weirdos around, and people who don’t fit the boxes others define. And that’s fantastic. (Yes, Doctor Who reference) <3

  485. 488
    Queen of the Weezils

    I’m very glad that Hailey can openly be her authentic self with her parents supporting her! That is so huge. When I came out to my parents (bi), they were supportive. But they didn’t understand how someone who is bi would be married to a person of the opposite sex for so long and so completely. They had unquestioningly assumed I was straight and I never corrected them. It just didn’t come up. I had to explain that being bisexual is a matter of attraction, not behavior. I’m still not sure they entirely get it. But the difference is that I’m a middle-aged woman, and much more secure with myself than most teens, so it isn’t quite as necessary that they “get it”. Congratulations to the whole fam damily for handling this well.

  486. Love and light to you and Victor and Hailey and all your little furry friends. You are amazing; so is she. Victor? Just a hunch.

  487. So Proud! Impressed, even, that at such a tumultuous time, she has that much faith in herself to share her true self with even a small part of the world. I’m still working on that and I’m 36. Sending so much Love and Support to all of you. XOXOXO

  488. Hailey sounds like such an awesome person!! Add me to the list of people who support and admire her! <3

  489. Supporting our children is the best love we can give them, especially when they’re being who they are. Hugs to you all! ♥️♥️♥️

  490. Love you and love to Hailey! Also to Hailey: welcome to the club. You might get lonely sometimes, but we are everywhere. Hugs.

  491. 494
    Alicia Madsen

    This. Is. Magnificent. For.someone with a broken brain, you sure do get a lot of things righter than most folks. Well done Mama!

  492. 495
    texasaggiemom

    “You are only as happy as your saddest child.” YES! As the parent of an adult child who suffers from depression this could not be more true. I hope the overwhelmingly positive response to this post has been reassuring for you and Hailey, and that you both know how much you are loved by so many of us.

  493. My 9 year old daughter came out to her dad and me a few months ago and our response was much the same as yours. It wasn’t a big deal to us but it was to her. She wants to talk all about it and go to Pride and tell everyone. She’s brave as fuck and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She’s my hero. Tell Hailey thank you for being brave enough to live her truth and for being a role model for my daughter. And, big thanks to you and Victor for sharing her with us. 🙂

  494. She is beautiful, inside and out. Just like her Mom. Thank you for posting!

  495. Being open, being honest, being tolerant and loving….that’s what we can do as parents. You are doing AMAZING. And Hailey is clearly a super awesome human! Having supportive and loving parents who do their best is only going to make her journey that much more fantastic, and when it’s hard, she’ll know you’re there to help her get over any hurdles.

  496. One of my girls last year (then 12) asked me what I would say if she were “possibly bi or maybe gay or maybe asexual…?”. I said, ” Honey, we’ve had this discussion before. You know I don’t care, and I will fully support you. “. Her: YOU ARE TRULY THE BEST MOM EVER. She was just so happy. She loved my nonchalance because it just confirmed to her that it was truly no big deal–at least to her parents. She (and her older sister–with whom I ‘d had a similar conversation previously that year) apparently have some friends with VERY judgemental parents. The fact that is was NOT a big deal to me–was a very big deal to them! ALL MY LOVE TO YOU AND YOUR WONDERFUL DAUGHTER!

  497. 500
    Julie Sample

    amazing all the way around.

  498. I am too.

  499. 502
    Carolyn Faulkner-Beitzel

    Hailey is a beautifully strong young woman. I am so happy that she is happy and that you are all happy. Isn’t that what we all want? For our children to be happy. May she be blessed with a long life of holding on to her happiness. Sorry for all the “happy” but what other word is there?

  500. Awwww! Sweetie! To Hailey: I’m happy for you that you have loving, supportiveb parents. Maybe it’s a bit odd that so many internet strangers are happy for you, and supportive of you, but I think maybe it’s also a beautiful thing. I’ve seen you growing up through your mom’s eyes, (which is fun because you’re the same age as my oldest kid), but this is a part of you that is uniquely YOU. Thank you for sharing this, and I wish you all the joy in the world.

  501. Nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said, I’m sure! Good job both of you. <3 be you and do what helps you be comfortable in your skin. People who let themselves be themselves help make the world a better place.

    Laurie recently posted FEMINIST AS F*CK sterling silver bar necklace --hand stamped. feminism equality politics election democrat election 2016 anti-trump mature by IntermezzoDesigns.

  502. May Hailey have a life filled with love and happiness and nobody being terrible to her. I’m glad she is growing up in such a great family. She is amazing!

  503. You be you Hailey, and the world will just have to accept it. You have an amazing set of parents and I’m so thankful this wasn’t a battle or disbelief for you. It takes strength to know who you are. 💕

  504. It’s funny that you and I went through such similar things. My oldest daughter is smart, beautiful, passionate, artistic and funny, and as she got older I figured she might be gay, bisexual or somewhere on the spectrum other than 100% straight. By her senior year in 2008, there was one day when she took a deep breath and told me she liked girls. My response was, “Oh, okay. That’s totally fine.” (I was so relieved that was all; based on the way she was bracing herself to tell me, I worried it might be something bad. LGBTQ was not a problem at all.)

    To me, I was accepting her as she was without any reservations. But to her, it came across as “I don’t believe you” and “I don’t take seriously what’s important to you.”

    Momming a teen is tough sometimes. They are more tender and vulnerable than they (or we) really realize.

    She dated a few girls and a few boys. Some were girls in transition to being boys. Her high school treated her and her date well at the prom, to my surprise and gratitude. I just want her to be treated with respect and to be loved. Right now, she’s dating a guy, which is also fine.

    I am so happy for your daughter, though, that she has a supportive and loving family who normalize her sexuality as just one aspect of who she is, not something to be gawked at or dreaded or pried into.

    High-five, mama! And papa!

    cbahm recently posted What decent people do.

  505. So much love to Hailey the Great and her awesome parents. I remember catching a glimpse of Hailey and Victor at BookPeople last time I saw you and thanking both of them for sharing you with us. Thank you to Hailey for sharing herself. I’m filled with joy to know we have such an awesome young woman here in Central Texas and the world!!

  506. 509
    GrandeMocha

    Hailey is smart and beautiful and has a fantastic mom. What else could she want?

  507. 510
    GreenUnicorn2002

    Thank you for sharing her story. Brought tears of joy to my eyes and reminded me the power of acceptance and love.

  508. 511
    LA Smith-Buxton

    Amazing daughter. Amazing mom. Amazing dad. Amazing life. Wishing all love you and yours and hoping the future holds much laughter and love and adventure.

  509. 512
    Devon Smith

    Congratulations, you’re an incredible family and Hailey is a fabulous girl #LovelsLove #PRIDE

  510. first, I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. an official welcome to the LGBTQIA+ family, Hailey. I’ve been out since 1980 and the world still isn’t what I would have it be for you, but we’ve inched it a little closer. were I a literal ‘fairy’ godmother, I would gift you with all the good the world has to offer.

    and to your parents: thank you. thank you for being what we hope all parents will be. thank you for showing the world how to love and accept a perfect daughter.

    you are all 3 a wonderful bright spot today.

  511. 514
    Suzanne Vier

    I have read your blog for years. I have admired more about you than most people in my life. Your intellect and mental explorations are epic. I have related to you on levels I didn’t know possible. The fact that you can put these thoughts to paper in such a humorous and thoughtful, raw and honest way puts you truly in a class of your own. The fact that you were so eager to let Haley know you were ok with this, then the realization that you, we, in our efforts to give truck loads of love & understanding can still miss the mark just a bit in excessive support and acceptance! LOL! This parenting thing is tough on us geeky thinkers. Rest assured Haley will thrive. You are F’g amazing and you have won my coveted Personal Pulitzer for several years running even though I’m not sure you’re not supposed to get more than one of those, no matter. It’s mine to give. I didn’t come out till I was 46, by the way, so while I don’t want a new mom it woulda been cool if I thought mine would have said pass the syrup. If you’re ever in Ventura and don’t feel like you need to stay in your hidey hole or even if you do, I’d be happy to present your Pulitzer (prize to be determined as I don’t have millions of dollars or my own magazine to put you on the front page and ostentacious ceremonies are just so…ostentatious, so maybe a nice pizza or fruit basket 😉 Much love to you and yours my friend who I’ll never meet but covet nonetheless 🙂

  512. Congratulations/yay/excellent/well done! Haley is an amazing kid and I’m honored that you (and she) have allowed us to see so much of her growing up. Also how amazing for ANYONE to put something so personal out there and get literally hundreds of positive comments? Amazing.

  513. I’m adore Hailey for who she is and I understand not making a big deal when she told you because I did the same thing when a friend told me and he was a little sad It wasn’t a bigger shock. I’m glad she feels more open and confident in telling her story. She amazing and it doesn’t matter who she loves.

  514. Kudos to you, Hailey, for being a bright, brave, talented young person. I’m so happy that you feel safe enough to come out and that times have changed enough for you to have supportive, amazing parents and a community that is not afraid to stand up for its young and old LGBTQA folk. Congratulations, Hailey! I hope you have a wonderful, charmed life full of love of all kinds and all the success you can handle.

  515. Jenny, I’m so glad she’s comfortable talking to you about this. There’s something so amazing and solid about affirmation that all parts of you are ok, including your sexual preferences. 🙂 Thank you for being you, and Hailey for being her. You’re both wonderful humans. <3

  516. This is such a fantastic story to hear & it’s so wonderful that you all have each other around for support & love. Thanks so much for sharing it as I’m sure it’ll mean a lot to many others.

  517. I think you did a great job with her announcement – as a parent, I, too, know that nothing one does is ever perfect cuz none of us are perfect and, besides, teens are gonna have strong (often conflicting) emotions about everything.

    As a former gay teen (and now a loud and proud married gay adult man), you said and did all the things I wish my parents had done for me. In our community, we try to celebrate and support our family and our family’s family. Thank you to you and Victor. And welcome to Hailey.

    Someone get that young woman a toaster!

  518. 521
    callistolee

    Hailey is one of those amazing young people that give me faith that maybe everything will be “okay”, and that I should stop hoping for that comet to hit us.
    And you are one of those amazing parents that care enough to raise a child as fierce as Hailey.
    Thank your whole family for us.

  519. (also, wordpress is linking me to a blog that isn’t mine. not sure why as it’s set up properly but. ack.)

  520. 523
    Stephanie Eiseman

    I give your daughter kudos for understanding who she is at such a young age. I didn’t come out 100% until I was 34, and I’m 35 now. I kept it hidden from most people for so long (including my parents) and it ate me up inside. Your lovely daughter is a strong woman and one day she will have the inner strength to go to a Pride weekend celebration. It’s more than just a parade; it’s a celebration of likeness and understanding and most importantly, love. We are free to be who we are without fear of judgement. The mild amount of protestors that attend Pride events are proof that we still have a ways to go in this world regarding full support of the LGBTQ community but we have made huge strides in the forward direction. The first time she attends a Pride event she may feel overwhelmed but once she sees the sheer glee on everyone’s faces she’ll feel right at home. It’s invigorating to be out and proud but it takes some steps to get there and she will get there. I’m more proud of her than I ever thought I could be. She’s a strong woman who has the world at her fingertips. She will make the most amazing girlfriend to anyone she sets her sights on. The first step is the hardest and she’s now over that hurdle. The rest is much easier and she will have the time of her life.

  521. Oh! I’m so proud of you both! Why is my nose all Rudolph all of a sudden…? xoxoxo

  522. Now I love you more than yesterday! 🙂 -Tamara

  523. I have two gay cousins, gay friends, a person who is a lesbian is one of my best friends, I worked at a company where 90 percent of upper management were lesbians. Some gay men. I’ve known as number of gay men to die from AIDS related issues. One college friend came out to me and he was more upset that I had already figured that out (along with most of the rest of his friends.) He is one that died a long time ago.

    So I have zero issue with your daughter being a lesbian, you being Bi, or anyone else. And you can say “fuck you” to those that do have an issue with it. But you can also say, “fuck you” to me or anyone that doesn’t. Because our opinions and beliefs don’t matter. It really comes down to how your daughter feels about it, and to a lesser extent, but helpful, you and your husband.

    The issue I have, is anyone who says “it’s a choice.” Who the fuck would chose a life where family and friends might abandon you, or worse, people want to do you physically harm. When I was younger, thinner and more metrosexual, I had threatening calls of “faggot” on the street walking home. It’s not a good feeling, and not one I would choose.

  524. Don’t beat yourself up to much about how you handled her coming out. For you it wasn’t a big deal and sometimes we feel that we need to show that by being blasé about a typically sensitive subject. I am glad that you have talked about it and that she is feeling more comfortable with herself. The continued support she gets from her family growing up is more important then how a moment is handled!

  525. ::standing wildly clapping:: BRAVA!!!!! The fact that she was comfortable coming out to you is indicative of her wonderful parents. I applaud you! As someone who has fought for gay rights, I love how you let her come out in her own way, her own time. Congratulations on a loving family!

  526. Hailey is perfect. Just like her mother.

    And you’re right, teenagers are HARD and middle school can totally suck, but if I had to do middle school over again, you are exactly who I would want to be in my corner.

  527. Thank you so much for sharing yourself with total strangers. It makes us all feel good about being “strangers” ourselves ;). My 14 year old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s when he was 5. We have celebrated and paraded and worn the t shirts for years as a family and he is comfortable with who he is in all facets as a teen. I don’t know if it has been a series of good decisons or bad but I can say that I am seeing him as a fine young man who has been bully proof despite his differences. H

  528. Hailey is perfect. Just like her mother.

    And you’re right, teenagers are HARD and middle school can totally suck, but if I had to do middle school over again, you are exactly who I would want to be in my corner.

  529. Beautiful ladies thankyou for sharing your journey. Such love and support is a beautiful thing.

  530. I may or may not have teared up while reading this. I didn’t have a fraction of that confidence or self-awareness when I was that age. Some days I still don’t. Maybe it’s weird to have role models that are younger than you are, but why the hell not?

  531. I love alll of this! Hailey is an amazing young woman. Her parents are wonderful too!

  532. She’s exactly as perfect as she was meant to be:-)

  533. This is beautiful. Hailey is beautiful. You and Victor are beautiful. Thank you.
    My daughter is 12. Some of her friends are coming out. Some have families who are supportive. Some.. not quite as much. My daughter knows that our home is supportive for all.

  534. Your family gives me hope for the future.

  535. Hailey you are amazing! I went to high school in the late 90s and I never came out because it was so different then. The progress that we’ve made a society since then sometimes truly flabbergasts me, and I’m so happy that you can live your truth. I’ve been reading this blog for a few years now, and sort of watched you grow up Hailey! It has been a privilege to see the wonderful person you are becoming. ♥️

  536. Jennifer, you are amazing and clearly you have passed those genes down. I’m sure Victor’s portion of DNA was adequate.:)

  537. I so want to fangirl on all of you. This post made my heart both squeeze and expand. You are right that it is weird that we have celebrate with PRIDE events, but it is also important that we do. I think you handled it fine – because I’d bet a gazillion dollars you two had already spoken about how hard it is to be a teenager, different, both, etc. Her sexuality may make her life harder right now, but truly, anything separating you from the teenage herd makes life harder. It’s the degree that makes all the difference. She knows she is loved unconditionally.

  538. FUCK YES.

    To this entire thing.

    Fuck yes.

    She’s brave, even though she shouldn’t have to be. You’re brave, and you don’t have to be. I love all of this so so very much. <3 <3 <3

  539. I have 4 kids, who are currently all teenagers and just want to say that you are absolutely right that it’s hard. All we can do is try our best and, when we inevitably fuck something up, do our best to make it right and do better next time. For me, it’s hard to give them the freedom that I think they want, while still trying to encourage them to be good people (and grow into good adults). Anyway, from the bits you show us here on the blog and in your books, I think it’s pretty clear that you and Victor are loving, wonderful parents and Hailey is a pretty awesome kid (and learning opera is most much more likely to be useful than learning cursive).

  540. She is lovely, you are lovely. Raising teen girls is hard, I know, I had three. You’re doing a fabulous job. 💖

  541. My daughter informed me she is bi-sexual at 11 years old. I am fully on board but did mention to her that she was very young and that these types of concepts/labels are fluid. I told her I fully support whoever she loves but did also caution her about possible reactions from others and the world in general. I told her that if she could love herself even half as much as I love her she would be fine and dandy but like you I worried early on that it might be a phase. She has a strong groups of friends of all sexual orientations. I am so respectful of you and Hailey for sharing her story and I am going to let her read this one.

  542. 545
    Rebecca Stromgren

    1) Thank you, Hailey, for sharing.
    I know that this was really scary, and hard, and scary.
    This changes nothing about how the people that look forward to hearing your exploits feel about you.
    And
    2) “You’re only as happy as your saddest child, after all.”
    Jenny, I would LOVE to tell you that this gets better, as your children get older.
    But, that would be a lie, and I cannot abide liars.
    My babies are well over twice the age as Hailey, and they are going through some really difficult,, very scary, life changing things, and are very NOT HAPPY.
    Ergo, I am NOT HAPPY.
    Yes, I am caps lock emotional, at the moment.
    But, that is okay.
    We will get through this.
    Because, it is what Moms do.
    High five, fellow Mom.

  543. When the world seems filled with a few too many very loud assholes… you make things better.

    May love always win.

    Xox to you and Victor and Hailey

    balletandboxing recently posted 2 year danciversary – shout out to one of my favorite dance partners.

  544. Rock on, Hailey. Hugs to all of you and your parents – you are clearly going to be an amazing woman. (Not that you aren’t already).

  545. That must have been very difficult for her – she’s very brave. I’m glad you and Victor are there to help her learn to forge her way in a society that is still not as accepting as it should be. I look forward to her changing it to suit her needs. I don’t have any tacos, but she’s very pretty. 🙂

  546. In 1st grade I started noticing girls. I told my mom freshmen year of high school I was bisexual an she laughed at first. So I think you are doing much better than my mom did. Early support is important.

    It took me till just recently, 30, to figure out I actually only like women and had just been doing what I thought I was suppose to. Get married an have babies.

  547. We don’t know her but we care about her, she is our child, also. It takes a village, right? (Though your village is paying her expenses) Maybe it’s the teacher in me but I wish all children knew they are worthy of love and should be loved for who they are. Quite frankly, what ever your age, we could all use that reminder.

  548. You guys are such amazing parents. I think we all feel we are fucking up all the time. It’s normal. You are doing a wonderful job raising Hailey. I am proud of her for being brave enouh to speak her truth, to be who she truly is. I grew up in a formerly ultra-conservative family. They became progressive Democrats because of President Obama, but long after I realized I was Bi. I knew when I was a bit younger than Hailey. I am happy that your daughter has support I didn’t. Today, I am a married lady. My husband and I share a daughter. If the day comes that she tells me that she is a lesbian, she will absolutely have our love and support, no questions asked. 😊

  549. Yes, MA’AM, I am proud of Hailey. And her parents. Good on all of you! xoxoxo

  550. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

  551. 554
    Keith Hopkins

    Hooray for differences! I didn’t come out until 35, so I’m super delighted that Hailey is out now, and doesn’t have to hide her real self. Love to all three of you.

  552. Also, I am covetous of that t-shirt she’s wearing.

  553. Our stories are so similar it’s eerie but I couldn’t have written it as beautifully as you did. ❤️

  554. As I told my daughter when she came out: It is not who you love, or how you love, but that you love.

  555. 558
    Heather Lessells

    Just when I thought that I couldn’t love you any more than I already do! I am so full of admiration for your ability to be openly bi, and I think Hailey is a tremendously talented, beautiful and fascinating person. The fact that she can come out as a lesbian at 14 AND the fact that she felt that she could tell you over breakfast at 12 makes my heart ache and swell with joy and a bit of envy too. I didn’t have the courage to come out as a lesbian until I was 49 and my parents were gone. You and Victor must be fantastic parents to have raised such a daughter. And the fact that you know Lady-Love makes you all that more wonderful to me! You are truly my heroine!

  556. Beautifully written.
    I am so happy she has a family like you.
    I’m 32 and I’m still not out to my parents.

  557. So proud of you all. I can’t imagine not accepting a child–your child–for who he is, but I know it happens too often. So glad it didn’t happen to Hailey. Remind her she’s one of a bunch of amazing people. When I grow up, I want to be Rachel Maddow!

  558. Totally

  559. Those cheek bones are killing me! Where did she get that bone structure? Any drag queen would give their best wig for those (and the eyebrows). Also, I want to be Hailey when I grow up. Please tell her to love her journey. As a great poet once told me, “Everything is exactly as you need it to be right now.”

  560. Congrats on being out beautiful girl. May you always be loved and accepted for who you are.

  561. 564
    Lori.hunstad@gmail.com

    Jenny, thank you so much for sharing Hailey’s story with us. We mom’s (and dad’s) are far from perfect. We’re mostly fucked up ourselves and trying to navigate the teen years for the second time in our lives! I am the mother of a gay angel son and i remember when I screwed up with him. I knew something was up, he wasn’t “himself,” so i started asking questions: are you in trouble with the law, with the police, are you doing drugs(yes), are you gay – my responses to all of his answers were “ok.” The WRONG answer – because that’s why he came out on social media. He said when i asked him if he was gay, I said ok like i was relieved. Couldn’t have been farther from the truth! I was more worried about the first 3 questions! Turns out, coming out, being gay and becoming an uncle were the best things in his life. The question I failed to answer was about his mental health. That was 2014 – we lost him to in June last year to suicide. Moral of my story I guess is this, as parents, we never really know how to act or react. We just do our best and we love completely without judgement or prejudice and with fierce conviction. And now his beautiful niece (my granddaughter) who’s 4, goes to “Rainbow” parades for her Uncle Nicky because he loves rainbows and smiles from heaven. Live your best life and live it with joy in your heart, Hailey!

  562. We’ve all been so lucky to get to see Hailey grow up into the amazing young person that she is today. I’m so honoured to get to read this part of Hailey’s story. Thank you for being an amazing parent who is raising the kind of child who gives us all hope for the future.

    And if anyone is being mean, I will throat punch them for you.

  563. This is excellent news! Congratulations Hailey for living out and proud! I so wish I could do the same. I’m 40 years old and my parents and family still don’t know I’m bisexual, nor do a lot of my family friends….nor do my children (I’m partnered with a man). It’s pretty tough. I wish I could be out, and am taking baby steps in that direction. I applaud your awesome truth and am cheering wildly for you and your awesome parents!

  564. 567
    Nicole Moore

    So very happy for her and you two for being amazing parents!!!

  565. <3 you guys!

  566. Solid alternate title. I went to my first Pride Parade this summer and it was just ridonkulous enthusiasm, joyful screaming, and Lady Gaga blaring. It was contagious in a great way. But at the same time a vendor off the parade route was like “Meh. What’s to scream about. I’ve been out since I was fifteen.” Some people gotta scream and wear glitter though 🙂 https://possumscatsthingsgnawingatme.wordpress.com/2018/06/29/little-adventures-pride/

  567. Hailey: Being yourself isn’t always going to be easy, but it is THE pathway to happiness. And that’s true for everyone, no matter who they are and who they love. Always listen to yourself, like you do, and you’ll get a lot more right than you get wrong. And when you’re ready, we’re waiting for you at the parade. ❤💜💙💚💛

  568. Our daughter is gay, too, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Like you, I minimized it when she told us because I was all good with it. I am grateful they are growing up in this world but feel like there is still so far to go. We’re moms, we worry. We have trouble with some of our family and realize now there were some comments by them before they knew that resulted in her having guilt about it. I was so mad! I’ll disown them in a heartbeat for my kid! This is her story and I am like you, struggling how and when to share. I don’t post pictures of her on Facebook any more. Not even that cute one at Pride for fear she’ll have negative backlash. It’s hard to know when to speak out and when you might make things harder, not easier for them. Thanks for posting today. I knew I liked you. 😉

  569. Good for you and Victor… and good for Hailey! Not everyone who comes out is lucky enough to have such caring, understanding, awesome parents. Good on you all!

  570. I too have a daughter that came out to us at 11 this year. We had about the same reaction. We told her no matter what, she is our daughter and we will always love her. And that we are here for her as she finds her self. She wanted to go to the Twin Cities Pride festival this year and we did, as a family. It was great to be able to show her support.
    Not all is perfect, she does seem to be struggling with some depression but we jumped on that right away and she now sees a therapist that is LGBTQ sensitive and works with adolescents. We are very fortunate to live in a city with access to all this.

  571. So much love to you, Hailey, and love to your family. insert standing ovation here ❤️❤️

  572. Much love to Hailey and you and Victor. Obviously you are all wonderful. But I don’t think you can do math. Hailey was only 8 the other day. I remember. Stop this 14 nonsense. Un-possible.

  573. My son came out as trans and bisexual two years ago. Parental support is vital. You are doing awesome.

  574. 577
    Lesley McCombe

    And, sweetheart, if things get ugly down there, come on up to Canada. Our politics are nice and boring, just like some of our citizens, but we’re good with that.

  575. All I have to say is Love. My boys are both LGBTQIA and I love them to pieces. Loving and supporting our kids is our job as parents. I’m always thrilled to see other pew who get that.

  576. Hailey is amazing. So are you & Victor. I grew up in an ultra conservative (Pentecostal) home & church & set out at 18 never to return. I imagine it is incredible and wonderful and just downright peaceful to have an accepting & supportive family. I’m so glad you all have each other.

    Thanks to Hailey for sharing her story 😺.

  577. Firstly, thank you for being such an amazing, accepting mom. Thanks to victor for being the same kind of dad. Thank you to hailey for having the courage to share with you who she is. I was much like hailey, in the sense that my parents were very accepting, as was almost everyone I told when I came out at 18. I lost one good friend, which hurt, because she was someone I considered to be a second mom, but because everyone else was so great, I knew it was her problem, bot mine. My parents, and many of my close friends (who were members of my temple congregation), marched for 10yrs in the San Diego Pride Parade, not because of me, but because there were many LGBTQ members of the congregation. My mom proudly carried a sign that said, “I love my lesbian daughter,” and she always did. Hell, when I came out, she told me she’d known for years…can’t put one over on a mom. It hasn’t always been easy, I’ve had strangers make nasty comments, but those strangers are few and far between, and I’ve held on to the “it’s their issue, not mine,” mentality. So many of my favorite stars are out now, and I think it helps to make people see the normalcy of it, and that above all, LOVE WINS. I wish hailey a life of love and happiness!!

  578. I think it’s so beautiful that you are raising a young woman comfortable with living her truth. I can’t wait to see where she goes in life. She’s going to do amazing things!

  579. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl. I cried so hard reading this, both as a mom who worries about doing right by her kids and as an openly bisexual woman who could never have hoped to receive such a loving response from her parents. You’ve clearly done an amazing job with her and you must be so very proud of the young lady she’s become.

  580. Beautifully written. Needed to hear this!

  581. So proud of Hailey!!! Thank you for sharing this. ❤️❤️
    Also, this line: “You’re only as happy as your saddest child, after all.” OOF, my heart. So true.

  582. I love everything about you and your family! Sending you three love from across the internet. 🙂
    We’ll fend off the shitty people who need to fuck off. You go enjoy spending time with your lovely daughter!

  583. loud applause! I had a similar experience with my teenager, although they ended up trying on a few different labels before they landed on the ones that felt most right to them. There are things I wish I had done slightly differently, but honestly just listening with love is all any parent needs to do for any child. It hurts my heart when they have admitted they were scared to tell me they wanted to try on another label, but I’ve realized that it’s not necessarily about any negativity that I’ve expressed; it’s about the negativity that so many people still face from their family and friends as well as strangers on the internet. There is still work to be done to make the world a safe space, even if we have made our homes a safe space.

  584. 587
    Leslie Cunningham Zvolanek

    ‘Most amazingly cognizant parenting and caring and intelligent life-passaging I’ve ever born witness to. I’m Awed. I’m so happy for all of, for each of you, astonishing, lovely, loveable, complex, imperfect, and dear near-friends … thank you for your shared courage and much Joy to all/each of you. – Leslie

  585. This is the most beautiful love letter from a mom to a daughter. I know my mom loves me just as much as you love her. I’m not crying . . . you’re crying. <3
    -Caitlin

  586. Welcome to the tribe, Hailey! You are an amazing person. I am so impressed by your self confidence. Coming out is a big deal (even though it shouldn’t be… straight people don’t have to come out, after all). And most people don’t have famous writer moms who write about them. Yea for you for coming out to all of us who are fans of you (because of what your mom shares with us). I support you and cheer for you! And, p.s., it took me until I was 46 years old to figure out I’m gay; that’s when I came out. And, p.p.s, yea Jenny and Viktor!

  587. and she is BEAUTIFUL!!!

  588. 591
    Terry Hickman

    Much love to Hailey and her parents. There are millions fighting for a better world for all children and humans. If things get tough, remember that: you are NOT alone!

  589. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  590. 593
    Jennifer Howard

    As a Mama Bear of a proud queer daughter, I salute the journey your family is going on together. Love is love is love is love! <3

  591. She’s so lucky to have you and Victor. She is a beautiful person and I’m so glad she has love and support! This world is too hard without it. Jennifer A

  592. 595
    Lisa Salim

    I suspect I would have responded the same way since it just wouldn’t matter to me as long as my child was happy. To me it would no more or less significant then the fact that I have one daughter with brown hair and one with blond. It just is and it’s all good.

  593. Wow now I wish I were maybe 14 or 15 and gay and a girl (ok, i am a girl) so i could be the lucky person getting to fall in love with your daughter in a few years. She is going to be a force of good to be reckoned with in this world. Thank you for sharing her with us. And Hailey, thanks for letting your mom share you. I work at a school and I’m priviledge to see many kids become themselves over the years. What a treat!

  594. Love you! Love Hailey! Tacos and tissues for everyone.

  595. Good job Jenny and Victor for handling the situation like amazing supportive parents and congratulations Hailey for being brave enough to be exactly who you are!

  596. She is lucky to have you as parents. She is a smart, beautiful girl and she will go far in life.
    When my son came out to me I had the same reaction… it was like… ok, pass the salt.

  597. this 61-year-old lesbian welcomes hailey into our fold! i encourage her to read our history…uh, herstory!

  598. My eyes are wet. I’m sure it’s the dust. You are a wonderful family!

  599. 602
    Littlewolf

    Congrats, Hailey. 🙂

    Wishing you a lifetime of joyous discoveries.

  600. I have watched your beautiful, sweet, compassionate, empathetic, kind, loving Hailey growing into this extraordinary young woman, because you’ve so generously shared your life with people who’ve come to love you and your precious family. She is a stunning warrior and champion for gracefully living your life on your own terms, while respecting and supporting others. Through your books, writings, and candor on social media know life hasn’t always been easy and you’ve had some monumental things to work through, but I’ll tell you this, in times when the depression is lying and telling you that you fucked up everything you’ve ever touched, look at your Hailey until it sinks back in that you and Victor have raised that incredible being to be a strong, exceptional person. She is that and so much more.

  601. SOOO much love to each of you. Hailey, you are tremendously brave, and thank you so much for allowing your story to be shared with us. Jenny, you and Victor are incredible parents, and it’s such a beautiful thing that your family loves and supports one another the way it does. This is how acceptance and inclusiveness ripples outward and gives strength to others. I wish I could hug you all in person.

  602. Thank you for sharing. My kids are young and have not expressed a sexual preference yet. My husband and I would also be very accepting of whatever makes them happy. I appreciate reading this as it gives me another perspective into how to best navigate those conversations with my kids. Thank you Hailey and Jenny!

  603. How lucky she is to have parents like you and your husband. And how lucky you are to have a strong, brave, beautiful daughter.

  604. Hailey is such an amazing person! How great it