My daughter is dating a girl. My son likes makeup and pretty nails. My other daughter is a tomboy and hangs out with mostly boys because she can't stand girl drama; and my other son loves baseball and football. None of these things define them as a whole. It is merely one aspect of who they are. It is their character that matters the most. I do not struggle at all with loving and supporting them because they are all amazing people that I am beyond proud of.
In our house we have always told our children to be who they are, love what they want and do what makes them happy as long as they are not hurting others. If my children grow up to be happy, kind, caring, productive, honest and all around good people, I will always support them. They know that our house is a safe place to be who they are. They also know that the world outside our house can be very harsh and judgmental. We do not hide this fact from them but instead try to teach them how to handle that and be strong enough to be proud of who they are everywhere they go.
I have always told my children, they never need to "come out" to me; instead just bring home who you are dating. As long as their partner makes them happy and they have a healthy relationship that is what matters to me. I don't feel the need for my children to label themselves either. I have told them that labels tend to put people in a box and there is no box that can hold them. People tend to try to put you in all kinds of boxes in your life and I encourage my children to break out beyond them. Whether if it is their love life, their passions or anything else; they never have to be held back. They are free to pursue their own happiness in all aspects of life.
I wish for my children a future filled with more acceptance and more compassion. I wish for them to be able to pursue all the things that they love and bring them happiness without the cruel hate filled judgement of others. The only way that future is possible is for us to teach our children these valuable qualities.
You can not tell your children to be who they want and then teach them to be close minded and judgmental. You can not tell your children to be accepting and understanding and kind to others if you do not teach them through watching you do the same. Open your heart. Open your mind. Be kind to everyone. And, realize that all humans deserve the right to be happy and to be supported in who they are, if they are good people. We have to stop the cycle of ignorance and hate towards others. We have to be willing to embrace our children and love them unconditionally. We have to be willing to nurture what makes them happy and help them to be prepared for the world they will face with grace, strength, compassion and confidence. We have to be willing to help start to make this world better for them and for future generations by starting in our own homes.
If you love my children, or my family, any less because of how they look, who they date or what their passions and dreams are; well, that is your problem and not theirs and in this family we have no room for that. You do not have to agree to accept others.