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Queer single parent feeling the pressure

Mental illness recognises no boundaries...
otter
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:09 pm

Queer single parent feeling the pressure

Postby otter » Thu Feb 02, 2017 2:32 pm

Hi, I am 6 years into parenting and have been doing it alone since my child was 6 weeks old, my ex partner of 7 years couldn't handle the pressures of being in a family. Being a queer single parent has its own flavour of challenges, i feel overwhelmingly outnumbered in the world of families and struggle to know if its my personality or my sexuality that has meant we are not included in the community, there are also economic issues that may factor in feeling restricted but largely I believe that families seek out mirror images of their particular structure, which I would likely also do if it were an option, but as it isn't I often feel alienation around the majority of families that I meet through school and family activities.

Even on the vast internet I have not found ways to network with other single queer parents, and right now, in february, I am struggling with it all, the financial stuff around being a lone parent family and the emotional stuff around holding all the social aspects together with a very low success rate when I do reach out.

I am wrestling with envy of those around me who have secure supportive families and acceptance as a 'given' within the wider world. I am tired of there being an assumption that life as a gay person is not so different, and weary of having to choose between attempting to represent my experiences in a non threatening way or keep quiet and let them believe what they want. It is shocking how often, when talking about my struggles to a heterosexual person, I meet with their anecdotal responses that they know gay people and they are fine about being gay, so I assume they think I am making an issue where there need not be one. Very few hetero people I have spoken to are aware that we still live in times where homophobia happens A LOT on multiple levels both subtle and overt and that it really hurts to be on the frontline all the time, that having to constantly come out is exhausting and never ends, and that normal stresses of life are also happening on top it.

I just wonder if there are any other queer single parents out there who have some great coping strategies that I have not found yet...

rsxo
Posts: 829
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:12 pm

Re: Queer single parent feeling the pressure

Postby rsxo » Wed May 17, 2017 3:43 pm

otter wrote:Hi, I am 6 years into parenting and have been doing it alone since my child was 6 weeks old, my ex partner of 7 years couldn't handle the pressures of being in a family. Being a queer single parent has its own flavour of challenges, i feel overwhelmingly outnumbered in the world of families and struggle to know if its my personality or my sexuality that has meant we are not included in the community, there are also economic issues that may factor in feeling restricted but largely I believe that families seek out mirror images of their particular structure, which I would likely also do if it were an option, but as it isn't I often feel alienation around the majority of families that I meet through school and family activities.

Even on the vast internet I have not found ways to network with other single queer parents, and right now, in february, I am struggling with it all, the financial stuff around being a lone parent family and the emotional stuff around holding all the social aspects together with a very low success rate when I do reach out.

I am wrestling with envy of those around me who have secure supportive families and acceptance as a 'given' within the wider world. I am tired of there being an assumption that life as a gay person is not so different, and weary of having to choose between attempting to represent my experiences in a non threatening way or keep quiet and let them believe what they want. It is shocking how often, when talking about my struggles to a heterosexual person, I meet with their anecdotal responses that they know gay people and they are fine about being gay, so I assume they think I am making an issue where there need not be one. Very few hetero people I have spoken to are aware that we still live in times where homophobia happens A LOT on multiple levels both subtle and overt and that it really hurts to be on the frontline all the time, that having to constantly come out is exhausting and never ends, and that normal stresses of life are also happening on top it.

I just wonder if there are any other queer single parents out there who have some great coping strategies that I have not found yet...


Hi otter,

You've been amazingly brave in sharing your experience, so well done!

It's more likely that you feel alienated due to your orientation. Older generations still generally view sexuality as a disgusting topic, which is unfortunate. The mirror image idea would then make sense, because they would be suspicious about why the child isn't part of a 'normal' family (as silly as it is to say that).

Being a non-straight person in today's society is still difficult. People turn a blind eye to minorities because they don't feel responsible for their difficulties, even when they are part of the society that enforced it.

I think the dilemma people in your position face is whether they remain conservative about their orientation and try and fit in, or remain outspoken about it and stand out. In the end, both have their pros and cons, but what's most important is to feel comfortable about yourself. Personally, I wouldn't go shouting it from the rooftops, but I'd make sure I feel comfortable standing up for myself if the topic came up. Ultimately, you seek to find a way to live safely and sustainably.

I hope you continue to fight the good fight - the battle against homophobia still rages on, even if it doesn't happen in public :)

Much love <3
RSxo <3


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