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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Grapples With Accepting That Her Daughter Is Gay

DEAR ABBY: I grew up in the generation where if you were gay and you came "out of the closet," as it was called, you were not accepted in the community. A lot has changed since then. However, when it hits close to home, it's difficult for me to deal with.

My 19-year-old daughter told me three years ago that she's gay. At first I thought she was going through a phase and she was trying to find herself. Now she's dating girls her age, and I'm having a difficult time accepting it. Can you help me? -- STRUGGLING MOTHER IN ILLINOIS

DEAR STRUGGLING: Be glad we're not living in the bad old days because the ones we're living in are healthier for everyone. Start by congratulating yourself for having raised a daughter who is honest about her feelings and determined to live her life authentically. While some things may be different than you fantasized when she was little, it does not mean she won't be happy, successful and possibly a parent, if she wishes. Support her as she navigates through her journey in life. If you do, you -- and she -- will be fine.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Sex & Gender | Teens