Three years after he told us, Dad moved to London, where he now lives with his long-term boyfriend. Since you appear to be living with your mother and not yet emancipated and living on your own, there is less space between you and more potential for tempers to flare. Even after they said they were splitting up it was very calm. You might send your mother a link to the PFLAG website if she is computer literate, or print out literature you can leave for her if she is not. In fact, we all go on holiday together. They had separate interests — Dad, golf, and mum, her friends.
We enlighten each other.
What’s it like for a child when their mum or dad comes out as gay?
I went off the rails. No correspondence takes place. I was 17 and they sat me down and were very matter-of-fact. I recently had a really good counsellor. For about three months I hardly slept.
Shelley has two older brothers and is married to Dan, also a teacher, with whom she has two daughters, aged seven and Gabriela was 29 before she could bring herself to say out loud: I sometimes wonder if she did that knowing what might lie ahead. Sam thinks Dad must have known he was gay, so why marry her? For a while she went to a high-school support group for children of divorced parents, but no one talked about gay parents and she was too nervous to bring it up.