Temple and Alyx are two of Marjorie’s three children who are out to her.
“Temple has been out for longer — I want to say they were 11 or 12,” Marjorie said, noting that they’re 14 now. “It was cute because Temple and I have a notebook we pass between us to be completely honest with one another. They can ask anything, no judgments.”
Marjorie says it’s a safe place notebook “because they wanted to have something they could use to ask questions about that stuff.”
While they were passing this notebook between each other, Temple wrote once asking what she felt about LGBTQ folks.
“I [responded that] I didn’t really care. The biggest deal for me was, are you a good human? Are you going to treat people the way you want to be treated? There were a lot of little things that happened before that but I realized this is where we’re going.”
But when Alyx came out last year, it was a little bit more surprising.
“Temple has always seemed to know who they are and where they’re going; they’re pretty confident in themselves. Alyx’s journey is a lot different,” she explained. “They came out at a local pride proclamation and we’ve gone through several name changes since then. They’re just trying to figure out where they fit.”
It has always been easy for Marjorie to let her kids just be who they are despite some of the difficulties keeping track of what’s going on along the way.
“My personal philosophy is that every human life is valued no matter where it is,” she said. “I think that made it easy when something came up [like my children coming out]. I never saw parenting as a conditional thing — it’s 100% unconditional, my love for my kids. I want them to expand past where I am and be who they are.”
She added too that the journey is not her own, but her children’s, and she does everything in her power to continue making her house a safe space for everybody.
“It’s sometimes difficult to keep up and make sure we’re being as respectful as possible. But we do and we make mistakes,” Marjorie explained. “We apologize for them and they seem to understand that those mistakes will happen. My youngest, Roslyn, is super good at everybody’s pronouns and names. She’s the one that corrects us.
“The whole family is supportive, and my kids know that I will fiercely protect them no matter what the situation is, and I’ll protect their friends. We tried to create a safe space [for their friends] where if they’re not comfortable at their home they can come here and get that breathing room.”
For parents who are trying to educate themselves more, Marjorie suggested browsing the internet, much like their children may be.
“With any parents that think you know your kids or they come out, just continue to love them for who they are and educate yourself. I’ve done a ton of research: I don’t want my kid to have to answer my questions. There’s so many resources out there like Facebook groups.
“Mama Bears (a Facebook group) has been phenomenal for when I need support, standing up for my kids or myself. There’s a lot out there that can help us all.”
And if your children come forward asking about something or coming out, take that as a “parenting win,” Marjorie said.
“It’s important to know that your kid trusts you that much but it’s also important to acknowledge where they’re at. With Temple, they’re super out and comfortable where they are. Alyx may not be as comfortable with me introducing them to new people with they/them pronouns.
“Each person is going to have their level of comfort with their identity. There’s a lot of breathing moments. It’s super important with kids that they need to know no matter where they are in their journey and where their journey is going to take them, that you are there to support them all the way.”