Most of you have probably seen this picture by now, which is making its rounds online. It’s a young woman’s coming out letter to her parents. The young woman, Laurel also leaves a cake for her family to sweeten the message.
The message reads:
Good morning parents,
I’m gay. I’ve wanted to tell you for a long time. I thought doing it this way would be a piece of cake. I hope you still love me. I mean, it’s hard not to love someone who baked you a cake.
All my friends know and still love me. Your acceptance would be the icing on the cake.
I hope you, much like this cake, are not in tiers.
I hope we can look back at this and say, “boy, this one really takes the cake.”
It gets batter.
(Sorry for so many puns)
I posted this on my Facebook wall as soon as I saw it. Because I think it’s brilliant. It’s funny.
And I have wondered after posting this how Laurel’s parents received the message. What approach did they take when they heard the news?
And of course, how the cake tasted.
Approach One – Love it and Embrace Her for ALL of it.
It’s obvious from the letter that Laurel has a great sense of humor. I wonder if her parents were the ones who imparted Laurel with their humor and spirit. Did they laugh and throw their arms around her? Grab a slice of cake and tell her how proud they are of her, no matter what? And, how did she know they had been craving cake?
Approach Two – Greater Reservations – Need Time to Process
Or…. did they look at each other in shock, the father absentmindedly going through the normal routine of brewing the coffee while the mother read the letter again, licking some frosting off her finger. Did they take a slice of the cake to the table with their coffee before they sat down and held each others’ hands to talk about the message?
To talk about what all of it means.
That response would be okay too. Not everyone would be jumping up and down in the air about a declaration like this. Some parents need time to process this.
When did Laurel know?
How long has she been trying to tell them?
They might need time to figure out how this changes their expectations of things. To understand how they need to support their child.
To maybe even grieve a little.
Because that mother may have had an idea since Laurel was born that she would have a traditional wedding. That she would have a traditional family. That she would one day be a grandparent to Laurel’s beautiful children from her husband.
And while some of those things can still happen, what she envisioned won’t ever align to what will play out in reality. So it’s important to acknowledge and understand that she might need that time.
Approach 3 – Don’t Accept
And maybe, just maybe. Did one of the parents look at the cake and throw it across the room while the other parent looked at the note and say, “You thought you would buy us a cake to tell us that you’re a goddamn lesbian? What the hell kind of message is that to give to your parents? With a Duncan Hines cake?”
And I am really hopeful that Laurel did not see that kind of reaction.
What Approach Would I Take?
So here’s where I am going. I don’t know what happened in Laurel’s house. I pray that her family is loving and supportive and will do everything they can to make sure she knows that their love for her does not changes.
If my kids left me that cake? I would probably cry. Tears of joy and love and happiness that they feel they have enough support from their parents to know that we will always love them. I would be ecstatic. Even if I don’t like cake. I would eat every calorie in that cake.
I have always said I will embrace my children, no matter what their sexuality is. Things I worry about as a mother are my children falling down the wrong path at some point in life. I worry not about the sex of the partner they choose – but the quality of partner that they choose. No matter what, I just want them to find love in the truest way with someone who loves them back as selflessly as I know my own kids will love.
There are so many things I want for my kids in this life, but ultimately, it’s their happiness that matters the most to me. Their fulfillment.
So I guess the question is, how would you respond if a child came out to you this way?
For now I am off to bed. But when I wake, let them eat cake!