A mom has asked other parents for their help after her daughter confessed she was gay.
Jackie Dodd Mallory submitted her story on Love What Matters, where she opened up about how her 8-year-old daughter confided in her that she thought she was gay, and the whole interaction is moving, if not a little heartbreaking.
She started by setting the scene, writing: "I sat on the living room floor ignoring the last few episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt as I tried to Pinterest my way through a blanket project, oversized yarn sprawled out in front of me on the hardwood floor.
"My daughter, 8 years of endearing awkwardness, sat down on the chunky cable knit spoils of my labor as I hand wove the last few rows.
"'Mom' she said, her little face lit by the glow of the TV hung over the fireplace. Her skin still baby soft, her cute upturned nose boasted a small smudge of dirt.
"'Is he gay?' Her chin motioning towards the extravagantly adorable Titus Andromedon over-acting on screen. Not really looking up I answer, 'Yeah, honey he is.'
"She lays down on the not-yet-finished blanket, her thin arms and legs slowly making invisible snow angles.
"'I think I'm gay, too,' she says matter-of-factly. I smile.
"I want to jump up, hug her, love on her, make her feel accepted, but I take her lead on this. To her, it's just a statement, an observation, it's not a big deal. So I let it stay in the not-a-big-deal category. 'I think so too, hun.'"
Now, this wholesome interaction between mother and daughter is everything anyone who is part of the LGBTQ+ community could hope for.
But despite the beautiful moment, there's one thing that instantly comes to Mallory's mind after their conversation...
"Even though I've known for years this was coming -- I was waiting for it -- hoping it would be easy and without tears or trauma, it all finally hits me.
"Every hate crime I've ever heard comes back to me. The statistics stream through my brain. How much more likely my sweet girl is to die by homicide or suicide. How much more likely she is to be denied a job, housing, or the ability to adopt a baby.
"I thought of her sleeping upstairs in her pug-themed room and her big heart felt so much more vulnerable than ever before."
It was at this moment that Mallory knew she needed to ask the internet for help...
"I want to protect my girl and I need your help.
"You see, you might not have a kid that'll face what mine will. But you may, one of you reading this, have the kid who will someday be the person who sits next to her on a late-night subway. Or walks next to her on the street, or drives by as she walks down the road.
"And I hope you raise that person to be that type that will stand up for her if that late-night subway ride turns dangerous. If your kid sees mine being bullied, abused, hurt, raise a type of kid that will step in, that will help my sweet girl if she needs it."
The heartbreaking conclusion to her message of acceptance proves that there's so much more that needs to be done to protect the lives of LGBTQ+ children and people everywhere.
You can read Jackie Dodd Mallory's full post here.