I just love it when someone starts his introduction with Hello My Darlings, it is just a loving heart. I have had a long life and thankfully have pretty good health. I have been privileged to have good gay friends who like to call me a "fag hag." I became a hair dresser and make-up artist schooled in Hollywood, went on to become a writer, director, producer for Walt Disney Productions. I'm so worried about my granddaughter who, I know, to be a lesbian. She is only 14, and I think her parents are ignoring who she is as though it will go away. She is moving into a dangerous period as she transitions from 8th grade to 9th and high school. How does one help a child make the transition?
You are my darling and thank you for such a good question. I think the best way to communicate with a younger person is to remember what we were like at that age. High school is all about being popular and well-liked. Here in the 21st century there is a lot more openness about sexual orientation but high school seems to still be a harsh environment for being different. Remember all those folks we knew in high school and college? They all seemed a lot alike. Only as they move towards 30 did we discover how different they were.
I think I'd give her autobiographies to read of people you admire for whatever reason. Get her thinking about her goals beyond high school. If she's athletic there's the tennis player Martina Navratilova, if she's interested in acting/comedy there's Ellen Degeneres. I wouldn't skew it towards lesbianism particularly but get some stuff in there in the mix. Certainly the most important is that she knows you are there for her. I always say, "You're not getting older, you're getting more sophisticated." That's you. You know more about the world than her parents and she needs to know you are the bridge to her future. I had an aunt in New York who really launched me into the world and I am forever indebted to her. Your granddaughter needs to know you have that interest in her. Take her to lunch, too. My aunt did. At the Waldorf in New York. My first step to glamour and sophistication. It was great.
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