Host Jillian Stewart explores how her family reacted when her mother came out 20 years ago.
By
Michaela Morgan

5 Aug 2017 - 8:39 AM  UPDATED 5 Aug 2017 - 8:39 AM

A new documentary released by BBC Newsbeat explores what it’s like when a parent comes out to their children.

Host Jillian Stewart shares the story of her two mothers—Susan and Gerrie—who were the first lesbians to marry in Scotland in 2014.

Jillian was first told by her mother that she was gay when she was four years old—saying that “it wasn't such a big deal for me” but that her older siblings had a harder time coming to terms with their mother’s sexuality.

“For my mum, having such young children [when she came out], it would have been really hard, and I think she was quite scared,” says Jillian.

“Although my grandparents knew, none of their friends knew and they were so worried about what their friends' reaction was going to be.

“I remember my mum sitting me and brother Jamie down, asking if we were embarrassed by her. We both said 'don't be so stupid' and that 'of course' we weren't embarrassed.”

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In the documentary, Jillian speaks with her mothers, her brother and her two step-sisters about the experience as well as a recently married gay couple and their children.

“I wanted to find out if it’s any easier now for parents to come out,” says Jillian.

She speaks to couple Adam and Conor—Adam has two children from a previous marriage to a woman.  

“It was interesting speaking to them, as it sounds like they still have the same worries my mums did.

“They worry about their kids going to secondary school, but from what I saw I know that they are going to have the best life and grow up so well.

“But they still feel that they could have their kids taken off them, and that they'll be bullied because of it.

“I suppose with Adam and Conor, just like my mums, parents: lesbian, gay or straight, just want to do what's best for their children.”

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Of the journey, Jillian says that her parents have “taught me to be who I am”.                                                          

“It's been the most enlightening experience filming this documentary and the general consensus from all the children is we're very proud of our mums.

“I would like to think in the future it will change and nobody will judge you for being lesbian or gay with children.”

You can watch the full documentary below: