Pose star Angelica Ross didn't always have a close relationship with her mother. In fact, it was once fraught with depression, conflict and threats of self harm.
Ross and her mum came together on Black Women OWN the Conversation, a talk-show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, to discuss how they moved beyond conflict and healed their relationship.
In the moving segment, Ross described how her mother, a devout Christian, resented her for coming out as transgender, saying she was “definitely not accepting at all in the beginning.
“My mum had her ideas that were fuelled from the Bible and what the Bible says,” she explained.
Ross’ mother, visibly emotional in the audience, admitted that she once believed her daughter being trans meant that she would go to hell, which lead to a long battle with depression. At one point, she even advised her daughter to take her own life, threatening that if Ross didn’t do it - she would.
“It’s always preached: ‘You’re going to hell for this, you’re going to hell for that,’” Ross’ mother said.
She added: “I wasn’t knowledgeable. I didn't know… And I hate that I missed so many years out of her life.”
Ross’ mother said that one of her turning points was watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show featuring a mum who had recently lost her LGBTIQ+ son.
“I gotta do something,” she remembered thinking, “because that could be my kid.”
The pair said that they've managed to grow closer once more. “My mother and I have a very loving and healed relationship," Ross said.
If this story raises issues for you, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.