I’m standing in our new but homely kitchen making a cup of tea for myself and my mum.
She looks nervous like she’s trying to say something difficult.
We’ve recently moved out of the family home and she is divorcing my stepdad.
I wait patiently for her to summon up enough courage.
“Fauve, I’m gay,” she says.
She sputters it out, not looking at me. I calmly pick up our teas and walk towards the lounge.
“Yeah, I know,” I reply.
Shock covers her face as if she expects her news to rock my entire world.
I smile warmly at my mum and we walk into our cream lounge, sitting together on the sofa, tea in hand.
This all happened 10 years ago, when I was 12 and my mum, Louise, was aged 31.
To her shock, I had already figured it out but it was still nice that she shared this with me as her honesty bonded us.
I’d guessed her “friend” meant more to her, as she made mum smile in a way I’d never seen before.
Despite this, it was still a traumatic time in our life as I’d just started secondary school and had no friends yet.
Mum lost some close friends, even my godmother, after announcing she was gay.
We’d moved out of the family home but my half-brother Charlie, 7, had stayed with his dad.
Things were never going to be the same again.
I’d grown up living in a pretty normal family.
I was a baby when we moved into my stepdad’s house and Charlie was born not long after.
Then a few years later, they were married “for the kids”.
My biological dad has always been in my life and is my rock.
He and mum agreed to be friends soon after I was born, so parents being friends has always seemed perfectly normal.
Mum ‘coming out’ never affected their relationship, as long as she was looking after me, he was happy.
The divorce was a different story, it was nasty.
I think he took it as an insult that he was left for a woman, for him it was a personal attack.
It affected the entire family, we had to choose sides but in the end we all lost out.
From 12 to 18, I lived with my mum in our new home and her various partners.
One was my friend, one was my enemy and the current one is my step-mum, Karen.
Growing up I didn’t notice how much my mum’s sexuality affected us.
I didn’t see that my friends were homophobic, they rarely came over and never stayed the night.
I had no idea mum’s friendship circle was limited as she was excluded from ‘mommy’ groups, or the jobs she lost due to harassment and discrimination.
It never crossed my naive mind that people would take issue with my mum having a girlfriend. To me, she was simply happy.
When my friends refused to stay over, I assumed it was my fault. I lived further away, was it that? Was it just me?
They frequented each other’s homes and only came over on birthdays.
It really hurt and it confused me for years.
The casual homophobia in the changing rooms were just jokes, right?
It had to be pointed out to me that they weren’t jokes, that it was never me, it was them, their prejudice.
I don’t know if mum knew about any of this, I didn’t want to upset her.
I still get questioned a lot when I reveal my mum is gay. Were you adopted? Do you know your dad? So, you have two mums? I am suddenly interesting, a curiosity.
At first I was happy to explain, to be found cool, but after years of the same questions, it gets irritating.
I feel like producing leaflets with all the answers prepared. I am more interesting than my mum’s sex life.
But I know she has it worse. She gets asked personal and frankly bizarre questions.
Were you abused? Do you hate men? Don’t you miss men? Other parents treat her as an oddity.
“I was asked once had I used a man to get children! You have a child and you’re expected to be straight,” she told me.
Families are still seen as heterosexual units, anything else is ‘not normal’.
As a result, mum found it hard to bond with other parents, knowing it would come with judgement.
Don’t get me wrong, there are benefits.
I’ve been going to Pride since I was 13 which is an amazing experience that I’m very proud of.
I love having access to this colourful community of freedom and expression.
When things were tough and we struggled to get by, Pride was our one definite day of fun and happiness.
This also paved the way for me to come out as Pansexual, which means I will date anyone of any gender.
No one was surprised, it was almost expected of me to come out as something.
I knew my family and new friends would accept me.
Being LGBT+ is a huge part of my life and most of my friends are also part of the community.
Mum claims there are numerous benefits to gay parenting.
“It’s about a loving environment, and I feel same sex can offer more as we gel more freely.”
When I was 18 my mum and I parted ways.
Unfortunately, her fiancée Karen lives in Scotland and due to her job she would have to move.
I decided to stay in Dudley with the rest of my family. But we’re still close and talk often.
Mum and I have been through a tough 10 years since that moment over a cup of tea in the kitchen.
But we’ve survived it and are stronger and wiser for it. I still believe in happy endings.
I’m currently living in Hanley with the girl of my dreams, Nieve.
We’re incredibly happy together and one day we will attend mum and Karen’s Scottish wedding.