Cathy DeBuono’s mom on coming out

Lynn and Cathy from I Want the World to Know on Vimeo.

In August 2009, actress/vlogger/therapist Cathy DeBuono invited her mother, Lynn, to talk about her experience dealing with Cathy’s sexuality on her live vlog “What’s Your Problem?” When Cathy first came out to her mother, she did not receive the reaction she thought she would get.

Lynn was surprised, confused, and angry. She moved through many different stages of grief including feelings of confusion, guilt, and mourning the loss of the child she thought she knew. Though it took her a few years to fully accept and understand Cathy’s life, she is now one of her daughter’s biggest fans.

Lynn urges young people to be patient with their families, but to never tolerate living in the closet. She believes that everyone should come out and live full, honest lives. Lynn is the perfect example of a parent struggling with their own “coming out” experience: coming out to support and accept their LGBTQ son or daughter.

2 Responses to “Cathy DeBuono’s mom on coming out”

  1. Mickey

    What a wonderful video. My mom was pretty much the same as Cathy’s. She thought it was a phase,etc. I was 16 when I came out so she didn’t think I was old enough or mature enough to KNOW. It does take time. Now,my mom is my best ally. Don’t ever say anything derogatory about LGBT people in front of my mom! She will lose her mind! And,for that I am grateful.

  2. Jan Lee

    Great video..I could relate. I came out late (47 yrs old) and it was 9 months after our dad died. I should have waited but felt a need to tell my best friend, my mom. She was shocked, devastated, and confused. Nothing gave her an idea that I was gay . I dated men, married men (2 exes) She was hurt because we were so close and she had no idea…it took time. I gave her distance…didn’t push her and answered some tough questions (some I could not answer) It was hard because as she said, ” If I had your dad here , I could get through this” ( my daddy was blue collar, steelworker, proud, traditional yet gave his 3 daughters confidence)I didn’t tell him because he was sick and on dialysis the year he died. Funny, my older sister said that once he said…”geez, jan struggles so much with guys..maybe she likes women.” (made me laugh) I am sure he knows now and it is no issue…
    I was devastated that I hurt her but also protective of being gay. She saw a counselor and that helped and she began to tell her friends from her generation and found that they loved ME and who I was and that was the same. Mom never stopped loving me ..l
    Mom was so sweet as she learned more about gays and met my girlfriends…She adjusted and now loves my girlfriend, can joke about this and we are very close.
    Good advice ..takes time. The PDA is still tough and I am a bit cautious around her and my family (whole family twins daughter is transgender and that has been challenging as well. ) we are all protective of who we all are…
    The funniest thing my mom said soon after finding out was:
    “What about that Ann Heche and Ellen. She was with Ellen and then went back to a man. maybe it’s a phase for you. ”
    “Mom, I’m Ellen, not Ann!” (what a cool t-shirt that would have been)
    Love the love I see here..
    Remember there is flamboyancy with straight people too..we are a mix of people…love is love….


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