Invitation Letters to Parents and Family Members



Dear                    , 

In the last 2 years, a new group has formed in the bay area: MAPLBN. This stands for Mandarin Asian Pacific Lesbian Bisexual Network. We formed this group because we found out that there is a community of  lesbian/bisexual women who could speak Mandarin Chinese. A lot of us are immigrants or our parents are immigrants from Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, etc.... We get together every month or so to meet, have some good Chinese food and play MahJong. 

Recently we have talked about how we can help our parents or families understand having lesbian/bisexual daughters better and we came up with this idea: we could ask our parents to write something about their experience of having a lesbian/bisexual daughter and share it with the other  parents in our MAPLBN group. This is the Parent Project. This is for you so you can read about how other parents of similiar background learned that their daughter is a lesbian or bisexual and how they dealt with it. This is for our families to see that they are not alone and may share the same feelings as other Chinese families out there. This is to lay the groundwork for you to possibly form a network and to break down the isolation you may feel. 

So, we're asking you to write a little something about your experience and process of coming to terms (or not) with your daughter's sexual identity. You can make this anonymous if you want to. It can be in either Chinese or English. We would like you to be honest about your hopes and fears. Most importantly, this is for you to read and share with other parents. 

On the back of this, there is a set of guidelines/questions that can help you think about what you would like to write. Please feel free to use them or get ideas on about what you wish to write. Once we have all the pieces, we will compile them in both English and Chinese and then distribute the booklet to our parents and families. Right now, we are only intending to share these stories with only our families in the MAPLBN group. It will not be distributed beyond that or to the general public. If we decide to do that, we will ask your permission first. 

Your daughter,



 GUIDELINES 

  1. At the top of the essay, please indicate whether or not you want your essay to be anonymous.
  2. Please state your relationship (mother, father, sibling) to ______________ and give an intro on family background(where you live, where you grew up, etc).
  3. When did you find out your daughter is lesbian/bisexual? Did you suspect it beforehand? If so, why?
  4. How did you find out? Is there anything you would have changed about her coming out to you? Do you wish that you/she had handled it differently? And if so, how?
  5. How has this changed in what you want for your daughter, if at all?
  6. How did you feel when you first found out about your daughter's sexuality?
  7. Did you have any fears or disappointments? If so, what were they? How do you feel about it now?
  8. What factors helped you change your opinion, if any? Talking with your daughter? with friends? Reading more about homosexuality?
  9. Do your extended family and/or friends know about ______________ being lesbian/bisexual? If not, how do you deal with this family secret if they ask "does she have a boyfriend?" or "when will she get married?
  10. Has your daughter's sexuality changed your views on homosexuality?
  11. What would be helpful to have now (like a network, support group, etc.)?
  12. What else would you like to share with other Chinese parents/siblings of lesbian/bisexuals?



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