In 2007, my mother decided she was finally ready to divorce my father after 25 years of marriage, 2 teenage children and a sense of her own lost identity. Admittedly, the last 10 or so years weren't easy, and my brother and I watched as our 'family unit' unravelled into a household of strangers, so we felt the decision was the right one.
After moving to a seaside town, she joined a womens' gym (the only gym around) and began personal training with the owner. Two years later, she told me over lunch that the two of them were in a relationship, and that she was gay. This was no surprise to me or my brother, as we saw their relationship get much closer than 'just friends' like they claimed. It was also no big deal - being teens in the 2000s, we weren't fazed by homosexuality. I told all of this to her over lunch, and she burst into tears. She couldn't believe how accepting and understanding I was, and that SHE didn't even fully understand or accept herself at that point. It took a few more years and a few more relationships for her to be comfortable to open up to friends, family, colleagues - and my dad (he was shocked!); but now that she has, I have honestly never seen her as happy as she is right now.
Having a gay parent or sibling or child may be strange to some, but completely normal to me. It doesn't change how I view, treat or feel about her... if anything, it has changed how I view, treat and feel about myself. Although I didn't flinch when mum came out to me, I'm sure there are many parents out there who still struggle to come to terms with their child's identity. I don't have advice, but I pose the question - turn the tables and imagine how it feels to have your child deny you. My mum was lucky that her kids didn't.