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Daughter is Lesbian, Save Her or Cut Ties?

Question and answer details
S (52-female-South Africa)
2014/04/15
Assalamu Alaikum, I am a mother of a 22 years old daughter who was in a same sex relationship. After a year now she has decided to go back to that lifestyle as she finds it too difficult to cope. I have 2 choices - to let her live her life and cut ties with her or put in everything to save her from this distasteful lifestyle. What must I do and can I use clinical hypnotherapy? She also suffers from PCOS.
Razia Aamaarah, Bhatti `Ali
Answer

Wa alaiykum as salaam dear sister,

I truly feel compassion for you as this situation is a huge test and dilemma for you. Although this is not an area of my expertise, I am willing to make a few observations.

It appears that on the one hand you have to deal with your repulsion to your daughter’s choice of lifestyle, which is clearly going against everything you believe in and your religious values; on the other hand you have the love and desire to protect your daughter and the need to make everything alright for her. In actual fact either one of your above mentioned choices are going to bring you pain and heartache.

The problem you have to face is that your daughter is an adult with the free will to make her choices in life. As a parent the only thing you can try to do is point out why you believe her choice is wrong and what theological basis there is and some of the consequences she may face. Ultimately it sounds like she is decided on her future.

However, 22 years is a young age, there is always a chance that she may see things differently in time, and with your prayers and the grace of Allah Almighty she may return to you Insha' Allah. If you shun her from your life then even if there is a chance that she wants to return home she might not be able to, and may feel compelled to continue living a life which deep down may not be what she wants.

I think it is too late to try to change your daughter’s mind with talk about what is right and wrong because as the saying goes you can lead a horse to the water but you cannot make it drink. Your daughter needs to make the decision to change her sexual orientation herself. What you may be able to point out is that it is the act of homosexuality itself that is Islamically wrong not necessary the thoughts and feelings, hence if she wants she may be able to challenge her desires and try to harness her nafs (soul). Explain to her the spiritual rewards of fighting against her desires and give her practical support if she wants to fight her impulses.

If you decide to keep ties with your daughter as opposed to disowning her it does not mean you approve or embrace your daughter’s lifestyle, as you can tell her emphatically that you cannot condone her choice but it does not mean you cannot love her and pray for her. For a parent the hardest thing to do is to break ties, as a parent’s love is unconditional, but prayer is the only way that you may be able to bring some peace into your heart and mind and may help your daughter see right from wrong.

In terms of hypnotherapy, this is not even an option as you cannot enforce such a treatment on someone as it is your daughter who needs to make the decision to seek appropriate help. Hypnotherapy can only be used for a willing participant and even then there is no guarantee that change will occur unless the participant themselves are determined to change.

Finally your daughter’s PCOS does not necessarily have any bearing on her sexual orientation, as many heterosexual women also suffer from this condition. As far as I am aware even though one of the main features of PCOS is hyperandrogenism, an increase in male hormones, there is no conclusive research evidence that shows a clear indication that women with PCOS are more likely to be gay.

I hope you will find the above helpful.

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About the Counselor:


Dr. Bhatti Ali is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist qualified since 1992. She worked clinically in the NHS and the private sector as well as providing consulting services to the family courts and medico-legal firms. She has strong international academic links and considerable experience in cross cultural assessment and therapy.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.

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