A Journey of Acceptance: Healing Through Coming Out and Forgiveness with KaylaMae Smith & Cheryl Miller
We have a very beautiful episode for you today. This is a continuation of the stories that we’ve been sharing to celebrate pride month last month (if you’ve been following along on YouTube.) This is an episode that kind of took a while to edit because of some unforeseen circumstances, as I have shared in a previous solo episode.
But also, we need to be celebrating the LGBTQIA plus community more than just in June. So that’s also why I wanted to still share this episode and I didn’t push myself to have the episode out in time with the unexpected tight schedule I ran into from a cancelled flight.
We’re going to be talking about a mother daughter relationship where coming out wasn’t really a welcomed experience and it wasn’t a smooth process and then a lot of healing took place and now these two women, this mother-daughter team that you’re about to hear, Kayla and Cheryl, they are closer than ever.
About Kayla & Cheryl
Kayla is a spiritually aligned virtual assistant and a podcast creative assistant. She’s actually also someone that helps me with this podcast. So it was really cool to Get to sit down and chat with her.
Kayla is also a mom by choice for choice, and she is a bisexual woman who believes that we should all inspire and be inspired by one another.
Cheryl wants to introduce herself by letting you know that pink is her power color, that she is an artist, a gamer, a yogi, but her true talent is beating level 100 on fortnight 😂. Unconditional love is Cheryl’s secret weapon and you will definitely hear a little bit about that in the story.
So without further ado, let’s hear this beautiful story about healing and repairing a mother daughter relationship after coming out.
Cilia: I’m so excited to have both of you on here to share this beautiful story and how everything unfolded. Thank you for spending time with me today.
Cheryl: Oh, thank you.
Kayla: Yeah, thanks for having us. I’m excited and nervous, but thank you.
Cilia: Yeah. So I would love to give you space to kind of like introduce yourself to anyone that’s listening.
Kayla: I’m KaylaMae, I’m a virtual assistant for spiritually aligned entrepreneurs and a podcast assistant-
Cilia: for me 😍
Kayla: Yes, I love working with you. I am also a bisexual woman and a mother of a very fun four year old, my wild child. And we’re here today with my mama. So y’all, this is Cheryl.
Cilia: Hi Cheryl!
Cheryl: Hi everybody. So I’m Cheryl and I’m a secretary at a middle school. I’m a mom, I’m a grandma three times over and I love it. I love my children, I love my grandbabies, I love being a mom and I love being a grandma. It’s the greatest thing in the world.
Cilia: Yay, I’m so happy to have you both here. So I know that there’s like this whole story we wanna share and I’m not sure where to start. I don’t know if you’ve had, if you’ve taken a moment to like sit and think about where you wanna dive into it.
Kayla’s coming out story
Kayla: Okay, yeah. So, happy pride month y’all. It’s June and so in honor, pride Month we’re actually sharing my coming out story, but also more than that, my healing story and coming into confidence and healing along with my mother.
I hope I’m gonna share this story in hopes that you all know that it gets better and we’re all worthy of being loved. So that being said, I guess I will just dive right in.
I was about 14 when I came out– or was outed to my mother at that time. I was brought up with a very particular religious upbringing. And what I remember was I was called into her room and she knelt down in front of me and cried and prayed because she believed at the time that I was going to hell or that that’s what that’s at least that’s how I perceived it. This is my perception. And of course when we, she’ll share her side and she’s done a lot of healing through this as well.
So, um, but it was my perception. So for a long time I lived with a lot of, not a lot, a lack of confidence, a lack of self-worth, a lack of self-love. And, my best friend for, for many years joked that I was in the closet with the door wide open.
Like, it wasn’t a secret, but it wasn’t, it was just, I was not comfortable being myself fully. Before I share more into our healing, did you wanna share anything, mom? Or should I just keep going?
Cheryl: I would like to say that it was rough for both of us. When the kids were growing up, I really didn’t know how to be a mom. I was just kind of trying to figure things out. So, I did a lot of things wrong and did some things right too, you know, but, uh, we both needed to heal from that.
Especially in my opinion, especially Kayla, she really needed that healing and she needed to know that I loved her no matter what. I loved her.
Kayla: You were right, I’m already gonna cry
Cheryl: Told you!
Cilia: I see you have a box of tissues next to you.
Kayla: She told me to have a box of tissue.
Cilia: Oh, I love it. Oh, and you (Cheryl) have one too, I should have brought one.
I love that you’re sharing this because there’ healing on both sides and for someone who’s coming out, there’s hope that it’ll get better. And for someone who is having a child that isn’t, uh, I guess meeting up to expectations or something that they thought was the “right way”, like, that’s really hard too.
And like seeing how there’s like, you can move through that. You can go, you can grow through that, you can open your mind and there’s still love there to be had. And, um, yeah. All right then. So what’s next?
Kayla: Okay, I’m gonna add, I’m gonna add to what my mom said. One of the things that I’ve learned fairly recently is that, it feels like sometimes we’ll, we’ll blame ourselves and we’ll say, I was doing all the wrong things, or I didn’t know how to be a mom.
And that’s super easy to come up on, as moms, we question ourselves all the time. Parents, you know, , we do. But one of the things I’ve learned recently is that we’re doing the best we can with what we have in the moment.
Kayla: The learning comes so it’s okay to forgive ourselves.
Cheryl: And it’s never really too late for that learning to come, as long as it comes so that healing can take place. If it never comes, healing can’t take place. Or at it becomes much more difficult for healing to take place because you don’t have that extra love and support.
Kayla: Mm-hmm. Yes. So, years later, I don’t know necessarily how the change happened, but as of now, my mother is my biggest supporter. She, um, she loves me so much. She’s going to her first pride this year.
Cilia: Oh, that’s awesome!! Before we go into that I’m actually curious… so you said you were 14, you were outed to your mom, so someone else outed you?
Kayla: Yes. I’m not sure who, I just know that she told me that she learned.
Cilia: Okay. And then she was praying at your feet thinking that you’re going to go to hell. And then what dynamic did that create? And what happened between then and like her being your best supporter, because I know you’re both close- you talk about your mom all the time. It’s really sweet.
Kayla: Aww, she’s my best friend. Um, so for me on that, I was a very secretive teenager. I kept to myself, I had a lot of feelings of isolation. I felt very, I felt alone a lot.
And at some point it seemed to not… it just wasn’t an issue anymore for mom. And I still wasn’t fully out. I’m 32 now, I’ll be 33 probably by the time this episode comes out. I have a birthday coming up.
I didn’t fully come out until, until my thirties. But my best friend said I was in the closet with the door wide open, but I still kind of like shied away.
Cilia: So your mom knew, your close friends knew, but you didn’t like really share it with people.
Cheryl: She didn’t celebrate it.
Kayla: I didn’t. That’s true, yeah. And then it got to the point where, you know, we could joke about having, like a joke about having crushes or, or being attracted to someone. And it wasn’t an issue.
Mom would smile and like laugh along, like, oh yeah? You know, and it became. Um, just a part of everything.
Inner Child Healing
Kayla: I still struggled with the feelings of self-worth and confidence and being myself feeling okay. Eventually in therapy, my therapist suggested writing letters to my inner child.
And, I thought about that a lot and, it also came up to write letters to my inner child at different ages of my life, like, regarding different circumstances.
I thought about it for a while and it hit me and I realized I wanted to ask my mom to write that letter. I wanted her to write a letter to 14 year old me as if she was responding to me, telling her,” Hey mom, I’m I’m bi.”
And I was a little nervous cuz I thought, I don’t wanna hit her with all this guilt. I don’t wanna hit her with all the shame like I’m hurting.
And of course I’m still worried about hurting her through this, you know?
Kayla: So I really thought about it for a while and then I just brought it up: “Hey mom, what do you think of this?” And she got really emotional. She’s like, I would love to do this for you.
Having a re-do of coming out
Kayla: So she thought about it for a bit and she texted me later on and she said,” Hey, can you tell me something in a text?”
And so I texted her, Hey mom, I’m bisexual. And I put some like little gifts and memes in there too that were really cute. I don’t remember what it was exactly, but I just remember sending her a couple cutie little texts. As if, you know, I was coming out– we didn’t have, we didn’t have texts when I was 14, but I still texted her and then she wrote me a letter to 14 year old Kayla.
Cilia: So you had like a redo over text
Kayla: A redo. We started it over text and she did write it in a letter, so yeah. Having her read that letter to me and hearing it was so healing.
And I just wanna say on that, it’s so important if you take the time to do that for yourself or even if you ask someone else, writing to your inner child, writing to young you is just… it’s a powerful healing modality.
Cilia: Yeah, for sure. And developing that relationship, like an ongoing, lifelong relationship with your inner child is super important too.
Cheryl: Yeah, I agree with that.
Cilia: Cause agree with that part of this is still there with us. Mm-hmm. So, um, Kayla, you mentioned that there was time where it just eventually didn’t become an issue, so I’m curious to hear from you Cheryl, like what was that, like, what was going on in that time where it was like she came out and then it became not an issue years later?
Was that a gradual? What was that shift there? What happened there?
Cheryl: It kind of was a gradual thing for me. I was going through a lot of different things personally and I was growing myself.
Cheryl: I was…learning to do things better and how to have confidence in myself. And one of the things that I came to realize, I guess, was that I was really taught a lot of negative garbage. Just negative, unloving, conditional kind of love.
Cheryl: And, I’ve always loved my children, always. I didn’t always express that very well and so I knew that that had to change. And the most important thing to me was my children as individuals and not my children the way society thinks they should be. I had to let go of that.
And as I let go of that, I realized more and more that… it’s kind of weird, I’m sorry. I’ve always known this, but it’s like a difference between your heart and your mind– Kayla is incredibly beautiful. And I mean physically, emotionally, spiritually… she’s a giver, she’s a lover. She’s kind, generous.
She’s just… she has such a beautiful personality. And it just didn’t matter about all the other stuff. The only thing that mattered was that she was my daughter and she was hurting. And that was a big cause of that. And that had to change. That had to stop.
And I think that was it. Once I realized that I had been fed all these horrible things that I could let them go and it was okay to let them go and still be me and yet at the same time, still be mom to Kayla, the kind of mom she needed and not the kind of mom society kind of demand you to be, if that makes sense.
Cilia: Yeah, that makes sense.
Cheryl: What I was fed was, “You have to be a strong parent and you have to put your will forward” and–NO. Absolutely not.
Cheryl: They have a will and they get to choose. And whatever they choose is beautiful. It’s beautiful.
Cilia: Mm-hmm. I love that. You bring a big key piece there of how society plays a part in this. Society not only tells you what kind of mom you need to be, but also from Kayla’s perspective, society’s telling you how your identity and how your sexuality is “supposed to be”
And then that’s an added thing on top of if you’re coming out and there’s not that acceptance right away from your family… it’s not only the family, it’s also society putting that pressure on you. And going out into the world and sharing who you are –luckily, now it’s a lot safer than it used to be–but it’s still not 100% safe. We’re still not there, especially in specific parts of the world. And parts of our country.
Cheryl: It’s very sad to me that people can’t, people have an inability to just love people.
Cilia: Yeah. And especially when it comes to your family members or like your child. I understand that there’s, you know, religious upbringings that make you think that certain things are bad, but at the end of the day…you are this child’s guide. And you are the one that’s their foundation. And if they don’t get that foundation of love at home, why would they think they’d get that outside of the home?
But then the forgiveness piece is huge there. I’d love to know, what did that look like, the self-forgiveness? Because Kayla mentioned earlier no matter how great you are, you still have that mom guilt. So I’d love to know how that self forgiveness like journey looked like and what helped you.
Cheryl: To forgive myself, it was very hard. I felt so much guilt, shame, and horror at my actions and thoughts and words that it was so very difficult for me. And I found that I actually wasn’t able to forgive myself until Kayla was. And once she was able to go through that healing and forgive me, then I felt a release to be able to forgive myself as well. I just, I had to know she was, she was okay.
Cilia: Mm-hmm. Kayla, what is it that helped you forgive?
Kayla: I really think that it was her agreeing to write this letter to 14 year old me. I really think that my inner child, my 14 year old Kayla, needed that letter to be able t forgive and feel fully. I knew at that point that she loved me. I knew at that point she fully supported me, but I needed to hear it in that way.
Cilia: I love that. So for anyone reading this, we recommend doing the letter, having some sort of redo of the coming out and seeing how that lands for your inner child or inner teenager.
Kayla: And if you have to, write the letter for yourself. If the other party isn’t ready to write the letter. If you can write the letter to yourself, what would you want hear? What would you have wanted to hear? What would you have wanted to feel? Go through all the senses.
Cilia’s great with those practices, but go through all the senses. What would that be like? If you can’t go through and heal that inner child with the other person, definitely do it with yourself.
Cilia: Yeah and there’s a piece there of cultivating your own inner parent, which can be very, very helpful.
Cheryl: Yes. And as a parent or family member or a friend or whoever, I highly recommend that you really sit down and think before you write. And you kind of know that what you want to show in this letter is not just “Okay, yeah, I accept for who you are. I accept you. No problem.” It has to be so much more than that.
I feel like it has to be… it has to exude love. It has to show that. I don’t care about your decisions, you’re an adult. And even if you’re not an adult, you still get to make your own decisions, your own choices.
And as a parent, you’ve really got to let that go and give that to the child. And I just think it’s also healing for them, you know, parents really should do it not just for themselves, but for their, for their child.
Cilia: I would imagine that even if it’s hard for them to accept their child, even writing something like, “this is really hard for me right now, but I still love you.” Even that could probably go a long way than just saying no to the letter because putting in whatever effort you can, that willingness to put that effort shows that you care and that you’re trying, and it’s a process. You know, it’s a journey and it’ll unfold little by little
Kayla: Communication heals better than walls.
Cilia: Kayla, even before you came out to other people, how did you come to yourself?
Kayla: You know, I grew up with very, a very strict religious upbringing, like I said, and I had no idea what was outside of this box. I had no idea. I knew that… I knew that people were pretty, I knew that people were handsome. I knew that people were just beautiful.
And…some of us may remember Liz McGuire show. I had the biggest crush on Hillary Duff and Liz McGuire show, but I didn’t know that it was a crush because I had no idea at the time that that was even a possibility! I just knew that I had the biggest crush on her!
I just loved watching that show so I could watch her! She was so beautiful! And then I was 14 when I learned that people could be attracted to all genders. And I was like “Oh, this makes so much sense!!”
Cilia: Do you remember where you learned that?
Kayla: On the school bus
Cilia: On the school bus!!!! 😂 The school bus is a great place to learn wisdom as a kid. That’s where we all learn. We learn where babies come from. We learn all the things. 😂
Cilia: So then, okay, so you had this crush on Lizzie McGuire, which I love that you mentioned that because we had Olivia on this podcast last year, shared her story she said the same thing
Kayla: YES! I listened to that episode and I was like, oh my gosh!
Cilia: Yeah, she said she had like 30 posters of Hillary duff, like all over her walls and she’s like, “there were signs, mom! Those were the signs!”
And then so when you were 14 there was that coming out. You then redid the coming out with that text and the writing a letter to the inner child or like Kayla at 14. And then how did things… so this letter writing, did that happen like two or three years ago? Because you mentioned that you have only really been like, out, out in your thirties and you’re about to turn 33. So that’s recently, right?
Kayla: Yes. It was what.. Was it last year or the year before? Do you remember Mom?
Cheryl: That’s what I was, I was looking at the letter to see if it had a date on it.
Cilia: Oh, you have it with you? That’s beautiful.
Cheryl: It was probably 2022.
Cilia: Okay, so it was recently
Cheryl: yup, last year.
How things look now…
Cilia: So what do you think… I’m curious to know how that has shifted things and… how… what do you think that’s opened up for you and where are you headed to next? For both of you with your healing?
Kayla: So it’s been really lovely to be able to just be 100% fully myself, fully authentic. My husband loves me for who I am. We’ve gone as a family to pride. My husband, my son and I, we all went to Pride and during bi visibility week I told him, “Hey babe, it’s bi visibility week.”
And he’s like,” Hey babe, I see you!” And, I’ll never forget that, it matters so much.
And I’ve been able to really learn how to just, how to fully love myself, how to embrace everything, all of who I am. And it’s been a lot of fun.
Also eventually, I do want to work with LGBTQ+ youth because I want the youth to know that it does get better, that they are worthy, and that love is stronger than hate.
Love really is stronger than hate. And they are perfect as as they are. And when people tell you who they are, we believe them. And we love them, just for themselves.
So I would love to eventually get to work with the youth and just be that person I needed. You know, we’ve all seen that quote, be the person you needed when you were younger, that’s so important to me.
And, and with my son, I want him to be encouraged in his fullest expression. My husband and I, we work on having those conversations and raising our son to be absolutely himself, whoever that is.
Cilia: I love that.
Cheryl: Very healthy, I love it too.
Cilia: Yeah, that must be great to see that.
Cheryl: I know for Kayla and I, it really opened up so many more doors for us. We’ve just gotten so much closer and we can talk about anything. We can say anything at all to each other. We have that confidence now that we’re gonna be supported and love through whatever it is that we think, feel, and are going through. It’s made us super close and I love it.
Kayla: Yeah, that’s my best friend, y’all.
Cilia: I love how something so scary and hard can bring the relationship that you thought was… maybe from Kayla’s side, you probably thought like, :oh, my mom hates me. She’s never gonna talk to me again.” But it brought you even closer than you were before and I love that.
Cheryl: And that’s how I felt.
Cilia: That’s how you felt as well?
Cheryl: I felt like she hated me and that we would never have a relationship. And it… she didn’t hate me. She just was hurt.
Kayla: When I first moved out. She didn’t even come to my first apartment for a few years. Like she didn’t even know where I lived.
Cheryl: I was not allowed to
Kayla: Yeah, so we’ve come a long way.
Cilia: I’m happy for both of you.
The Meaning of Self Love
Cilia: So I have some questions that I ask everybody usually towards the end and I feel like they could lead to maybe more of both of your stories coming out and more conversation.
The first question is, what does self-love mean to you?
Kayla: Self-love to me is anything that is showing expressing love to, to yourself, mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally. So we’ve all heard take bubble baths. If that bubble bath is gonna be soothing, then that’s self-love but, if you’re thirsty and you need to drink a glass of water that’s self-love. It can be so many different things.
Cheryl: Self to me is accepting who you are and loving yourself unconditionally, which I have always found is very hard for me to do. I have a very difficult time loving myself unconditionally and accepting me as I am flaws and all.
And understand that some of those things that I think are flaws are not. It’s just part of who I am.
Cilia: It’s a very healing, incredible, beautiful thing to go through. Especially how Kayla mentioned earlier that you came from like a strict religious background and typically that doesn’t really go along with accepting yourself.
So that must have been hard to come up against that when you’re like trying to love yourself, but you have these old conditioned beliefs. It’s like,” oh, but I’m bad because of this.”
Cheryl: Mm-hmm. So, yeah, I also had a very rough childhood and so that was also part of it too. Yeah. And I didn’t want Kayla and Taylor to have that, but we are now at an age where we’re all getting through it together as a family. We used to call ourselves the Three Musketeers. I think we still are.
Kayla: Yeah, we still are.
Cheryl: We’re all family and And family is everything.
Cilia: And that’s what’s important is that you’re willing to now have those, like how Kayla said, communication heals better than walls. You’re able to have those conversations and those conversations are not easy.
Let me tell you, as a parent, I don’t care what you have to do. I don’t care how you do it, but you have to sit and you have to listen to your child, and you have to let them be angry with you. You have to let them be hurt by you. You have to accept that this is reality whether you meant it or not.
Whether you regret it or not, you’ve got to listen to it. You’ve got to take it in and accept it so that they can heal. But in the process, you also heal.
It’s hard to say “I’m sorry” for something you don’t really know what you’re saying. And you have to feel it to be truly sorry. And it’s okay to be sorry. It’s okay to have those regrets and wish… I always wish I had done it differently.
[on the initial outing experience with 14-year old Kayla] I didn’t mean, when that came out, I didn’t mean it the way it came out and it broke my heart to hear her say that [I hurt her]. But how else would it have come out when you think about it? How else would somebody else have taken that?
Even though I really had no idea in my own mind what I was doing, I hurt her. And healing… it’s hard. It’s very hard, but it is so worth it. It’s so worth it. Our children and our family and our friends and even strangers, we don’t know it’s worth it if you just walk up to them and, and say,” Hey, I love you.”
“I love you. I don’t know you. I don’t know anything about you, but I don’t have to because I love you just for who you are.”
Cheryl: And that’s just me. That’s part of my personality. I’m a very.. I love to love people. I’m like a lap dog
Kayla: 😂 That’s so true!
Cilia: Oh my goodness,I love that
You are beautiful and perfect as you are right *now*
Cilia: You [Cheryl] must bring a really great energy to the middle school that you work at, having that love for people.
Cheryl: I hope so
Kayla: Yeah, oh my God, all the things she brought home…
Cilia: Oh, from the kids!
Cheryl: Oh my goodness, I got the sweetest, most beautiful things.
Cilia: Was it just the last day of school from the end of the year?
Cheryl: Mm-hmm, it was the last week of school and I got, I mean, it was a pen, but on the pen it said, you changed my life
Cilia: Aw, that’s so sweet.
Cheryl: You know? And I got a little three by five card from a girl who just told me how much my love and acceptance of her meant, and I’m gonna cry, I’m sorry.
Cilia: No, my eyes are leaking too!
Kayla: We’re all crying
Cheryl: It’s just that… I want everybody to know there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re beautiful. You’re amazing. You right now, like you are, you’re beautiful.
Cilia: I think it’s really beautiful to have people like that working in schools. Because speaking from my personal perspective, having teachers & school staff that really see you and really accept you–and I can’t even imagine what it’s like if you’re someone who identifies as queer– having someone at school that, an adult at school that sees you and accepts you, it’s so healing. Having teachers at school that like really saw me and could mirror who I am back to me, like I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t have that at school.
People that work in schools or are teachers, I think it’s very under-appreciated and undervalued the kind of impact that you have on society.
Cilia: And being a mother as well is such a huge undervalued thing in our society.
And you also, Cheryl, mentioned something about going up to people you don’t even know and that you don’t need to know them to love them– I wanted to just highlight that for people listening, especially with what’s happening right now with rights for trans people. Yes, there are so many people in this world where we don’t understand their life, we don’t understand their identity, but we don’t have to understand them to love them. They’re HUMANS.
Cheryl: Right, it’s not about understanding them- it’s not our business, to be honest. It’s not our business, our business is to love them. Just to see them.
Cilia: Yeah, they are a human. They are a life. They are a beating heart. They have a belly like you. They have two eyes–all these things, like they’re…they are a life form, so they’re worthy of love and respect just for that. And that’s something I wish that people could understand more.
Cilia: This is an emotional episode 😂
Cilia: I love it. Okay. So do you wanna add anything, Kayla, before I ask the next question?
Kayla: No, go ahead.
Cilia: Okay. So the next question is, what makes you feel the most grounded?
Kayla: Getting outside in nature every day. Every day. And making it a priority that both my son and I spend time outside every day.
It’s the earth. Connecting with the earth.
Cilia: That’s beautiful.
Cheryl: Mm-hmm. I’m gonna be honest, Kayla really. Helps me be grounded. She’s my grounder. She just is. If she sees I’m upset or stressed or anxious or whatever, she’s like, all right, let’s get into the grass. Let’s go barefoot. Let’s go get in the grass. Let’s touch the earth. Let’s meditate. What do you need? You know? Or let’s just sit and and hug each other for a while. She is my grounder.
Cilia: Oh, I love that.
Cheryl: She brings me back so beautifully. She’s, you know, like I said, she’s beautiful. She’s so sweet.
Cilia: The healer of the family.
Cilia: I could definitely see you Kayla, by the way, being some sort of spiritual healer in the future.
Cheryl: Oh my God, yes!
Cilia: I feel like you’d be really good at that.
Cheryl: She really would be.
Kayla: That’s a huge compliment, thanks.
Cilia: Even your son is such a little healer
Kayla: Oh my goodness
Cilia: She texted me that, that you had a headache, Cheryl and that her son was like, oh, let me bring the sound bowl to her, Nana needs it.
Cheryl: Mm-hmm, yeah, he wanted to make sure I had that sound bowl.
Cilia: That’s so cute.
Cheryl: He was so precious.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a woman?
Cilia: Yeah. Okay, so the next question is, what is your favorite part about being a woman?
Cheryl: Growing up being female was something not to be celebrated. It was not a positive thing for me. It didn’t bring anything good. It only brought bad things, you know?
Cheryl: In a very real way, women were like third class citizens. We didn’t matter. We just didn’t matter. We were to be used and abused in whichever way somebody else felt was appropriate.
And now I absolutely love being a woman. I love it. Pink is my happy color, it’s my power to color. I love pink. I love dressing up and just being part of a group that is becoming strong and powerful and beautiful and amazing, people are starting to recognize that women are freaking amazing people.
Cilia: Yeah. There really has been a different shift in that as of lately. I mean, it’s been happening for a long time, but I feel like there’s been some sort of like little leap in that movement as of recently.
Cilia: Mm-hmm, I think probably cuz we had a certain woman hater as our president. We were kinda, we kinda like came out with force.
Kayla: We got the matchbook out and “light it on fire”
Cilia: Yeah, right–enough is enough.
What about you Kayla? What’s your favorite part about being a woman?
Kayla: I would say synching with a moon cycle. Part of being a woman or, having a menstrual cycle or whatever that means for you is that we run on it on this 28 day cycle that follows the moon cycle.
And we can connect directly to nature in that way. We can take care of ourselves when we need to rest. We can take care of ourselves when we’re ovulating and ready to meet people and engage. And I love our..I love this cyclical aspect of being a woman.
Cilia: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I love that too. And that’s been such a, for a lot of us, it’s such a hard healing journey to come to because…. at least when I was first getting, when I first got my period, it was something to like hide or it was something that was to complain about and to be dreading that it’s going to come. And then to come to a place where you see that as like sacred and beautiful is so healing.
Kayla: Yes. It was. So, it was such an awakening for me to like to learn that, like what you said about knowing that it’s gonna hurt and you’re gonna be in pain, but really, what is it? What is that? It’s your body telling you what you need. Your body’s saying it’s time to rest, it’s time to take care of yourself. It’s time to nurture yourself.
And I also have a chronic illness and so learning the past couple of years through my diagnosis but just listening to the body when the body is saying, “Hey, this is what you need!” That right there is sacred.
Cilia: Yeah, we can make a whole podcast on that topic
Kayla: Yes. Instead of focusing on it’s so painful it’s what is my body telling me I need right now?
Cilia: Mm-hmm,I love that. So, I have one more question. It’ll be a separate question for Kayla and then a separate question for you, Cheryl.
Q: What is your favorite part about having a daughter that identifies as Queer?
Cheryl: It’s that she has accepted herself for who she is. I think it’s beautiful. It doesn’t matter to me who she’s with or who she identifies as, as long as she’s happy and as long as the other person is good to her and loving to her.
I love that she has such a heart for other, LGBTQ members and others, she really does. Through all the stuff that she went through, she’s developed such a love and a generosity. And I love it, I love her sweetness.
Cilia: I love that.
Cheryl: But she also fights, she also fights for rights and things like that. It isn’t just “Yeah, I love you, I accept you.” It’s, “No, let me go out and let’s go to war!! Let’s do this!”
Cilia: Mmm-hmm, there definitely is a fire I’ve sensed too in Kayla. And I’ve learned about some things going on that I didn’t even know about from Kayla sharing it with me through our calls that we’ve had. She definitely is a fighter.
Cheryl: She’s a warrior, I love it.
Kayla: I’m proud of that, y’all. I’m proud.
Cheryl: You should be, baby.
Kayla: So do you think like having a daughter who doesn’t follow those societal norms directly affected your own healing journey in accepting yourself? Cuz you mentioned that your favorite part is that she fully accepts yourself and you mentioned earlier, we talked about how like religion can make it hard to have that self-acceptance and that for you, self-love is self-acceptance…. That was kinda a long-winded question.
Cheryl: Definitely, it’s definitely helped heal me. She’s kind of like my rock, you know? Seeing her be so strong, courageous, and accepting of me as well. You know, she accepts me for who I am. I don’t think I would’ve been able to get here without her. I really don’t. I needed her. She’s my beautiful angel.
Cilia: I’ve heard a lot about how when you have a child, how they’re huge teachers. And I’m really hearing that and sensing that– and I’m seeing Kayla nodding her head.
Kayla: That’s very true. Or nodding, her head shaking means no. Yeah. I’m seeing Kayla nodding her
Cilia: You’re both like, “yep.”
Cheryl: Yeah, mm-hmm.
Cilia: That’s beautiful that she was able to propel that journey forward for you in your self acceptance. I love that. That’s so beautiful.
Cheryl: Thank you.
Cilia: You’re welcome.
Love is Love.
Cilia: So then there’s kind of the same question, but adjusted for Kayla is.. what’s your favorite part about being queer?
Kayla: My favorite part about being queer… it would be the values. Love is love. Love is stronger than hate. Love is so much stronger than hate and uniqueness… is beautiful. Like people are so cool.
We’re all so unique. We all have so many different talents and we all have so much magic to give and to bring to this earth. We all have so much to share.
And so I think that basically, I’m saying my favorite part about, about being queer is the magnitude of the community.
Cilia: Yeah, I love that. And the community extends to your mom and the loved ones and all the supporters. I love that.
Kayla: Yeah, the allies.
Cilia: Before we close out, is there any closing message or anything that you would want to give to someone who’s having a hard time struggling either with coming out to themself or coming out to a parent and it not, you know, being accepted in the way that they expected? What words of wisdom or encouragement would you like to give to them?
Kayla: If you’re feeling ready to come out or, or you want to come out to someone… find a trusted, safe person first. Let them tell you and show you that you’re loved.
We have a lot of, uh, what we call rainbow capitalism now, but all these companies showing their support with rainbow logos for this pride month. But let that show you that we’re here, we love you, and you’re perfect the way you are.
And when you come out to your family member, if it’s not a safe situation, I hope you find someone you can trust and know that it gets better. It it does. And you’re loved.
And if you need to, you can message me on Instagram. I’m a safe person and I think that you’re amazing for who you are.
For Parents having a Hart Time
Cilia: And then Cheryl, I would love to know what kind of words do you have for parents who are maybe having a hard time accepting having a child who came out and you maybe didn’t have a great reaction to it or are having a hard time accepting it?
Cheryl: The most important thing about being a parent is having unconditional love for your children. That’s the most important thing in being a person is to have that unconditional love. What that means is that you don’t have to understand where they’re coming from.
You don’t have to find a solution because there’s not a problem. There isn’t an issue to be resolved. The only issue that needs to be resolved is do you love your child enough to love them unconditionally and accept them for who they are?
Sometimes you have to hear hard things from your child because they were hurt, but you know, when you get hurt from somebody else, you wanna let them know,” Hey, that hurt me, this is how I felt.” So, Sometimes the shoe’s on the other foot and you have to accept that.
You have to take it in. You have to listen. And you have to understand that whether you like it or not, this is what you did. If the child says, you hurt me. You have to accept, I hurt you.
You can’t say, well, but I didn’t understand– It doesn’t matter. That’s not what matters. What matters is you hurt your child, love your child, love your child unconditionally. Love anybody that way, because that’s what humanity really is, in my opinion. Take the hard stuff, roll with it. Who cares?
What’s more important? You know, having a relationship with your daughter or not? Or having a strained relationship. I would much rather have an open, loving relationship with my daughter. I really would. I would rather have that with people in general.
Cilia: And like you said earlier, that difficulty of that hard work to get there to that open relationship is worth it.
Cheryl: It is very worth it. Trust me. Trust me. We were at a point where we weren’t talking. I hardly ever gotta see her. I would cry myself to sleep so many nights because I missed her and I loved her and I was worried not really knowing what I had done.
So it was important for me to hear that. It was important that I find out what I had done so that I can fix it. And that was fixing me. Not fixing her.
Cilia: Yes!! Oh, I love that! Say that again for the people in the back!
Cheryl: I needed to fix me. I needed to fix the things that I had done wrong. I didn’t have to fix Kayla cuz there was nothing, nothing wrong with her.
I wish that I could just give all those people who don’t have that, I wish I could just hug them and hold them and be that for them. Because they deserve it and they need it the most.
Cilia: I’m really glad that you both have gotten to this point with everything that you’ve gone through. I think it’s so beautiful and it’s so great also for your son, Kayla, that you know, he gets to have,[to Cheryl] I saw your mug that says World’s Best nana or something. He gets to have the world’s best nana in his life.
Cheryl: That’s my favorite mug!
Cilia: I love it. And I’d love to know, Kayla, before we stop our recording, two things. I wanna give you space to talk about your work and where people can find you.
But before that, I also would love to give you space to share some resources that I can put in the captions, maybe some websites you want me to put in the captions or anything like that that can help people who are having a hard time.
Kayla: So the Trevor Project is a organization that has texts & call support and you can go on their website. They’re a helpline so if you’re in a crisis, they’re an LGBTQ crisis line. If you’re on their website, they have a triple tap that it’ll automatically close out their site if someone is coming that’s not safe.
GLAAD is another one, they have a spirit day every year in October where they’re standing up against bullying.
You can always find your local PFLAG. It’s parents and families of the LGBTQ community. They have many chapters all around the country and…I hope that, that, you know, that you’re loved. And there’s, there’s resources out there. If you need anything, message my Instagram. Um, like we said, we’ll put that in the caption.
Where to Find Kayla & work with her
My instagram is called inspire and be inspired (@inspireandbeeinspired), because I believe that we all inspire one another and we can all be inspired by one another. So you can find me on instagram @Inspireandbeeinspired. I do virtual assistant work for spiritually aligned entrepreneurs. I create social media posts, I do social media engagement. I love working with podcasts, I’m a booking agent and, um, I work with, um, social media and video for podcasts. Really enjoy it. Um, I love, I love letting the creativity flow, so if you need help with any of that, just let me know.
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Hey! I'm Cilia
Self Love Mentor & Embodiment Guide
I help women ground, feel, & express freely through mindfulness, compassion, and sacred ritual so that they can feel confident, fulfilled, and HAWT!