People of Georgian: Proud mom learns to celebrate her 2SLGBTQIA+ children

Happy Pride Month!

To help celebrate, four Georgian College employees who are either members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community or allies are sharing their stories throughout the month.

Learn more about what Georgian’s doing to honour Pride Month, along with history, community resources, crisis support, and learning and allyship.  

People of Georgian: Meet Cheryl Boudreau

My son came out as gay about eight years ago, and then my daughter came out as transgender.

She told me, “I didn’t think I could do anything about it, and I didn’t think you would accept me.”

That was that was a lot to take in within a short period of time.

A person wearing a black shirt with text reading "Pride Georgian College" stands on a deck outside overlooking a backyard.
Cheryl is a proud mom of two 2SLGBTQIA+ children.

‘Doing my best to learn and ask questions’

I always thought that if my kids were gay, whatever, it’s fine. I hadn’t thought about them being transgender because I didn’t know much about it.

But since my kids came out, I’ve gotten behind both of them in support. We’ve gone to lots of Pride parades together, and I’m always doing my best to learn and ask questions.

I was put in contact with another parent in the area whose child had transitioned from male to female, and that helped a lot.

Now, I feel very comfortable talking about it. These are my children, and I’m very proud of them. I don’t care what people think.

They are living the lives they should have always had.

I overheard my daughter recently saying how much happier she is – that there are still struggles but she’s so much happier being who she wants to be.

We go out together and pick out dresses. She’s still trying to figure out what to do with her hair.

A person sits on a couch with their arm around a black-and-white dog.
Cheryl with one of her dogs, Jenna.

‘My children are the bravest people I know’

Someone once told me I had to mourn the loss of my son, now my daughter, but I never found that. These are my children, male or female, it doesn’t matter. I love them and I’m going to support them.

My children are the bravest people I know.

I would tell other parents of queer children to seek out supports and talk to other people going through similar experiences. You’ll be surprised at how many of your friends and family are on board with you and support you, too.

It’s still awkward if I meet up with someone I haven’t seen for years and they ask about my son that no longer exists. It’s an awkward conversation, but I’ve never found it to be a bad conversation. You just need to remember: this is your child.

We’re all people, we’re all different, and what a boring world it would be if we were all the same.

Cheryl Boudreau, Store Coordinator, Georgian Stores at the Owen Sound Campus.

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