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BET Hip Hop Awards 2017 - Arrivals

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Recently, we reported that Tami Roman’s daughter, Jazz Anderson, came out as bisexual.  When she did so, Anderson shared that it wasn’t that much of a coming out because people close to her, including her mother knew of her lifestyle.

Still, recently on her new Fox Soul show, “Get Into It,” Tami Roman sat down with T.S. Madison to discuss how she can be more accepting of her daughter’s lifestyle, given the fact that she was not accustomed to it.

Before Roman spoke with Madison, she shared her intention for the conversation.

“Even at my age, and I just turned 51 this past week, you never stop growing, learning and evolving. I wanted to sit down and be educated about how I as a parent could support my child  who has recently come out as a member of the LGBTQ community, my daughter Jazz.

If I’m being completely honest, before I sit down with T.S. Madison, who I believe is the best person to have the conversation because I believe she will approach it from a standpoint of enlightening me and not judging or chastising me.

“I want to be educated on how to be accepting of the lifestyle my daughter has chosen when that’s not a lifestyle that I particularly grew up being accepting of. What I want people to understand is that a part of the education is being able to acknowledge what the issue is. And this is definitely an issue within our family. I want to be able to grow. I want to understand my thoughts, understand my daughter’s thoughts and then see how we can come together to bridge the gap on this particular topic.”

When Madison joined Roman, she asked her how Jazz’s revelation made her feel.

“I’ll tell you honestly. I, in no way want to come off as homophobic, because I’m not. But in all honesty, I cried. I was hurt…that wasn’t what I envisioned for my daughter. When any mother is pregnant with her son, she doesn’t say, ‘I want my son to be a gay male.’ When she has a daughter, she doesn’t say, ‘I want my daughter to be a lesbian.’ You hope that if that’s their truth that you’re able to love them and still have a relationship and a rapport with them. And there are some mothers out there that don’t. I’m the type of mother that does. But at the same time, this is not what I envisioned, I wanted her to have a husband and kids. I felt like she selfishly through a monkey wrench in my plans.”

T.S. Madison took her time to challenge the notion that Jazz came out “selfishly.”

“When we come out as people, human beings, we already have a script laid out for us. The script is, this is your name, this is what you need to do in life. This is where you should live. You should go to college. There’s a whole list of things.

I think about it like the Matrix, everybody is walking on this same system, until somebody says ‘This is crazy. I don’t want to walk this way. I want to be me. I want to be myself and feed into the system. We come outside of that and we tell the people inside the system, ‘Hey, this is me. I don’t want to change you from being a part of the system. But I don’t want to be a part of that system.’ I know you weren’t raised to support that. Majority of Black families were not raised to support that. This is why Black people from Boosie to everybody has something to say about it. But they have embraced unconditional love.

You love your daughter but you have to place yourself in the shoes of your daughter. That probably was something so difficult for her to tell you because she knows she’s in an awkward place where she feels like she’s unlike everyone else.”

Tami shared that she was hurt that Jazz shared the truth of her sexuality through a text message.

“I respect your daughter for texting you because that’s a hard thing. You know your mom, you know your dad weren’t raised this way. I didn’t want to lose my mom. I was prepared to go the rest of my life as a gay man. Before I was even trans, I was prepared to go to California, let her never see me go through transition. I had made that decision in my mind because I didn’t want to hurt her or my family by going against the rules. I think we have to be more empathetic of the way the child feels.

It seems selfish but it’s really not. I think it’s more selfish on the parents’ behalf because we have this list of things that were given to us. We came out of the womb and here’s this to-do list. And I think that’s unfair.”

T.S. Madison asked Tami if she was more hurt because Jazz revealed her sexuality or because of the way she might be treated in the world.

“I was hurt. I felt like I did something wrong. I felt like did I put her in a situation or an environment where she was introduced to certain things because she had never expressed any interest in a female. My life hasn’t always been easy and so I moved my kids around a lot. I have had them be places that if things had been better in my life, they wouldn’t have been there. And at the same time, I’m trying not to be selfish because if this is who she is, I’m going to love her regardless.

I’ll fight to the ends of the earth when it comes to the world and my daughter. I’m more concerned about how I am treating her because I love my daughter so much. I love her with all my heart but it was very difficult. I hate to sound like these racists who say, ‘I can’t be racist. I have so many Black friends.’ It’s like I can’t be homophobic because I have so many gay friends, in my family, in my team, my squad. But gay always felt like something that was over there. And now it’s in my house. How am I supposed to deal with it when it’s something I wasn’t prepared to do.”

Madison said, “Honestly, Tami, you are in a great position because you want to deal with it. You want to learn. You want to continue to love your daughter. I must applaud you for that. You have every right as a mother and a parent to have these conflicting emotions as a parents.”

She suggested that Roman seek counseling with other parents of LGBTQ+ youth to fully process her feelings and be a better support for her daughter.

You can listen to the conversation in the video below.

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