A SUPPORT group for parents of gay young people is moving its meetings to Poole.
Ricochet has been meeting in Dorchester for around a year and a half but is moving to Hamworthy as many of its existing members are from East Dorset.
Founder Colette Hill, pictured, was living in London when she found out her daughters were gay and received support from the group Families Together London.
“When I got down here, by which time I was totally cool about my daughters being gay, I realised there was nothing here for people who were having a similar experience,” she said.
She said it had helped people enormously to be able to speak without fear of disapproval.
“There’s an atmosphere that it’s politically incorrect to mind,” said Col-ette, of Bridport.
“A lot of them are worried about homophobia. They’re worried about how people are going to react when they break the news. They’re worried about their children’s safety, about their health, especially for boys, and whether their children are going to be able to have children.”
Colette added: “I went through despair, bereavement – of feeling that I didn’t have the child I thought I had, which is entirely wrong of course. I still have the same children. Human emotion isn’t always logical.
“Dads might make remarks like ‘I’ve been robbed of the chance of walking her down the aisle’, which when you think about it isn’t true, or people will say ‘He would have made such a fantastic father and now he won’t be able’. But again that isn’t quite right because many gay people are fostering or adapting.
“We had one person who came because she didn’t mind at all about her son being gay but she minded terribly about dealing with the homophobia that was around her at work.”
The group has been supported by donations from Fflag (Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and from cosmetics company Lush.
Colette said: “As you come to terms with the situation, if that’s what you have to do, there’s always a growing feeling of huge pride in your child. I’m now so proud of my daughters and they’ve both got lovely girlfriends.”
n Ricochet’s next monthly meeting is on Saturday March 1, 2.30pm, at Hamworthy. For details and the venue, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the helpline on 07803 309781.