What we have tried to do is protect the person coming out from these horrible scenes that have happened in so many people’s families. [PFLAG says,] “It’s going to be bad news anyway. You might as well write it in a letter, send that ahead, and give them a chance to go through these stages of shock. Because there’s going to be shock, denial, and bargaining. The first stages of grief are going to happen. You don’t have to be there to see all those. And, when you come in, they’re still going to be in the anger/sadness phase, but at least they’ll be over the first awful part.” Because they say the worst, awful, hurtful things in the beginning. [With] this one couple I was [working with], one of the things her mother kept screaming is, “We don’t have any gay people in our family. We don’t have any lesbians in our family.” Well, her daughter was sitting right there going, “Sorry, but you do.”
Source: Interview with Laura S. Hodgman on 14 March 2013.