Many people have asked me when I’m going to write a Part Two for my post, “Coming Out – A Mother’s Story“.
What better time to do than at the end of the year, when we celebrate the year we’ve had, and look forward to new beginnings?
It’s been four months since my brave son told me he was gay. You may be wondering how everything went when he came out to our friends and family. Many were understanding and respectful. The family members whom my husband and I figured would have the hardest time with it actually handled it better than we thought they would. We asked Tyler that he respectfully tell close family and friends, in person, or over the phone, before taking it to Facebook, and I’m glad he did.
Shame on the individual who commented that I should “suck it up” and that it has “nothing to do with me”. Like hell it doesn’t. My children are extensions of their father and I. It affects us very much, in a very different way than how it affects HIM. When you’re talking about changing 40 years of upbringing, and what we were taught was socially acceptable, you can bet your ass it’s going to change US, as parents and as people. Another commenter said it perfectly, when she said she could tell I was “trying to change my world view”. BINGO. She hit the nail on the head. I am personally trying to undo years and years of the social “conditioning” that I, personally, have been subjected to.
I’m fairly sure that many people find the news of their child being gay as easy to accept as it is for them to accept the news that it’s raining outside, more than likely because of how they were raised, or maybe it’s because they live in an area where it’s considered the norm. I envy them. Unfortunately, the saying “Hate isn’t born, it’s taught.” is completely true. And while I wouldn’t go as far to say it was “hate” in my case, I know for a fact it was considered wrong. I’m not sure how often I’ll get to see my brother now. And I have no idea if my mother has told my father or not, but there may be a heartfelt letter or email heading to him in the near future, from his only daughter, who’s going to tell him how it’s going to be. Or not going to be. That depends on him, I guess.
So here I am, a mother of a fifteen year old boy, whom I love to the moon and back. He has already overcome a large number of obstacles in his life, and is living happily, knowing his parents love and accept him, even if we are still coming to terms with this “new-to-us” reality. I am so proud of him, as a person and as my son. Nothing will ever change that.
I hate that I wasn’t raised to be more accepting of people who are different. Okay, I was raised that way, but within certain limits. I hate that I was raised to build these walls I have around me, against certain people in the world. I specifically remember my father telling me he would be upset if I ever brought a black man home. I thought he was in the stone age. And not gonna lie, I kinda wish that my husband was black, just to spite him 🙂 But that’s the rebel in me, and I love my husband dearly, just the way he is.
Now *I’m* in the stone age, and working hard to get myself out of it. Here, I thought Tyler bringing a girl home would be tough to handle, I know that will be a challenge for me to overcome. I know it’s going to be difficult at times, but every day, it gets easier.
No one wants to think of their children having sex, obviously, but why is that the ONLY aspect I can seem to focus on? There’s so much more to a loving relationship, and I am so excited for him to find that bond with someone; to gush over someone who means the world to him… he deserves that. I want him to have that, and the gender of that person shouldn’t matter.
To any parents out there, who happen to be in my shoes: I want you to know, without a doubt, it’s going to be okay. YOU are going to be okay. The toughest part is over, your child TOLD you.
This can be and often is, a touchy subject to talk about. There is no right or wrong way to deal with the news of your child being gay, except to withdraw your love and acceptance of them.
I’m sure some will turn away from this post thinking they would do a better job than I have/am. All the power to you. The very last thing I am is perfect, and my son’s news was not easy for me to hear. But if I’m being honest, I’m just glad I didn’t ruin the terrific relationship I have with my son by turning him away. THAT is all that matters to me, and I know that everything else, everything in my head, will fall into place eventually and that my heart will grow to be even more accepting. As much as I wish I could fast-forward to that time, it’s a growing process.
If you are having a tough time dealing with the news of your child being gay/lesbian, TALK IT OUT WITH THEM. Or your spouse. Or a group. Or anyone you know who’s gone through what you’re dealing with. If you are having a tough time, it’s YOU who needs to change… not your child. Don’t sever ties with your loved ones because they don’t meet your standards… change your standards so you can meet their needs.
I’ll be posting my son’s version of this story in a future post.