In a day and age when growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is an increasingly volatile experience, our mothers mean more to us now than ever before.
Of course, our moms are -- and have always been -- special. "I once heard the saying that a mother's relationship with her son is a love affair that never ends, and I really do believe that," notes HuffPost Gay Voices blogger Justin Huang. "My relationship with my mom is really inspiring to me personally because it shows me that humanity trumps politics, and that -- as cliched as it could be -- love is transcendent."
Adds Zach Stafford: "Being gay and a person of color is hard, and my mom helped me face that battle growing up while allowing me to share all of me. I saw at an early age that no matter what I told her, no matter who I became, she would always love me and she would fight for me. She has done that."
In some cases, our true "moms" aren't our biological mothers at all. "Aunt Debbie has given advice on life and love, supported me through difficult moments and helped me stand tall in the face of adversity," reader Johnathan Fields tells us. "She has forgiven me when I've screwed up, defended me when it wasn't comfortable and loved me in moments when I couldn't even feel love for myself."
There's still time to be featured! Send us a photo and a few lines about your mom or mother figure to GayVoices@huffingtonpost.com
In honor of Mother's Day 2012, HuffPost Gay Voices asked its readers and bloggers to submit photos along with a short anecdote about their moms. Take a look at some of the best submissions below:
I once heard the saying that a mother's relationship with her son is a love affair that never ends, and I really do believe that. I'd be lying if I said that it's been incredibly easy being the gay son of a conservative Asian tiger mom. My relationship with my mom is really inspiring to me personally because it shows me that humanity trumps politics, and that - as cliched as it could be - love is transcendent. Mom, I hope you're proud of me, and you're my angel. Happy Mother's Day! <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/justin-huang/mothers-day_b_1504763.html" target="_hplink">Check out more from Justin Huang here</a>
We hear so many stories of LGBT youth being afraid of coming out because they may face homelessness or violence or numerous other repercussions. Youth are uncertain whether their mothers and families will still love them if they do share their whole identity with them. Being gay and a person of color is hard, and my mom helped me face that battle growing up while allowing me to share all of me. I saw at an early age that no matter what I told her, no matter who I became, she would always love me and she would fight for me. She has done that. This Mother's Day I want to say "thank you!" and I want to hug you, and I want to celebrate you for being you. I am so grateful to have you, and I am so grateful you are willing to fight. We need fighters in the world and you showed me that growing up. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/zach-stafford/michelle-my-belle-my-advo_b_1506924.html" target="_hplink">Check out more from Zach Stafford here</a>.
I am a mom. I am also a kid. In my case I am the gay one. I am 56 years old and I came out three years ago after 27 years of marriage and five children. My kids have been extremely supportive and I have a good relationship with my ex. Together my partner and I are managing a household of six kids, four dogs and a cat. My parents passed away before ever knowing my 'secret identity', but there was one woman who knew and was both mother figure and confidante to both my partner and me. This remarkable woman was 81 years old, a mother and grandmother herself, and my choir buddy at church. She sat next to me in church choir, hosted our book group and held court poolside every summer in her backyard. She approved of and encouraged midnight skinny dipping. This retired Hospice Nurse gave of herself tirelessly to the last, when she was felled by a series of strokes. She died last September. I cried for her as I cried for my own mother and I miss her voice daily. Thank you Barbara. And Happy Mother's Day.
When it comes to spreading acceptance for anyone, there is no one more special then my mother Danielle. From day one of coming out, my mother was accepting (and proud) and made sure that everyone around was also accepting. She is amazing at speaking her mind and standing up against discrimination.
My mum Lyn Smith has always been more than a mother - she's my best friend, my support system, my confidant and biggest cheerleader. Telling her that I had met (and fallen in love with) a woman was one of the most unexpected and special moments we've shared. When I finally plucked up the courage to tell her, I was more than a little surprised when she turned around and said 'Well, you've always been a little bit gay, haven't you?'. Though I had just discovered this about myself, it turns out that my mum really does know best! Happy Mother's Day, Mummy, I love you so much and I'm so lucky to have you!
My mom is special because she was there whenever I needed her. When I came out she was the first one by my side and even once said " I had hoped you were gay..." She is special because she is MY mom. BTW she throws the best parties :D
Where everyone else told me I couldn't possibly "be serious" due to my femininity, my mother never doubted or questioned me once. She loves me and accepts me like she has my whole life; she is the woman I aspire to be and is the first woman I ever loved.
I cannot count the reasons why my mother means the world to me. Not only are we 2 peas in a pod, but I see her as my best friend. Ever since coming out at 15 years old she has been my biggest cheerleader through life. Everyone deserves a mom like mine! Happy mothers day, mom. :P
"I knew before you did!" she says with a smile nowadays. I couldn't come out. It was too tough. Who made it tough? Me. What I thought was a secret eventually surfaced. I recently asked my mom, at my brother's wedding: "It really doesn't bother you that if I get married someday, it won't be 'normal' like this?" She replied with more motherly love and warmth in her tone than I could ever convey through words on a page; "Me? This is your life. Now dear, the bar is free, so please go easy." She does know me better than I do! One word: Legend.
I came out to my parents during the summer between fourth and fifth grade, and at the time I thought that something must have been wrong with me. I was at the age where "gay" was the crème de la cootie of school yard pejoratives, and I was terrified that my parents would reject me, that the solace of home would be lost. However, between the initial tears and blubbering, I was able to choke out the words "I am gay," to which my mother who is nothing short of a <em>yenta</em> replied, "Well, if you can't bring home a nice Jewish boy...bring home a nice Jewish girl!"
I am an only child, a gay man and father. My mother has been my support, my shoulder to cry on, my ATM, my confidant and my best friend. She has instilled qualities that I have bestowed on to my adopted son. When I had a bad break up, she always knew what to say and do. There is nother better than a home cooked meal from Mom. Even if we did go to my favorite Italian restaurant. At the end, I would tell her, You're a great cook Mom to which she would reply, I know mijo! Happy mothers day Mom, I love you! Cris
What word would I use to describe my mother Lisa Hedden? As cheesy as it might sound, she is "perfect." I recently came out to my mother about being transgendered, and she was more than accepting and was willing to learn more about who I was. We would talk for hours about how this came to be and why I felt like this. She never once discouraged me from being this way and always felt like i was perfect just the way I am. We have always had an incredible bond, but because of my coming out we now share a relationship that might even surpass just parenthood- she is my very "best friend" and I couldn't ask for a better mother.
This October, Frank and Vida Romeo will celebrate their 70th year of marriage. My grandparents have been lifelong sweethearts, and I am so happy for them to hit this milestone. New Jersey residents, they care deeply for each other and understand so much about how to live a long and happy life together. Their story is of particular importance to me, because Frank and Vida are taking the honor of our first dance when my partner and I get married in October. My grandmother has been unwavering in her love and support of me through the years. When I came out to her in 2002, I thought I'd have to dispel the stereotypes that I had imagined might live in her head because of the portrayal of gay characters on television. I said, "Grandma, I'm not like Jack from 'Will and Grace', I'm just me still." My grandma didn't miss a beat. She said, "Well, you're no Will." Now 92 years old, Vida Romeo just gets it. When I told her that my partner and I had decided to marry, she held my hand and said, "I can tell by the way I see you looking at each other that you really love each other. I love you and I'm so happy that I'll get to see my grandson get married." Hers is a voice like so many others, worn thin by a long and happy life full of laughter. After 70 years of marriage, she's saving a few more smiles and a lot more laughter for the grandson who's about to enter his very first year of marriage. I am grateful for her love, her light, and her story. She is the best we can do.
My mom cried when I formally came out to her 5 years ago. Being a very conservative Filipino woman that she is, I knew it wasn't easy for her to wrap her mind around about me being gay. She grew up in the province of the Philippines and being gay was unheard of and she did not know a lot about the gay lifestyle. But she loves me and supports me. I only see her every other year when I visit her in the Philippines but we do talk on the phone a lot and I always make her laugh. Her laughter just makes me feels so good.
She chose to adopt me from an alcoholic woman and demonstrated throughout the years on what being a mother truly is.
I would not be the man that I am today without my Mom and the sacrifices she made me for me. I grew up in an extremely religious household as my father was a Church of Christ preacher. Yes, I am the one Dusty sings about. My parents were not happy for years before they finally ended it between my junior and senior year of high school. A few years after the divorce, I had come out and my Mom and I were having conversations about growing up in such a close minded household. I asked her why she stayed in the marriage for so long if she was so unhappy. Looking at me with the love that only a Mother can, she said "I wanted to make sure that you were old enough to make your own decisions and be the man that you are today." I think about the years she must have spent unfulfilled just so I could be me. That's love. That's MY Mom.
I came out to my mom over the summer, and informed her that I'd been dating someone for almost a year. Her response: "As long as you're happy, I'm happy...as long as I get to meet your boyfriend next time you come home." This is why my mom is awesome. Not to mention she makes some mean spaghetti.
My mom loves me for who I am. Supports me every day of my life. Fights for me in the face of discrimination. She is the strongest woman I know. As a gay son and son in general, I could've never asked for a better mother.
My mom tells it like it is and pulls no punches. She loves my husband of 20 years and I unconditionally. We have been taking care of her and lives with us since my father past 4 years ago. We love her dearly.
Growing up in an Italian household, I was raised to believe family was all we had. When my relationship to my single, biological mother was severed at fifteen due to her severe mental illness, I began understanding that [biological] family wasn't all I had. I'll never forget the night my mother and I lost the closeness we once shared. But there is one woman in particular who became much more than a figure. She was not just my second cousin whom I referred to as 'aunt'; she was not just a close friend. My aunt Debbie became the closest thing I have had to a mother figure since childhood. Aunt Debbie has given advice on life and love, supported me through difficult moments and helped me stand tall in the face of adversity. She has forgiven me when I've screwed up, defended me when it wasn't comfortable and loved me in moments when I couldn't even feel love for myself.
My mom changed her political views when I came out at 16 years old by realizing that a fiscal bottom line and moral bottom line doesn't coincide within the current GOP, and her need to let me be me was more important than a tax break. Happy Mothers Day!
I love my mom, she's ill but she has supported me every step along the way of my journey.
My mom is an amazing woman in every sense, and I have always known no matter what, she will love me more than anyone else ever could, even if she doesn't fully understand me. My mom is a Born Again Christian, and I have to give her credit, she has struggled to gain understanding when her faith has told her to believe things she knows are not true, it may have taken her 10 years to admit it, after first accepting that it wasn't going to change but when she said knew I was born gay, and it had nothing to do with a "choice," that moment meant everything to me and for me, was all I ever needed to hear. We are both strong minded and opinionated people, and we have moments of tension because we have very different values and priorities. But the only thing that matters is I know she loves me completely regardless of anything else. I hope she knows I feel the same, and thank you Mom, for instilling me that no one can ever take away from my value as a person unless I let them, and for teaching me to do the right thing, even when you are told it's wrong, but you know in your heart that it isn't.