We told our son that he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality. Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. So, just before his 18th birthday, Ryan, depressed, suicidal and disillusioned, made a new choice.
What could I say to this young man who meant so much to my kid, this young man who, by playing a television character, had helped lead my son to tell me about his orientation and, by extension, helped change the trajectory of my own life toward activism?
When my dad left to pick up some dinner, my mom, whom I've been out to for almost two years, said, "Your father saw your Facebook status when I left my Facebook up. The cat's out of the bag." You see, I hadn't told him.
As our children grow, we look around and wonder, "Is this the right place for us to be? Is this where we want our children to grow up? What is the environment we've chosen teaching them?" These questions were heightened after our oldest son started identifying as gay at a young age.
If our son realizes at a later date that he isn't gay, I won't be embarrassed. No matter who he is, we want him to know that we love him. And whom he loves and is attracted to doesn't change a thing. If anything, we are setting an example to all our kids that our love really is unconditional.
Yes, at times it is different. At times it is hard, emotional and challenging. It's not something people are used to seeing, which can make them uncomfortable, so it requires extra work of me as a parent. But that doesn't mean it's bad. And he's worth it. All my kids are.
On Dec. 10 a conservative politician in the UK commented, "I think most parents would prefer their children not to be gay." As the mom of an openly gay son, that comment pisses me off, but it doesn't surprise me. It's something I have heard many times before.
I want for my son what all mothers want. I want him to grow up into a happy, healthy adult. I want him to find a career where he can thrive. I want him to find someone awesome to love who loves him right back. But all those things will be in jeopardy if Mitt Romney becomes president.
I think every parent has those discussions they don't want to have with their children. But now that my oldest son, at 7 years old, identifies as gay, I find myself facing a whole new set of things I just don't want to say to him.
I will always remember Aug. 16, 2011, because it's a day that truly changed my life. It was the day I wrote up a cute little story about my oldest son and his crush on Glee's Blaine and naïvely posted it to a blog.
My son is living in his mom's belly right now, so obviously we don't know his sexual orientation. Still, the letter I read Tuesday morning made me wonder what my letter would say if the news that my son was gay ended up being a surprise. So here it is.
We laughed at our presumption that our son would have some big moment during this first Pride after telling us he was gay. We realized the day was exactly the way it should have been. It was a fun, family day. It wasn't a revelation-worthy day for our son, because it was just his life.
My son is who he is, and I have never wanted him to be anyone else. I am proud of him, and try I encourage him to be himself and empower him, but here I was, just a few feet away, willing him to hold part of himself back. The shame came over me instantly.
Is there any harm in raising kids who treat gay people with respect? If our son turns out to be straight, there is still a very good chance he will have a gay classmate or a young gay neighbor. Do we want him to ridicule this child or sit by and watch others do it?
When my 7-year-old son first announced to us he was gay, the response from the people in our lives, the people who are important to us, was overwhelmingly positive. But now that time has passed, about six months, a few people are starting to change their tune.
So how do I keep my son from becoming another statistic, another young person pushed to deadly means to end torment by those who think his existence is a sin, ugly, and wrong? Well, there is no guarantee that I can, but I can sure as hell try.
I am reaching out to other moms who might or might not accept of the fact that their son or daughter is gay. Most of you do not know what it is like to receive a phone call like I got at 4:30 a.m. telling me that something had happened to my child.
I am finding myself having a lot of conversations with parents lately. Part of me is annoyed that I feel I should, but the larger part of me knows it's necessary. An out first grader isn't exactly an average kid. I have the only one I know. It surprises people, and they have questions.
This week on aNoteToMyKid.com, a devout Christian mother named Shelley from Iowa City, Iowa expressed her personal journey toward accepting her gay son, Michael, while maintaining the religious faith she holds so dear to her heart.
I thought there was a fair chance that he would someday say, "I'm gay." But my kid is only 7 years old. I figured I had a few years before we crossed that threshold (if we ever did), probably when he was 14 or 15. I never thought it would happen this soon.
The purpose of aNoteToMyKid.com is to remind people that there is a lot of love out there, to bring family and friends closer together, and to give parents and others who may not know how to broach the subject of sexuality an opportunity to learn from example.