I would just like to give a giant shoutout to my Mother who has probably struggled just as much, if not more, than I have.
Let me tell you a little about her struggles with the MoHo Dilemma. When I first came out to her she was silent. She eventually told me that she accepted the fact that I thought I was gay but that she didn’t really believe that I was. She based this off of many of the stereotypical things that should clue a mother in to her son being gay. Growing up I never played with Dolls (not in her presence at least, I just remembered one time that I did at a friends house) I never really did any of the overtly “gay” things for a child who doesn’t fear stigmatism from the world does. I did lean heavily towards theatre and music, but not too much as I also played, but didn’t enjoy, team sports. So in her mind I was just “confused.”
This was back in November right after the election. Within a few weeks I started to notice subtle changes in our phone conversations. I noticed that she no longer had the stand-offish feel that I felt from her. The knowledge that I really was gay was settling in on her. This continued after I got home and we had a few limited talks about it in which I tried my best to educate her about different aspects of my dilemma. We watched prayers for bobby on opening night together and while she looked away at any physical affection, she watched the entire thing and spoke her deepest fear was that someone would leave me and I would let that lose lead me to suicide.
Right around this time She did something that I never thought would happen. She got into contact with my step-mom whose youngest son is also gay. My mother and step-mom have never spoken to each other and so for my mom to extend the olive branch because of me really illuminated to me how much she loved and cared for me and was trying to understand everything.
Around this time I was dating my first love. Shortly after Prayers for Bobby and her visit with my step-mom, my mother asked me if I wanted to bring my boyfriend over for dinner so that she could meet him. This was an amazing step because, even though she didn’t like what my decision then had been, she was willing to continue to reach out and not push me away but make sure I knew of her love for me.
When my boyfriend and I broke up, my mother was there to comfort me. She saw how lonely I was and knew that that loneliness was hurting me so much. As I came out to more and more people she was there to support me and to nudge me in the right direction concerning my responses to people, who had a short amount of time to come to grips with what I had dropped on their laps.
When one of my best friends who is on a mission sent me a letter that just ripped me to shreds, she told me that no matter what she just didn’t want me to hurt anymore. This gave me more comfort than anything else she could have said to me because I could see where she had come from to where she was.
She is even now using “gay” in normal conversation rather than “problem” and we even cracked a rather funny joke last week. She was in her walk-in grabbing some clothes and so I shut the door on her and wouldn’t let her out just as a prank. She struggled and then eventually told me, “David, Let me out of the closet.” She didn’t realize the implication of her words at first but once I busted out laughing she soon realized it. Then my Step-father chimed in with the helpful comment, “well now you know how he felt.” He was referring not to the fact that I had just come out of the closet, but that at a young age my mother, in order to prevent me from getting out of my crib, would let me sleep in a locked closet. I caught the deeper meaning and told my mom that it was her fault I had to come out of the closet, She had put me there!
This whole conversation was one that, I figured would never be repeated again. But just last night, my mother told the story to my siblings after a video we were watching mentioned “gay.”
Mom, I am so proud of you for coming so far along in your own personal dilemma. I know that it hasn’t been easy but I am so grateful that we have been here with each other for so much of it. Mom, I love you and I want you to know that.
Love, your son.
PS I know that you might not like that photo, but it is the only one I have of you :(