My Son

The recent news of so many gay teen suicides had deeply saddened me. One would have hoped that our society has grown enough to accept and embrace everyone equally, but it’s obvious we have a long way to go. While I’d always been aware of homophobia, it’s been hitting me hard lately because now I have a personal connect. Why? My son is gay.

I have been struggling to think of a way to speak out against the hatred…to somehow make a change. I finally decided that maybe some may “see the light” if the issue was personalized for them. Maybe if some of these hate mongers realized that there are real children, with real feelings, being affected by their venom, they may think twice before speaking out again. So, let me do that by telling you a little about my son.

From the day he was born, seventeen years ago, my life has never been the same. He’s always been a bright child. At the age of three he could walk through a crowded parking lot and name off the year, make and model of every single car. That wasn’t the only area he excelled in either, by the fourth grade he was reading at a college level and his advanced vocabulary were both a source of amusement and amazement.

He played hockey for over ten years. For many of them he was a goaltender. Recently he gave that up because he wanted to focus on skiing. He also is part of his school’s HOSA bowl team. His biggest dream is to get into the medical field. When he told me that, I wasn’t surprised at all, since he’s always gone out of his way to help others.

My nine-year old daughter has learning disabilities, so school is hard for her. My son has often sat for hours at a time, helping her out with homework. Plus, whenever she gets down and discouraged with herself, it’s always him that calms her down and boosts her self-confidence. One year her dance studio named him, “Best Big Brother” It was just a silly made up award that they drew on a paper plate, yet he treasures it. He still has it hanging on the wall of his bedroom.

When he came out to me, I didn’t feel disappointed or betrayed or hurt, instead I felt damn proud. I recognized how brave it was to take that first step and I was amazed at his courage.  Most importantly, nothing changed. He’s still the same son that I sat up with all night when he had colic as a baby. He’s still the same kid who could tell the difference between a GM and Ford.  He’s still the same punk who talked trash on the ice during hockey games. He’s still the same son that I love with all my heart and would never trade away for anything.

So to all those people out there who are ruled by hate and are only happy when they are bullying others, remember the ones you speak out have feelings. They have dreams, they hurt, they laugh, they cry and a lot of them have families who love them. Most of all they deserve to have the same rights and respect as everyone else.

Someone recently told me that once our children come out of the closet, we as parents have to come out, too. So that’s what I’m doing. I’m announcing to the world that I love my gay son and to hell with those who can’t accept him. When someone tries to trample on my son’s civil rights, by telling him he can’t marry who he loves, I will be there to protest. When somebody tries to press their own religious agendas on his lifestyle, I will be there to counterpoint their arguments. When someone throws hate at him, I will be there to show him my love.

Something needs to be done about all the hate that is so prevalent in our society. Until then this will not be a Nation where all people are equal. I vow that until my son has the same rights as the rest of the citizens, I will not stop fighting, nor will I stop loving him.  
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19 Responses to My Son

  1. Chris says:

    Stephani: *hugs for you and your son*I think you're both remarkable people. Thank you both for sharing this.

  2. Brava, Bravo! This was a wonderful post. You must be an awesome mom to have raised such a great kid.

  3. Thanks, Chris. I happen to think he's remarkable, too. I am so damn proud of him.

  4. Jason says:

    I love you, Stephani. You are an amazing mother and your son is so lucky to have you. ~smooches~Jase

  5. Wren, he really is a great kid. I am so lucky to have him.

  6. I love you, too, Jase! I'm lucky to have him, as well. I couldn't ask for a better kid.

  7. Eyre says:

    Stephani, your son is lucky to have such a supportive, fabulous mother, and he's obviously a spectacular young man. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Ami says:

    I am happy to hear of a young man who is proud enough to be true to himself AND a mother who accept him no matter what. The two of you are lucky to have one another. And I hope the world can see how wonderful it could be if people can tolerate one another. Thank you for sharing your story.

  9. Eyre: Thanks! He really is a special kid. I love him so much.Ami: I pray for the day when the world learns to be more accepting.

  10. Tam says:

    What a beautiful touching post. Make me teary. If only all kids had a parent like you in their corner. You should both be proud for standing up for what you believe. Maybe someday your dreams of total equality will come true. It's possible, it's happened in many countries including mine and I hope that someday the government in the US will see the light and do the right thing, even if it's not the popular thing.

  11. As a parent, I'm a firm believer that we get the kids we were meant to have – whether or not we embrace them is another matter. I'm so glad that you not only accept your son, but embrace him, as well. He's a very lucky kid. :)When my baby sister came out at sixteen, there was acceptance all around – except from her father. It's nine years later, and he still hasn't figured out how to embrace the glorious wonder that is her. Makes me sad. But I'm so happy that your son isn't experiencing that. {{{Hugs}}} to both of you. 🙂 You're both amazing people.

  12. Thanks Tam and Bron. I've been so blessed with both my children and I wouldn't trade them away for anything. Sure, he drive me crazy from time to time, like when he won't clean his room, but he's still an awesome kid.

  13. Tam says:

    Kids clean their rooms?!?!?!?!?! I missed that memo it seems or my kid did anyway. 🙂

  14. Thank you, Stephani, for posting this!! The pride & love for your son is evident 😀 I'm so happy to read this!! I come from a family where being different, or doing something that was different from how the family would handle it, was tantamount to damnation in hell. Love was something one could use to manipulate people, not build up one's self esteem. Love, to me, meant pain, silence, disavowal of who you were inside, and loneliness. I'm so glad to read that there are people out there that support their family members as family, for who they are. Maybe there will be a world such as this one day, but I get so discouraged sometimes, by what I read, and what I've experienced, that I've said to myself, "It's not possible." You have proved to us, it IS.Tame (chrysalis1975)

  15. Your welcome, Tame. When he came out to me there was no question in my mind as to whether or not I would accept him. He's my son and I will always love him. I just wish there were more parents out there who felt the same way. It saddens me when I hear stories like yours. I just wish I could do more to help all those kids who feel alone.

  16. Kris says:

    I've already told you how I feel privately, Stephani, but I will say again what an amazingly courageous young man I think your son is and how lucky he is to have a mother such as you.

  17. Thanks, Kris. *big hugs* I'm lucky to have such good friends like you.

  18. Devon Rhodes says:

    Just had to add a belated comment. What a moving post!! (hugs to your fam) I think you are spot on about personalizing the issue. I can't get over how some people can treat others, not thinking that this is a person/ son/ daughter/ friend, etc.Thanks for sharing! And go you for being a fabulous mom!

  19. Thanks, Devon. He's a fabulous son and I'm so fortunate to have him. He may be going to RT with me this year and I can't wait to introduce him to everyone.

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