At times in our lives we’ve defining moments that change us. As a parent of a homosexual child, this was definitely one of those moments. Before we were labeled “diverse”, we were pretty much the average American family. We were middle class. We raised our kids with family beliefs that any parent would be pleased with. We took these to chapel. We spent time with them at their colleges. We were the envy of the lot of our family and friends because none of our kids had ever experienced any type of serious trouble a day in their lives. Our kids were right A students, worked given that they were in their early teenagers earning money to pay for their first vehicles and part of their clothes. These were responsible and hard working. All of them graduated in the Top 10% of their classes with honors. What more could we require?
Looking back, I guess I understood my child was just a little different than most of the other boys. I put helped to improve a lot of them in my own job as a kid care service provider. He was never rambunctious in the way a lot of them were. I recall an aunt buying him a toy Jeep at 5 years old and thinking he would never play with that. He was creative and intelligent and would rather be doing some kind of art project or baking cookies along with his great-grandmother.
He never had an interest in girls. My hubby thought maybe he was a later bloomer, like himself, but we were soon to learn usually. My son got always acquired trouble with transitions to new things so I wasn’t all that worried when the panic showed its ugly face when he was transitioning from high school to university. It had been never that bad though. He was throwing up and crying before he would leave to visit in the morning. It was at that time that I recommended counseling. It didn’t appear to be helping at all.
On Martin Luther Ruler Day, when my child was 19, he arrived to me, his father, and his sisters in e-mails. It had been very short and to the point simply stating that he was still the same person and he would answer any questions we had. I couldn’t rest that night credited to nerves about a class I was teaching that night. I acquired up checked my e-mail and that’s when I found it. I proceeded to go in, woke his father, and said “Dylan is gay.” His response was “Oh, he is not. Get back to sleep!” One of my daughters was not surprised by this revelation at all, the other more so. When we got up the next morning, we went in Dylan’s room. I gave him a hug and told him I’d always love him and it was okay. Dylan’s father was worried that it was something he previously done or not done as a mother or father. I did communicate my annoyed that he would never get wedded or have children. He told me wanted to adopt and that maybe someday the laws and regulations would change and he’d be able to marry too.
After that morning, I purchased some books and did some reading and discovered a lot on this subject which i didn’t know much about. Probably daytime chat shows were my best education about them. Neither folks ever doubted the actual fact that Dylan was created this way. I was very worried about how exactly Dylan’s grandparents would take the news. My husband’s family are people of the fundamentalist Christian cathedral that have always taught the “sins of homosexuality”. I specifically avoided telling them for many months. Phrase got around to them, and one day my mother-in-law approached me and said “We know and it’s alright. We both believe homosexuality is inborn.” I was shocked and surprised. Dylan wanted to tell his other grandparents the very next day. This made me extremely anxious because I understood my Dad was very homophobic. In fact, one time when my child was out training to operate a vehicle with him he told him bluntly that homosexuality had not been okay and if anybody tells him usually, they were lying down. My dad told Dylan that he was his “favorite grandchild and nothing at all would ever change that.” MY FATHER has occasions when I think we’ve made improvement and then others when I think he’s still got a long way to go. Normally, this is not something that is dealt with in a day. It requires a lot of courage to improve hearts and thoughts and that’s the reason coming out and talking to your parents every chance you get, will help them move in the way that you would like them to.
After Dylan came out, we sought out a LGBTQ friendly counselor who did help him tremendously. All of the anxiety and major depression he was feeling eventually was eliminated. Its like he was finally able to live in his own skin.
I have already been active in PFLAG (Parents, Households and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) right from the start. Our tri-fold mission is to aid, inform, and advocate with respect to our GLBT loved ones. This is a journey I would not trade for anything. I have done things which i never believed I could do. I have lobbied at state and nationwide levels, offered written and spoken testimony to help change the laws for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. I have served three years as Chief executive of PFLAG and on the board for yet another year. In addition to this advocacy, I have helped move annoyed distraught parents to caring and recognizing their children for who they are. I am especially pleased with that! PFLAG can be a corporation based solely on unconditional love and I can’t say that there is any company that can compare to it! Dylan in addition has offered on the PFLAG table and continues to be doing our regular membership via e-mail from Louisiana where he currently resides with his partner, Michael.
Tell your parents about PFLAG! ( www.pflag.org )