My coming out was admittedly pretty easy.
Sure, my mom wigged out for a bit, mostly because she blamed herself (she sent me to a shrink and told the shrink I was "confused" about my sexuality. I told the shrink I wasn't confused, and the shrink agreed and said she wasn't going to tell me I had a problem when I clearly didn't), but she eventually came around. And I always knew she loved me.
My dad never made me think for even a split second that he didn't love me.
And my conversation with my grandmother, who I didn't realize at the time was also gay, went like this:
"Your Mom says you think you might be gay."
"No, I know I am."
"It is a hard life to live."
"It is easier than living a lie."
End of story.
But I know for many, it is not that easy. I know that for many, they truly do lose the love of their family. Some are subjected to violence or are thrown out of their homes. Some choose to end their lives (I love the "It Gets Better" campaign targeted at these kids, because it really does get better).
So when a friend posted this on facebook, I knew I had to share it with you.
The article is written by "Amelia," who has a six year old son who might be gay. She wrote a blog post about her son's crush on one of the gay characters on Glee. About he just loved the scene where they kissed. She and her husband are perfectly comfortable with it, and said to themselves that either he was gay or he was straight and they had the best blackmail ever for their future 16 year old son...so much better than naked baby bath pictures!
He even said to them that the characters on Glee liked to kiss other boys and not girls, and that they were just like him.
She posted it as what she thought was a cute story. She got tons of support when it went viral, many from folks like me who knew they were gay when they were her son's age or younger.
But she also got a lot of vitrol, from people who assume that sexuality is only about sex. She responded:
"Of the criticisms, the most common is that my son is six years old and doesn't know anything about sex. While I fully acknowledge this may not be the end-all-and-be-all to my son's sexual orientation, I object to the idea that being gay is only about sexual acts. Our emotions and feelings, our attractions and compulsions, all contribute, not just our body parts. If my son had a crush on the star of iCarly, I doubt people would be saying he was too young to have those sexual feelings towards a girl. I think they would think it was an innocent schoolboy crush, which is exactly what it is."
And she said it got her thinking:
"...and after awhile I started to feel like I knew this big secret that shouldn't be a secret at all: Every gay adult used to be a gay kid. It's not as if all children start off as straight until some time later when someone flips the gay switch. We are who we are from the very moment we are born."
And then she imagined that every hate-filled thing that every hate-filled person said about gay people was being said to a room full of kindergartners. And she was disgusted, not with gay people, but with the hate aimed at kids. And she vowed that if someone ever says those things in front of her, they will not go unchallenged. That her son will see her defend right, and defend love, and defend him.
My wish, this coming out day (October 11) is that every gay kid can have a mother just like Amelia.