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Mom - I’m Gay

Mom - I’m Gay

As soon as you start planning a family, you imagine all the things that can be for your soon to be little one. Cue the schmaltzy music…You start small with the colors of their room, their clothing, pick a theme - maybe zoo animals, dinosaurs or princesses. Then you choose a name. A strong one, no matter if you’re having a boy or girl. Maybe even choose one that pays homage to a beloved friend or family member.  It would never occur to you that one day your kiddo would say, Mom - I'm Gay.

Once your little bundle of joy arrives, arrives? As if by magic? Seriously, you just spend how many hours, dying in pain because you wanted ‘natural’ childbirth…maybe we should substitute arrives with finally comes out of your now all but destroyed hoo-ha…? Just sayin’… all your visions for their future become more of a reality. Sports, karate, dance classes, girl scouts or boy scouts, friends, school, music lessons, teen romance, prom, college, marriage, and someday they’ll have their own family and you’ll have the joy of being a grandparent.

That is, until your child tells you he’s gay.  Cue the obnoxious record scratch accompanied by the blank deer in the headlights stare.

I knew long before he told me, so why did I feel so shocked? Denial? Wishful thinking?

At three years old, my son was a ladybug for Halloween; not shocking, kids love bugs and he was really into them at that age. We’d find them all over the yard, dead or alive. We’d talk about them, make up stories about them, talk about their little bug families and so on. We had several rose bushes in the backyard and I’d buy ladybugs now and again to eat the aphids. So yes, ladybug was par for the course. And besides, how do you think little ladybugs get here? Mommy AND Daddy ladybugs!

This was the first store bought his outfit, because I was a good mom, I made his previous outfits from scratch.  His excitement to go to the store and pick it out was too cute.  When we got home, I had him put it on so I could take pictures and email them out to the family - no Facebook or Instagram back then!  So as I got him set up in front of the ‘picture wall’ - you know, the wide spot of the wall without clutter near it, I said, “ok, Honey, give me your best little bug face!” And I knew. I knew that instant when he turned sideways, went into somewhat of a bunny hopping-pose and gave me the prissiest face you ever saw. I said, “great! Let’s do another one!” Gulp!  And went on to take a few more pictures.

Never before this moment, did I ever consider him to be gay. When you’re pregnant, you worry he’ll come out with a horrible disease, an extra arm, or tail,I read about that once… or maybe he’ll be the village idiot, but even as those things were possible, they were unlikely and it didn’t really matter because you know you’d still love him not matter what.

So life went on but I noticed he wasn’t quite like the other boys. He didn’t try to destroy everything like a giant Godzilla stomping thru a tiny village. He played well with all kids, boys and girls. When he played with they girls, they’d bring their Barbies and they’d have a great time playing house, etc.  With the boys, he'd rough and tumble a bit, but nothing crazy.  Hmmm thinking back to when he was three, did I have it wrong?HA!

As a teenager,  it was a good thing he was still so cute when he slept, because at the time, I pretty much wanted to kill him. It was rough. Not as rough as some, but rough. Looking back, now it all makes sense!

So the day before his 16th birthday, he was having computer issues. He used an old one we had for his school homework. I gave it to a techy friend of mine so he could get rid of all the viruses. I was then informed there was some ‘questionable pictures’ on it and that was most likely where the viruses came from. When I got the computer back, I went thru it and found the pictures. Ummmmm, not what I was expecting. Go ahead, say it, shout it out…D E N I A L !

So the morning of his birthday, we talked. “Well, yeah, Mom, I’m GAY!” ...like I was the asshat here. Pretty sure I blacked out there for a moment. I know I went deaf for at least a few minutes and I can’t even recall who drove him to school that day.

I have a gay son. He doesn’t have cooties, three arms or a tail. He’s definitely not going to be the village idiot, so that was good. But… I was afraid his life would be so much more difficult than life already is and what about Aids! What about gay bashing! No marriage!?! Kids!?! This was scary because I didn’t know what to do.  I used to answer 911 for a living, sounds scary, but actually not hard, once you get formula down. THERE IS NO FORMULA FOR THIS!

So it was time learned. I went to the book store and found an entire section dedicated to the subject. To my surprise, it was a rather large section.  I skimmed several books and finally made my selection. I’d share the title here, but I truly don’t recall the name. My suggestion?  Do the same; skim several and find what speaks to you. I was glad I did this, it made me feel better, less alone, less scared. It was strange, I had a lot to learn, yet I had nothing to learn.  I love him and I wasn't going to treat him any different.

Since then, I ask him lots of questions. It is still a learning process for both of us. My son is the light of my life, my Sonshine. He is perfect in almost every way he’s 23, we still have a ways to go... Being gay is not the stigma I thought it might be, and medicine has come a long way.  But socially, we have a long way to go. Thankfully, we live in California, where it is less of a big deal than some others.  When it comes up in conversation, pretty much no one cares.  Most people I know have a relative or friend who is gay.  I hope to one day live in a world when EVERYONE couldn't care less.

Want to hear more about my crazy family?  Click HERE to see more!

Jenn Simmons

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