What PRIDE Month Means to a Mom
A Mom’s Perspective of Pride
For me, PRIDE Month is a time to reflect on a journey that I take as the mom of a gay son. Trust me, it is a journey like no other.
The journey began the day my child came to me and shared a deeply held secret that he had attempted to hide for his entire life. I felt shocked at first. Shocked that there could be something so BIG that I didn’t know about my own child. I interact with him every day, I lived with this person, I raised him, I thought I knew every… single… thing there was to know and then BAM, he tells me he is gay. The initial shock hit like a freight train.
Soon, the shock subsided. It happened rather quickly. Next came remorse. Not remorse that he is gay, that part changes nothing of my love for my child; but remorse for all the years that I didn’t know. How much pain had he endured all those years? Was he fighting it? Was he praying that God would change him? Did he think it would change my love for him? My beautiful amazing son that God himself made exactly as he was, was he feeling that I might think less of him? Remorse hit hard and I had to learn to forgive myself so that I could move on.
The Fear is Overwhelming at Times
Once the shock and remorse began to wane, another emotion reared its head. This one hit harder than the first two combined and it is not one that I will entirely overcome. This emotion is unimaginable fear. Fear because there is so much hate in this world and often the LGBTQ community is the target of this hate. From the moment I heard the words, “mom I’m gay”, there has not been a day without that fear entering my awareness. It does not go away. Not ever. I’m reminded of it each day when I see hate being spread in social media like wild fire. I learn to live with it and I remain steadfast in my belief of a higher power that ultimately will allow love to conquer hate.
Then Life Happens
But then, even with that belief, an event like the Orlando Night Club shooting will happen and it cuts to my very core. My heart literally breaks for the other moms. The moms whose most horrific fears were realized. After an event like this, it takes a while to regain my sense of strength so that I can go on without the fear consuming me.
But, alas, I must continue my journey as a mom. I love my child completely so I must look beyond the fear. It is time I decide to stand strong and push the fear to the deepest crevasse in my mind; knowing that I must allow the love to be stronger than the fear. And THAT is when I recognize that PRIDE truly outweighs every other emotion – including the fear.
It was at this point, once my journey had taken me through all the other emotions, I began to swell with PRIDE. PRIDE that he not only survived holding this deep secret for so long, but he thrived. He remained solid in his own faith and convictions. He held onto his own self-worth and when the world was pulling him down and felt he couldn’t reach out to his own family, he stood strong. Yes, PRIDE began to fill my heart.
The Pride Grows
The PRIDE continues as I admire this young man. He is so considerate of those who judge him; instead of getting angry, he simply respects their feelings and forgives them. He comes home for Christmas year after year alone; never bringing the man that he shares his life with. Not because he wouldn’t be accepted in our home, but because my son is more concerned that his elderly grandfather will feel uncomfortable than he is with his own desire to share the holiday with his partner.
For me, the PRIDE grows even bigger when I see the man he has become. A compassionate, kind, strong, ethical human being and such a blessing to know. I am so proud to the be the mom of a gay son. God honored me personally because He knew that I would not only love this child that He created, but that I would stand for him, fight for him, protect him, and honor him with absolutely every fiber of my being.
I Will Celebrate
So, yes, I celebrate PRIDE Month. I celebrate it with more PRIDE than I ever knew I could feel. I celebrate not just for the PRIDE I have in my own amazing son, but for the PRIDE I feel for the entire LGBTQ community. These wonderful people who have been unfairly judged discriminated against, hurt, exiled from their families in many cases, and abused in others. A tribe that remains authentic to their souls and they stand strong. I feel PRIDE that my son opened my eyes to a world where I would notice things I might otherwise have missed.
For me, (and many other moms like me) PRIDE Month is a sacred time that honors a blessed journey that we, the moms, are privileged to travel.
Are you a Pride Month Mom too? You might enjoy the site of my dear friend Susan Cottrell at Freedhearts.org