To all the mothers out there…
Just kidding… Actually… This blog post isn’t meant for every mother… I want to talk to the moms with gay sons… Especially the moms that have become better people through the entire ‘coming out’ process of their baby boys.
You, ladies, are pretty fantastic! You’ve gone through a lot, and I want to tell you that I love you!!!
How does having a gay son make a mom super fabulous?? Well, let me tell you a little bit about my mom.
From the day I was born, I was a momma’s boy. My mom had always loved me the most. (I’d say sorry to my five siblings, but 1) they all know it’s true, and 2) I’m not really sorry.)
The Mormons in the corner.
My family was (is) Mormon. That said, we were surprisingly progressive (irreverent and fun) when compared to most Mormon families. We’d go see movies on Sundays *gasp*, skip family home evening *yikes*, laugh when we were supposed to be praying *shock*, sing the wrong lyrics to hymns in sacrament meeting (like that one time some genius in the bishopric thought it was a good idea to sing all 10 verses of “If You Could Hie to Kolob” and we sang “there is no end to this song” over and over and over again instead of the countless refrains of “there is no end to _______” – I think we even got the bishop to laugh at this one), but most importantly, we would befriend ANYONE *what the?*! (I’ll get back to that in a moment)
We had a sense of humor, and a sense of ‘being’ that most Mormons didn’t understand. I like to think it’s because we could see through all the pretentious bullshit, and we never took anything too seriously. For my family, being Christian meant so much more than what some of my neighbors perceived. We had fun, we were happy, and we loved unconditionally.
Mormonism taught me the theory of unconditional love, but I rarely saw it practiced among the people who were teaching it. Growing up, there were plenty of Mormons around me who were judgmental and, well, not as Christian as they should’ve been. My family, however, loved and accepted everyone. It was my parents who actually demonstrated and taught me what unconditional love was.
I grew up in a cul-de-sac (Kirkwood Circle), in a neighborhood where 95% of my neighbors were Mormon. My next door neighbor was a Mormon lady who was married to a kick-ass beer drinking man. This guy was awesome! While most of the neighborhood steered clear of this “modern family”, my family was quick to love them regardless of what they believed in. Sure, this guy never went to church, but he was still a fantastic guy. In fact, my brother and my dad are still really close friends with that beer loving guy. Hell, I look forward to the day where I’m sitting on his porch enjoying a beer with him (But not one of his shitty beers… Busch?? yuck!)
The house next to them is where one of my mom’s closest friends lived. She was a woman who the entire neighborhood ignored because, well – she and her family weren’t Mormon. My mom didn’t give a fuck care, she saw this lady as an awesome person with a good heart and a good soul (a common theme that I hold close to my heart.) They too are still really close friends to this day.
My parents taught me at a young age that I
could should be friends with/love anyone. You didn’t have to be Mormon to be welcomed into the Smart circle. The religious labels that we placed on people didn’t impede us from loving them. You never had to be a Mormon to roll with the Smart clan. Nope, the Smarts welcomed every walk of life into their household.
That’s part of the reason why my best friend in high school was the Catholic female equivalent of me. We were (are) tall, loud, fun, amazing, etc. The only thing that made us different was our gender and our religion. We had some pretty awesome values that our parents instilled in us… But what really brought us together was that we were loud, obnoxious, and fun (God I miss belting out songs with her while we drove down the stretch of State Street together! Midvale to SLC – ha!!! Best 30 minute drives ever!!)
Sure, when I first came out, my mom didn’t want to believe that her son was gay. She thought for sure that it was some sort of weird phase and that I could make it go away. She studied up as much as she could (the internet wasn’t very relevant back then) and tried to deal with what I was going through.
I imagine having a gay son was quite embarrassing for her. Instead of having it be taboo, the majority of the neighborhood gossiped, judged, and were quite cruel towards me & my sexuality. Yeah, it sucked for me, but I’m certain it sucked for my mom as well. I mean, how do you answer a bitchy neighbor when she cuntily asks, “So, I hear Tyler is gay”? This lady was just poking – because, you know – her family was a picture perfect Mormon family and mine wasn’t. Being gay made me, and my family, vulnerable – an easy target to attack. What a cunt.
My mom did the best that she could with my newfound sexuality. When I first came out, she would often internalize everything, questioning whether or not she was a good parent. She wondered if it was her fault that I ended up liking boys. It breaks my heart that this amazing woman, my mom, blamed herself for the way that I felt… for the way that I was. It took some time, but eventually she was able to look at ‘it’ differently.
Somewhere between dealing with the religion/sexuality aspects of my life, I started to be happy. I flew my middle finger up in the air towards religion/haters/pretentiousness. I decided to own who I was and to be happy. I made a choice to take the amazing things my parents gave me (some really great Mormon values), and blend them into my fabulous gay-ass lifestyle. I decided to be happy.
My mom caught on to the fact that I was happy, for the first time in my life, and it occurred to her that my sexuality didn’t really matter. It was just a new fact about me. She learned to accept me for who I am, for who I’ve become, and realized that I’m a pretty great person with a good heart. She watched me become happy and it made her happy. Having a gay son suddenly wasn’t taboo, in fact, it was something that she celebrated.
In the past several years, I’ve heard my mom say things like: “My son is fabulous.” “My son is happy.” “I love my son.” It’s taken some time, but she’s now super proud to be the parent of a handsome, funny, smart, gay son.
So now, I sit here in tears – it might be because of that giant mimosa I drank while I typed this, or maybe it’s because I know that my mom is the best mom in the world and I’m missing her a lot!!! Living a few states away is tough for a momma’s boy.
It’s hard for me to realize and understand what my mom went through in regards to me being gay, but I applaud her for coming out of my ‘coming out’ the way that she did. My mom demonstrates love, unconditional love, more than most people I’ve ever met. She loves me! She’s happy for me! She’s proud of me!
Thank you, mom. I love you. Happy Mother’s Day.
Religious moms with gay sons.
Being religious and having a gay son can be tough. It makes you question your belief system. It makes you wonder if sexuality is a choice or if it’s something you’re born with. It genuinely makes you think about whether or not your beautiful baby boy (or girl) will get into heaven and live with you and your family forever. These are some extremely stressful thoughts. I can’t imagine trying to find some middle ground between being told that gays are heathens and loving my own gay son. Through the years, however, my mom found that middle ground.
I assume that plenty of moms who have gay sons have gone through some of the same things my mom went through. Some of you came out ahead like my mom, and others could learn a lot from her. If you’re in the latter camp, go find your son and tell him how much you love him. He’s fabulous! You may not understand what he’s going through, and that’s ok – it’s totally understandable. But don’t kick him to the curb. Be the bigger/better person. Practice what you preach and love him unconditionally.