Last year, I participated in Pride Month, well semi-participated. I didn’t actually join my co-workers in our Pride float, but I attended the famous Pride March in San Francisco with my 3-year-old in tow.
I loved showing support for the LGBT community, and wanted to pass down this liberal attitude to my son.
With “Pride” in the air, my Facebook newsfeed is now abuzz with Pride-ly posts. But one in particular caught my attention. It was a post from a very astute, young woman, a family member of mine entitled “My Coming Out Story.” Of course, I had to read it, but not before I thought about how brave she was for posting it.
As my eyes poured over her words, a smile edged its way onto my mouth. She described all of the difficult and confusing feelings she had experienced for both girls and boys, and how it took some time before she was able to sort those feelings out. Even after she accepted the fact that she was bi-sexual, she still hid this from her family. Until one day she muscled up the courage to come out on Facebook.
Reading her blog post caused pride to enter my heart. My encounters with her have been far and few in-between, but I know her as an extremely shy and quiet young lady. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard her speak, or even had the opportunity to watch her mouth words from across a room. So I know coming out for her, especially at such a young age, took a mountain of courage. I was also proud of her parents for accepting her truth without judgment.
Needless to say, I hit the “Like” button on her post, and moved on down through my newsfeed.
Deeper in my newsfeed, I came across a second post from another family member. This young lady is also intelligent and wise beyond her years, but is steadfastly against gay marriage and homosexuality due to her religious beliefs. How could we all be from the same family? And what does these kind of conflicting and dogged belief systems do to a person who wants to reveal the truth about themselves and their sexuality to their family?
That’s when I began to think about my own child. How would I feel if he told me he was gay or bi-sexual? My intellectual, liberal mind says that I would feel nothing. I would be totally accepting and still continue to love him just as before. But there is a deeper part of my brain that hopes I never have to deal with this. What would this mean for him (or me)? Would he never have children of his own? Would I never get to meet his wife? And if I ask myself these questions, who am I?
I hope if that day comes, I would not respond like a hypocrite. The relationship I have with my son will always be more important than who he chooses to love. I think if parents remember that, coming out on Facebook or anywhere else will cease to be even necessary.
May Pride Be With Everyone!