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“I Can’t Handle My Gay Son Being Judged. Should I Keep It a Secret?”

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“Dear Pam,

I’m a single mother of a wonderful 17 year old son who just came out to me as gay.  I kind of suspected it as he has never been interested romantically in girls.  While I love my son unconditionally, I’m anxious and a little worried about the reaction of some other people in my life.  You see my support system has been my family and the church.  I was raised in a Pentecostal background and I know that they will shun the very thought of my son being gay.  I don’t know if I can handle him being judged.  While I love my family and the support both they and the church has given me I love my son more. I know certain members of my family will compare him to Sodom and Gomorrah and say he is going to hell.  Should I keep his sexuality a secret and if they find out what should I say or do to deflect their holy wrath?”

Signed,
Saved Mother of a Gay

 


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Dear “Saved Mother of a Gay,”

I can say that as a PK (Preacher’s Kid) some and I stress some of the most judgmental people in the world are Christians and family.  Folk seem to conveniently forget the scripture “judge not, that ye be not judged.” in Matthew or the one that says “…love always protects…” in Corinthians.  What about the one that says “treat others as you would have them treat you?” They opt for the others that they think gives them permission to condemn.  Jesus was and is about love, but why Christians feel the need to condemn others amazes me.  So Deacon Joe tipping with Sister Gloria Mae while his wife is at a conference won’t send them to hell, but being gay will?  I digress.

Your son’s sexuality isn’t anyone’s business, and the time to divulge that information is completely up to your son.

As a mother I understand the momma bear that comes out to protect its children.  If and only if your son chooses to divulge his sexuality to the family, it should be HE that makes that choice.  That is not your job.  You job is to continue as you have said loving him unconditionally.  Something tells me that he is not the only person you are worried that might be judged by your family and the church.

Stop worrying about how they will see you as a mother.  You have not failed as a parent.

You mentioned that you suspected he was gay, so some of this should not be a surprise, yet I understand the need to process everything that comes with it, meaning the judgmental factions.  Take your time to process, but be there for your son because when the holy ones come out to crucify, you will need all your strength to protect him.

I can tell you that most folk don’t have the courage to come out right and ask if your son is gay.  They will probably whisper behind your backs and that is okay as well.  These are people who have nothing better to do than to gossip and talk about folk.  This just means you will need to develop thick skin.

There will be someone, probably some aunt who will be bold enough because of age to come to you and say “Baby, I have been watching ‘George Jr.’ and he seems a little bit sweet, that boy ain’t gay is he?”  That is when you should have a brief statement (respectfully) prepared for what has just been said.  You don’t have to confirm or deny anything.  I suggest something like this, “Well Auntie, George Jr. is a sweet person, but I know who he is and I’m okay with that.”  Now that might not shut her up, but it will give you the brief opportunity due to the flabbergasted look on her face to exit and not have that conversation.

Lastly, if the holy wrath descends from the pulpit of First Baptist Church of the Greater Community of Nazareth and subliminal sermons about fire and brimstone descending upon Sodom and Gomorrah are hurled in you and your son’s direction then I think it that will be the perfect time to find another place to worship.  Jesus is about love.  He came to save, not to throw folks into a pit of fire because of who they are.

 

Icon_Sensible-Homework_220x220bSensible Homework:

  • Hug your son and tell him how much you love and support him and how brave you think that he is.
  • Talk to your son about your fears regarding the family and the church.  Develop a game plan to combat any attackers; what to say and what to do when any comments don’t dignify a response.

 

 

 

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