Sometimes being the parent of a gay child can be lonely. When you discover your child is gay at a young age as we did it begins a parenting experience that is out of the "norm". I have only met two other mom's so far who are the parent of a gay child and both were struggling with their situations. One hasn't told any family members or friends and I was one of the only people she has shared with so far and her son is now in college. That experience showed me how important it is to share what I have learned so that hopefully it can help someone who is also feeling alone or just needs to know that others are experiencing similar situations.
My son is now 13 and in middle school - he is happy and well adjusted but it has not been the easiest path so far - for him and also for the family. We have based many of the decisions for our family on him due to consideration for his safety. He has always been pretty flamboyant (OK, very flamboyant) so he has taken a lot of teasing and some bullying. We chose to move back to our current hometown (very metropolitan and open-minded) after I was asked by a public school teacher if I was aware that "being gay is against God and The Bible" We have gotten dirty looks and snickers and of course he has endured the brunt of it. It is one thing to not really know what to say when the other moms are talking about t-ball and soccer etc and they ask what sport your son is in and you don't know how to say "Well, he is not in any sports, he takes sewing classes (he wants to be a fashion designer.) But I am sure quite another to be told to get out of the boys bathroom or asked if he is wearing a bra - in the 5th grade.
We have also had a lot of acceptance and support as well. He has always had friends, mostly girls, but always he has had someone. I have often felt like the outsider with the other moms, but not anymore. I have no shame or embarrassment and am only very proud of my son and when the other moms speak of their kids I also speak of mine - for exactly who they are. This did not come easy, but it came. It happened after several years of just staying quiet when the other parents were telling their stories of the little league game, soccer or this or that. I never really said much of anything - at all. And I felt resentful. I don't know why but I did. I didn't like myself for feeling that way it was an ugly feeling. Then about a year ago I decided it didn't matter what anyone else thought. We all are who we are and my son is a loving, creative, sensitive beautiful person and I am proud of him. I decided that from then on whenever other parents spoke of their children I would also speak of mine - sewing classes, cross dressing and all. I did it and although awkward at first I did it. Sometimes the table would just go quiet and sometimes they would laugh and sometimes they would be intrigued but the real truth is I found out who my friends really are. It was at one of those moments of the table going quiet, actually at a business lunch, that I was approached after wards by one of the women who told me that her son was gay and also told me that no-one else knew. She and I have since become friends and she has shared how much it has helped her that I was open about my son that day.
We all find out differently. For me it happened one night over dinner on a camping trip with my relatively new husband and both of my children (I have a younger daughter.) My son, who was only nine at the time, put down his fork and looked at the three of us and asked "Mama, would you still love me if I was gay?" We all looked at him and then I spoke "What do you think knuckle-head?" and he said "yes?" and I replied with "Of course yes. So, do you think you are gay?" "I do mama, I just do." He asked me if I was surprised and I actually had to laugh - but just a little bit. I told him no, I was not surprised at all and that his father and I actually kind of thought that might be the case when he was about 3 years old. He began to change after that night. He started to come into who he was and believe me it has been quite the experience.
I want to add that I know not everyone will like or agree with what I say or how I have handled it. I know that people may say some mean things. But my hope is that if even just one parent out there who does not accept their child for who they are can change, then anything that is said to me is worth it a million times over.