Closets are for Straight Parents too

14 05 2012

When I think back on the weeks after I knew about my son, it was a lonely time. I had A LOT of conservative friends. I wasn’t sure who I could talk to or tell. So, other than my husband, I told no one for the first few weeks. I have since heard people say “when the kid comes out of the closet, the parents go in”. For us at least, that was true. It wasn’t shame that took me into the closet. I have NEVER felt ashamed of my kids, then or now, or ever. I think it was more a desire to protect him and not wanting anyone in our lives to treat him differently.

After a few weeks my Mama was the first person I told. I was super scared and figured it would be awful. I told you once that I wish I would’ve been one of those moms – the ones that find out and never blink twice – just say “OK” and life just moves on? By now, you know I was NOT that mom – but I am proud to say that my mom was that Grandma. She even laughed at my fear. I don’t think she ever even thought twice about it. First of all, she wasn’t surprised. Actually as the days, weeks, and months progressed – many people when they found out said “I am not surprised.” WHAT?!! Yep – I was the one with my head in the sand I suppose.

Then I got brave and called a friend who I knew from church. God does work in mysterious ways! I didn’t know her well, but in a passing conversation once she had told me she had a gay sibling. I couldn’t even remember if it was a brother or a sister. She was so sweet – and she listened. Then she did a most remarkable thing – she connected me with her dad, who has helped parents with this process for over 20 years. I truly in my heart believe the information and support he offered moved us further along faster than anything else could have. We needed some education, some stories of encouragement, someone to hold our hand for a while. He did those things and I will forever be grateful to him.

We were ALL finally out of the closet! What a free feeling!! As I slowly began telling people, with my son’s permission of course, we had some heart aches, but we also had many many celebrations! For every friend we lost during that first year it seems they were replaced by ten lovely people! I still grieve the ones I truly thought were real friends – but it is OK to move on as well. YAY for freedom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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