Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dear Mom,

I'm in a relationship now. I've been hesitant to tell you this because of the way I almost certainly know you'll react to this news. But it would be impossible for me to have a meaningful relationship with you and not let you know about an important part of my life.

I love you very much. But unless you are willing to accept that I'm gay and treat me and my boyfriend with the respect we deserve I will not come home for Christmas, Thanksgiving, my birthday. I'm going to give you space to deal with your emotions. But I will not allow your intolerace to affect my happiness. I will not tolerate any attempt to hurt my relationship or guilt me into any action I am uncomfortable with.

You are my Mom and you mean the world to me. But I can't be false with you or anyone. I can't pretend that this doesn't exist and I won't allow you to pretend that I don't exist or that my relationship with another human being exists. It is an important part of me and my life, and unless you can respect that, I don't know how we are going to have a meaningful relationship.

I am going to honor you know by not listening to ideas or prejudices that I know to be wrong and evil. I hope some day you will pray to God and ask him to tell you the truth so that you can have your eyes opened. I know you love me and will always love me, and I will love you. But I will not accept any attempt to hurt or damage my growing relationship and potential family. If you want to be a part of it, I will gladly accept you.


Note: This isn't the letter I actually sent. I agreed to let my brother tell my Mom that I'm dating someone. After a few days, she wrote me and told me she didn't know what to say and that how she felt was not quite resolved. Here is my response:

I'm happier than I've ever been. I wish that you would just be happy for me that my needs are being met and that I feel fulfilled in a relationship of trust, love, and commitment with another person. How you feel and what you think won't change or affect that, but I've been hesitant to talk to you because I was worried how you'd react. I hope that you will treat both him and me with respect. I want you to know that I will not tolerate any disrespect towards him, and I will hang up the phone or end the conversation (or ignore a message/letter/e-mail) if it turns to that. 

Wouldn't it be nice to live in a world where your son dates someone, a genuinely good person, and you feel happy for them? I know that if I'm ever a father I will. I'm going to love my son or daughter and I'm going to feel happy for them when things bring them joy and happiness. I'm going to want to share in them. And I'm going to love them, and tell them how happy I am for them, and how proud I am to have them as my child. I'm going to want to be there if they get married, and I'm going to want to share in their life, their joys, their sorrows, their pains. It shouldn't matter what gender or sexual orientation your children are or what gender or sexual orientation who they love are.