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.


  1. First off, congratulations!

    I had been in a relationship a few months before I even brought it up to my parents. My mother's first reaction was dead silence (over the phone) then she asked if my kids knew and if my Ex knew--I guess she must have figured it to be relevant, not sure why-- then she literally took a deep breath and said she knew the day would come and she had told my step-dad that she would have to support me on the day I decided to date and meet someone.

    Then she proceeded to run off and say things like "I have to go" and hang up whenever I tried talking to her about the babe over the phone for a few extra months--kind of a "don't ask-don't-tell". Then last summer some family came from Texas and met the boyfriend, went back and told her what a great guy he is and she started warming up to the idea. Last Saturday is probably one of the first times ever that the parents have asked "How's the bf?" I nearly dropped the phone.

    Bottom line, don't ask permission to live (I don't think you are from your notes), just move along and if your relationship develops into something deeper and lasting (I hope it does!) continue on living and showing the family that it isn't anything different than any of their relationships when it comes to your daily lives, love, work and all else...yeah they might actually find out that the gay agenda is pretty much wanting to wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner and live every day like everyone else--how cool is that??!?!?!?

    Good luck and keep us posted!

  2. Thanks Miguel. You're right, I'm not asking for permission. I'm being pretty defensive (my Mom and I sent a few messages back and forth since my brother told her) but given the past track record I think it's warranted. We haven't spoken yet but I think I will soon.

  3. I really do with you the best of luck. I was lucky in having a mom who was so loving and open to her kids regardless of their choices. And while I'm not comparing taking drugs to being gay AT ALL, it still taught me a poignant lesson when my brother would come home, high as a kite, and bring girls over that were equally high. My mom knew he was sleeping with them, she knew they were strung out (as well as him), but she still saw him and many gals as who they were (which I personally believe are children of God). She treated them with dignity and respect. I don't know if any of them realized how "active" a mormon she was (and is), which meant she believed that their choices to be sexually active teenagers to be immoral, and that their choices to get involved in drugs was not healthy for them in any way. But she was never condescending or patronizing to any of them about that. I do know that in general people feel very loved by her, because they know that she knows life is real, and that she doesn't judge. She sees people for who they are, regardless if their choices are in line with church doctrine/principles.

    I don't say this to make you feel bitter that your mom is not able to be in this place. I say this to tell you that as an "active" LDS mom of four boys who lived in SoCal in 2008 and, through much research and prayer decided that I could fully be pro gay rights and still be pro traditional marriage at the same time, thought long and hard about the reality of any of my boys being gay, which is entirely possible. How will I treat them? As my children. How will I treat them if they decide to "act" on being gay? As my children. How will I treat their bf/partner if they choose to date/cohabitate? As my children's loved ones.

    Because in the LDS church, we teach to the ideal (the whole plan of happiness with the traditional family). But we also teach to love each other, pretty much above all else. Not love each other unless someone decides they no longer believe the church is true. Or love each other unless a gay member decides to date his/her own sex.

    For your mom, I hope she's able to overcome her awkwardness at not knowing how to deal with the fact that she doesn't agree with your lifestyle, but that she also (hopefully) wants to see you happy and fulfilled in the way you feel best fits you.

    So many mormons just don't know how to handle how to treat people normally, even their own kids, just because those people aren't living the way the mormons believe are righteous. All I can say is that I've got plenty of my own sins to deal with, and I don't have time to be judging others, especially if those others don't feel like their actions are sin. That's their belief, I have mine, and I can still treat them with dignity and respect, and hope they will do the same with me.

    Sorry for such a long comment! Ended up blog-hopping today, which I haven't done in awhile.

    Good luck to you and your new bf (or maybe you're not bf/bf . . . yet) ; )

  4. Oh, ps-- go Riverside! How I miss SoCal! My hubby got a job out in Dallas, TX, and we moved from the Lake Forest/Rancho Santa Margarita area just last August. We were just around the mountain from you. : ) (We actually live in Portola Hills, so we backed right up to the canyon that separated you and us)

  5. Just left a comment on your YouTube vlog. When I told my parents I was queer they told me to move to San Francisco so that they could be spared the pain of seeing me in that lifestyle. I hated losing my family but I was determined to live MY LIFE. It was this same sense of determination that returned me to church after twenty-five years of excommunication. I am a very gay Latter-day Saint, yet completely celibate (well, I do sometimes fantasize about cowboys.....) I have a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel and felt I would be a gutless hypocrite to deny it and not return to the church. I love the complications and contradictions of existence. Love your blog and wish you FABULOUS HAPPINESS.

  6. lol my parents are christian and I swear I just wrote the same letter to my mom sunday. Not once did they treat me like an adult in a relationship. It was just doom and sadness. just remember you're not alone and a lot of us have to deal with this emotional assault just to tell out family we're in love.