As most people know, my mom and I have a strained relationship. She’s old-school, super religious, and just can’t get over the gay thing. I came out 13 years ago, so last December I finally realized that she probably wouldn’t change and there was nothing I could do about it. So, I made the decision to cease contact because I’d rather do it now than another 13 years from now when I’m getting married and planning a life with someone that she could never accept.
My birthday is in two days and everyone keeps telling me I at least owe her an e-mail.
I wrote her one.
I’ve been meaning to write this but I’ve been putting it off. I love you always and we’re family forever, but I don’t think our relationship is healthy for either of us. I made the conscious decision last time we spoke to cut ties because our relationship isn’t getting any better and it won’t ever get better because you can’t accept me as a gay son. I’m not angry because that’s just who you are. I’m just disappointed and I wish things were different.
I see the relationships that my other gay friends have with their moms and I wish we could have that too. I wish you could understand that me being gay has nothing to do with you. It’s nothing I chose, and it’s nothing anybody can change. I can’t change being gay any more than I can change being black, but you can’t (or refuse) to understand that. In your mind I didn’t try hard enough to change, I didn’t pray enough, that something went wrong and I either gave up or made the decision to be gay. I can’t make you understand that being gay isn’t something you can change or choose or work through. It just is.
There are all kinds of gay people. I know gay athletes, football players. Gays in the military. Teachers, doctors, lawyers, politicians. Gay men who grew up with just a mom or just a dad or both parents. Gay men from Christian homes, Buddhist families, Hindu upbringings. Poor gay men, rich gay men. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian. What I’m saying is gay people come from all sorts of places but the only thing we have in common is that we were born this way and none of us asked for it or chose it.
Why would we choose something that potentially distances us from our families? Why would we choose something that comes with so many legal hurdles to starting a family? Why would we choose something that puts our lives in danger every day just walking down the street? Why would we choose something that causes us to be called faggots and sissies and all kinds of other names growing up?
I got called a faggot every single day growing up. I had someone write “die faggot” on my locker in high school. I had notes in my locker, I got pushed, I got punched—I got bullied all the time growing up. But I kept it to myself because I didn’t know anyone else who would understand. You would just tell me to pray to be straight and god would take it away. I know that doesn’t work and so does every other gay person.
There are so many gay Christians who don’t think the way you do. Some Christians think you should go to church on Saturday. Some think Sunday. Some think you shouldn’t eat pork. Some say no shellfish. Some say it doesn’t matter. Some say women should always wear dresses. Some say men should never cut their beards. Some say being gay is just fine. Some believe it’s against the rules. There are so many different interpretations of the Bible. I hate that you think the Bible says gay people are sinners and nobody will ever be able to convince you any different.
In the end it just comes down to the fact that one day I will have a family of my own that you won’t be able to accept. The last time we had dinner together you told me that if I had kids they wouldn’t be your grandkids. That was close to the last straw for me. What happens in 5 or 10 years when I get married and we decide to adopt or hire a surrogate? What are my kids going to say when I’m talking on the phone with Grandma, but she doesn’t want them to visit for the summer because she doesn’t agree with my “lifestyle”? I’m not putting my kids through that. I’m not going to build a family with someone and then have to choose between my husband and my kids or you. I’m not going to explain to my kids that I have a relationship with Grandma, but they can’t because Grandma doesn’t like that I’m gay. I’m not going to do that. So instead of holding on to the hope that you will change, instead of going through the motions for another 13 years, I would rather cut ties now.
I remember last summer when you stopped watching Days of Our Lives because Sonny came out on the show. I heard you say something like “you don’t need them pushing that gay mess into your face.” I couldn’t believe that you would stop doing something you had done every day for the past 40 years just because of one little gay kid on the show. They have been pushing abortions, baby snatchings, exorcisms, adultery, drug use, and violence on that show for 4 decades and that was fine with you. But you couldn’t handle one gay person? I knew then that we would never be able to have a normal mother-son relationship because you would always look at me as if I did something wrong or was making a horrible decision with my life, neither of which is true.
I’m OK with myself. It took a long time to accept me as I am, but I’m now at peace. There are millions of other people all over the planet just like me, millions of people throughout history, millions of people from the beginning of time. There’s nothing wrong with us. And, even if there was, it’s none of your business and has no effect on your life whatsoever.
I know that you love me in your own way, but sometimes love isn’t enough. You can’t love me on one hand and then disdain me on the other because you don’t agree with something that no one has any control over. So, if you ever have a change of heart or you start to understand where I’m coming from, we can build a new relationship. I miss my mom—you were my best friend growing up—but I’m an adult. I can’t continue to let you make me feel bad about something I was born with, didn’t choose, and can’t change.