My mother and I were talking about the lack of public conversations dedicated to growing up a young, gifted, black, gay boy. I was one of those boys and for the first eighteen years of my life, my mother was clueless. Not naive, but clueless. I used to get into everything. Her closet, her make up, her business, but she was none the wiser.
One day, my mother bought a pair of black patent leather shoes and she would always look so fierce when she wore them. I admired her. Watched her put on her make up in the bathroom mirror. Eyeliner. Lipstick. Blush. She was my hero. My dad was taken from me by a murderer, when I was eight years old so she was all I knew. She was my everything and the only person who seemed to love me for me. She didn't tease me. She defended me when others did. She tickled me when I was sad. She taught me how to cook and clean. She showed me how to grow.
Lady D joins TheFutureForward.net with a candid dialogue between the two of us and stories from my childhood. If you know someone who may have a gay child, (because let's face it, we were all children once and SOMEBODY knew), pass this along. Suggest Me -n- My Gay Son to them and let them decide. Imagine a world where mothers can speak candidly with their children about their sexuality. Boys will grow to become better men who don't have to hide who they are. They won't have to become masters at lying. They can learn how to authentically give and receive love.
1. What was your initial reaction when I told you that I was gay?
Wow! I was surprised and then a sudden sadness washed over me.
2. Thinking back to me growing up, can you recall any moments when you suspected that there was something special, something different about me, you knew what it was but didn't talk about it with anyone else.
(1) I think about the times when you opted to jump double dutch with the girls instead of any of the sports with the boys.
(2) One day I noticed that my eyeliner pencil was missing. A woman knows her make up bag, trust me. Then you started wearing eyebrow liner.(3) You said that you wanted to show me something and walked into the room wearing my six-inch, black, patent leather heels. Initially, I was disturbed but you were dancing around an entertaining. I remember telling you not to put them on again, but you somehow got away with it anyway.
(4) There was a time, when you asked me to take you to a classmate's house. When we got there, the house was dark and no one was home but you and the boy proceeded down to the basement.
3. Do you feel that had you done anything differently that I could have turned out to be straight or do you feel that this was something that I was born with?
During your early years I really didn't see any signs or maybe I wasn't looking because you were a happy child. However, I felt that I had done ALL that a single mother could do. I enrolled you in the Boy Scouts of America and the children's choir at our church. I sent you to camp during the summer months and I kept you busy in school activities. You were my little genius, I wanted you to grow up to be a good man, that's all I wanted for you.
4. Who was the first person that you told after I told you. What was that experience like for you knowing that the world doesn't embrace homosexuality?
I held on to that for a long time, hoping that it was just a phase and then I told my long time friend Preston. The experience wasn't positive for me at all and he gave me no feedback at all. It was unnerving.