Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tell your story

My son is gay.

Wow, those words still kind of blow my mind. And if I say them out loud, I feel a little shiver run down my spine. But I am still grappling with and working through some issues that I have had since finding out that I have a gay child.

When I first found out that my son was gay, I was so stunned and so not ready to talk to anyone about it, that I didn’t even tell my mom. She is my closest and dearest friend in the entire world and had actually lived with my husband, me, and our three children for 10 years. We also did not immediately tell two of our dearest friends, godparents to one of our children, who themselves have a gay child. The result was a terrible isolation and loneliness.

I had so many immediate concerns and fears and I needed desperately to know that what I was feeling was not crazy or horrible and yet, I just was not ready to face someone and tell them my son was gay. So I turned to the anonymity of my computer. It was an invaluable resource. I was able to link to so many others out there going through similar struggles. It provided me with answers and assured me I was not alone.

Now I want to create a kind of safe haven for others who might not be ready to openly talk about what they are going through, but need to know that they are not alone. My hope is that it will be a kind of one stop destination that provides a place for people to come and tell their stories and/or read about other people’s experiences. But to do this, I need help.

I am inviting anyone who has a story they want to share to send it to me. I would love to hear from parents who have just learned they have a gay child, parents who are old hat at it all, gays and lesbians who are contemplating coming out, gays and lesbians who have come out, gays and lesbians who have chosen not to come out. I’d love to hear the stories of people who came out many years ago and what that was like and the obstacles they faced that may not exist today. I’d like to hear from people who have come out more recently and how that has gone. I’d like to hear about the struggles, the victories, the conflicts, the fears, the joys, the good, the bad, and the ugly. And if you are someone who has had a major change of heart about gays, please, please share what brought about your transformation. There are just so many stories to be told and I believe there are so many people out there who need to hear them.

Everyone with an opinion or a story is welcome to contribute, sexual orientation does not matter, we do not discriminate here. No subject is too trivial, no emotion is abnormal, and no worry is unfounded. I would ask for civil discussion although I understand that there are plenty of outrageous things going on out there which may require some major angry ranting and that is ok (I confess that anger has been a prevailing emotion for me these past few years).

Remember, ignorance is our biggest enemy. Educating people by telling our stories is a powerful tool. I believe in my heart that most people are fair and kind hearted, but if they have only people like Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson to listen to, we lose this war. So speak up, get your feet wet here, and then when you are ready, start showing people that you are really no different than they are.

And one final note, I have met some amazing transgendered people at PFLAG meetings. I know there are many people facing enormous challenges and obstacles relating to this issue. Please feel free to join us. We would love to have you and your stories would be invaluable as well. Share


Rev. Joseph G. Steadman said...

Just a little added support...

Rev. Joseph G. Steadman said...

oops incomplete URL...

Jarred said...

Both your story and your invitation are wonderful and powerful. Thank you for sharing and giving others the opportunity to share in kind.