I was asked: “How would you feel if your mother told you she was gay?”
If I wasn’t thinking in realistic terms since my mother has been married to my father for 28 years, and a revelation like that would break his heart, then I would be all for it. I’m obviously really open-minded to the lesbian lifestyle, but my reasoning is based on someone I consider to be my second mom that’s so happens to be a Dom.
My “second mom” who I’ll refer to as Dee, is the mother of one of my closest friends. Since the first day I met her she made me feel like I was a part of her family. Though I love my real mom very much, I bonded with Dee because on some levels I wished that my mother could be just like her. I grew up in a strict Christian and Caribbean household, which has become a bit more lenient in the past few years. My mother tried her best to be a “cool” mom by allowing me to partake in some of the things my dad would never allow. However, there were certain things that she remained strict or close minded about that I believe hindered our bonding.
Not to say that Dee was not strict with my friend but she was more tolerant, and practical about her daughter growing up and the things that would entail. I remember growing up watching television shows where the mother would take the time to explain the changes occurring in her daughter’s body, talk about dating, and assure their daughter that there was nothing more important than being herself. Dee was that type of mother. My mother tried her best but the way that she grew up made her uncomfortable with certain topics. When I got my first period my mother just pointed me to the maxi pads in her room. No talk, no chart, and no reassurance that I shouldn’t be ashamed of it. When I got to a certain age she got the guts to ask if I was a virgin. I never responded so all she said was “Don’t come home with a baby”.
I believe that the struggle Dee went through being not only a lesbian but a Dom, in an all-white town, in a fairly republican state, made her hypersensitive to the struggles her children would face as they grew into their own identities. She talked very openly with her children about sex and other topics my mother still won’t touch with a ten foot pole.
My friend was told that her mother was gay when she was six years old. Though her household was peaceful, she did endure extra taunting from other kids in addition to the taunting about her race. It made her stronger in some aspects but defensive in others. We met in college when she learned to tone down her anger and as people started to become more tolerant of the existence of gay people in the community.
If my mother came out to me at a young age, I’m not sure if I would endure the same situations. I grew up in a way that no friends were ever allowed to visit my house and certain things were not allowed to be discussed, not even to other family members. I wasn’t allowed to tell people that my mother was pregnant until I was missing school because she was giving birth. I think that the revelation would have brought us closer though. Of course, it could have back fired and made her stricter because she wouldn’t want me to face the things was probably going through.
Although Dee has a very free spirit, she is levelheaded and she raised her children the same way. She never limited them in terms of choosing their paths. Do I think that just because someone is a lesbian that they are automatically free spirited and open minded to other people’s choices? No. I know that most of Dee’s accepting nature has to do with her own mother’s accepting nature. Her mother has embraced her lifestyle completely and helped her raise her children when she decided to leave their father and follow her heart.
I’m sure that there are Gay moms who could be just like my mother. The ones I have met, happen to be just like Dee. Though they may not have the same support from their family, they are progressive in the way that they raise their children. The same core values are taught in regards to respect for themselves and others. I believe that if my mother told me today that she was Gay and her asking me to accept her, would allow her to in turn to understand the need I have for her to accept certain things about me.