When you’re young, and I imagine even when you’re old, it’s scary when your parents cry. I remember the day my mother sat me and my sisters down on the steps of our townhome; it was in the spring of my junior year in High School.
“We’re getting a divorce,” my mother said bluntly. I was more hurt for my stepfather, scared that he was going to cry. My mother was leaving him for another woman.
My mom is gay. She has been for almost four years now. I don’t know if my dad saw it coming, or even my stepfather, but I knew. I don’t know if I was supposed to know or not, but I knew long before she told me.
I had accidentally stumbled across my mother’s diary from her younger years, where she explained that she was introduced to homosexuality at a very young age. At the end of my junior year, my mom informed us that we would be leaving our home in Florida to move to Atlanta with her partner Karen.
I didn’t know how to explain to my friends why I wouldn’t be returning back to school for my senior year. I kept it a secret from my friends and their super-holy Baptist parents.
I knew they were too religious to even understand what I was going through. Most of my friends come from homes where a mother and father were present.
After inviting them into my home, I was forced to explain my living situation and how we were now a family.
On top of that, we were poor. My mom looked at this as an opportunity to receive a better job and to live without financial stress. To me, her partner was a home wrecker. The thought of living with a complete stranger was hard enough.
My mom raised my younger sisters and me on her own while working, going to school and paying for whatever we needed to have a normal childhood.
However, what I was about to experience was far from normal.
I was old enough to understand the decision my mom made, yet I didn’t agree with it. My mom brought us up in the church, and we were raised to believe that homosexuality was a sin, according to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10.
I refused to believe other people’s impressions of her based on her sexuality, that she had ruined our family or that she was going to hell.
In fact, after it dawned on me that my mom was only trying to be happy, I had to ignore the judgmental people that tried to turn me against my mother.
I stood up for my mom and who she was as a person.
I could never believe my mom was a bad person. In fact, now I think she’s the best mom I could ever have hoped for.
I finally got the nerve to talk to my mom about why she did what she did? Why she left my stepfather of thirteen years for Karen?
She said it was the first time she had really felt loved, and the fact that it was a woman didn’t make a difference. Karen, like my mother, is a genuine, caring person, who also grew up in the church. My mother and Karen actually attended the same high school.
They had the same mutual friends and grew up in the same neighborhood. They reunited at their 25-year class reunion.
Who knew from that day forward they would be on their way to planning a summer wedding in four years. My mom is gay, and I love her for it. It made us both stronger. Her loving personality has been the greatest sanctuary growing up.
I wish I could express my gratitude and love for her so that people could understand how unconditional my love for her is. I want to tell her, and everyone else, that I’m glad she followed her heart and did what made her happy, because she made me happy in the process.