Bil Browning

Belinda Carlisle: Portrait of a Modern Mother

Filed By Bil Browning | January 07, 2010 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media
Tags: Belinda Carlisle, coming out of the closet, James Duke, mothers

Ed Kennedy smelled something fishy when he saw StarPulse.com's post, "Belinda Carlisle Shocked By Her Son's 'Coming Out'." Belinda-Carlisle-son.jpgThe site's post is based on a interview with Carlisle and her out gay son, James Duke, from the UK's Attitude magazine (registration required).

StarPulse clips a small portion of the interview to support their sensational title. While he hadn't read the original interview, Ed wrote that the "excerpts seem to be awfully sensational."

Carlisle admits she was stunned when her 17-year-old son James Duke Mason 'came out' in 2005 - and she immediately began worrying for his safety.

She tells Attitude magazine, "I have to say even though it wasn't that much of a surprise, it was a shock. When he told me I was driving and I had to pull the car over. It is different when it is your child. It's not bad or good... but you start thinking, and I don't mean this negatively, 'Is there something I've done?' I didn't quite understand. More than likely it was a genetic thing."

Since "Snowpocalypse 10: The Rise of the Falling" has hit here, I had plenty of time to go check out the interview and found an interesting read. The excerpts StarPulse clips are rather taken out of context, but the interview paints a very interesting picture of the modern mom's struggles with accepting her child's sexuality. Find out the context for the quote after the jump.

Here's the original quote in context. It was the first two questions she was asked.

Belinda, when James was growing up did you think he would be different from the other boys?

Belinda: [laughs] Yes, I did. There were a few indications. He was always very eccentric as a child. He always wanted to dress as a gentleman so he'd wear a cravat, a top hat, he'd have a cane and wear tails. All my life most of my friends have been gay, male and female so it would just make a lot of sense to have a gay child.

Did it make a difference when it was your child?

B: Well, I have to say even though it wasn't that much of a surprise, it was a shock. When he told me I was driving and I had to pull the car over. It is different when it is your child. It's not bad or good, it's just I felt totally neutral about it and in some ways, after the shock wore off I was very glad because that was the way it was supposed to happen. For me the bigger issue was how was I going to tell my husband?. But you start thinking, and I don't mean this negatively, is there something I've done? I didn't quite understand. More than likely it was a genetic thing. I do believe that.

The rest of the article goes on to talk about some of the not-necessarily-what-we-want-to-hear worries that a lot of mothers go through. She's never dismissive or condescending - hell, she took the kid on dates with boys when he was 15. But like any PFLAG mom, Carlisle's love for her son shines through it all.

It's a good way to spend 10 minutes. Or, I can just give you an obligatory dose of pop culture aurally...


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