Annette Gross

If I was straight

Filed By Annette Gross | January 18, 2009 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, The Movement

My son sent me this video. It's entitled "If I was straight......." The young man in it speaks about how being gay has made him stronger and more accepting of other people.

There is a mom in our PFLAG chapter who says that if her daughter wasn't a lesbian, her daughter wouldn't be who she really is and that she's happy her daughter is gay. When I first began coming to meetings and hearing this, I was pretty much taken aback. I couldn't imagine anyone WANTING their son or daughter to be gay! But the more I thought about it, and the more I crept out of the closet, the more I realized how much sense it made.

I think deep-down, my husband and I always suspected our son was gay. He was "different." He had different interests than his friends, he didn't hang around with a lot of boys as a young child, and he didn't like sports. Of course that's not a 100% sure sign your child is gay. But, when he was 19 years old and told us he was gay, we were not surprised.

The woman in our PFLAG chapter who talks about her daughter also says that one of the reasons she's happy her daughter is a lesbian is because this has enabled her to meet people she never would have met. That's true for me too. I have met the most amazing people and become involved in issues and causes I never thought possible. I have learned to be more accepting of all kinds of diverse people and count them as my friends.

I have never been homophobic, but I don't think that if my son weren't gay I ever would have joined groups like PFLAG, Indiana Equality, or Lambda Legal. I wouldn't have been reading blogs like bilerico. I don't even know if I would have campaigned for Hillary and Obama. My horizons have certainly expanded.

I believe my son and I are both stronger since he came out. Coming out enabled him to be who he was meant to be and be true to himself. It's a huge burden to carry such a heavy secret for many years. Once he came out, that load was lifted. Our family accepted who he was. And then we were able to become involved in advocacy.

The young man in the video speaks a lot of truths. It's very unfortunate that his family can't accept him for who he is. But he has strength of character and knows who he is and where he wants to go. The families of GLBT kids can help their children on this journey, if they are only willing to take the journey themselves.

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