“Nah! You can’t play with that.” “Take that damn shirt off… quit twirling in that damn mirror!” Sound harsh? This is what I would say to my son when he was younger. I would say this because I was uncomfortable with his behaviors; behaviors I viewed as feminine.
They say you learn so much ABOUT kids when you have them, but you actually learn much more FROM them. Kids have a way of exposing us to ourselves, good and bad, and we have a choice to learn from these things or reject it as false. I have chosen to learn, it’s not always easy, (actually, it’s hardly ever easy), but it’s necessary.
My son came home, and asked me, “Mom am I gay?” I was shocked, almost breathless, before I answered, I had to ask him a question, did he even know what gay meant? He had no idea. A rush of emotions came over me.
What do I do? What do I say? Do I ignore it? Who do I talk to? No, wait…I can’t tell anyone…they will judge the hell out of me and my family….finally I took a breath…HE IS MY SON…I won’t love him any less or think of him any differently.
I decided to open up to a few people about it and their responses were, uhhh…let’s say…inconclusive. I went to my husband, Joe, and cried like a baby. I couldn’t understand why people were labeling my, then, 5-year-old son.
We began to come to grips with the reality of the society we live in, and the stigma attached to a black boy that is gay or feminine.
It makes me question, why do we attach our son’s sexuality to whether or not they are drawn to sports? Why does their inclination to play with balls instead of dolls, even at a young age, make us feel secure in their heterosexuality?
We shout out gender equality but we still shame little boys for playing in ‘girl’ clothes. If he was a girl, we would all be saying, she can play with anything!
So, why? Why was I so uncomfortable? Why was I having trouble finding the words to say to my son, this genuine, loving, creative and artistic soul? The more I SAW him and reflected on who he was as an individual, the less it mattered if he was feminine, the less it mattered what other people thought. He has taught me to tap into places in my heart that I needed to open. I used to talk about other moms’ sons that were hella “flamboyant”. Now that it’s my child, I had to humble the shit out of myself. I never considered becoming the vulnerable mother, that you become when it’s close to your heart. I have no idea if my son is gay, but I support all my kids being their true selves, with no exceptions. Love is love and I want them to NEVER be ashamed of who they are. So I won’t either, I will NEVER be ashamed of who my kids are. I preach love and tolerance so I must practice love and tolerance.
I walk around like my shit is together..but as we know, we are humans and nobody has their shit together…NOBODY. We pour everything into our kids, our love, our confidence, our spirit…our lives change forever because we are changed FOREVER.
Literally…I wouldn’t have boobs if I didn’t pay for them.. But that’s another blog post! LOL! 😂