My Apologies…This Is Going To Be A Rough Ride.

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Because the feel of this entire blog is largely ridiculousness, I hesitated to to write about this here, but my heart is hurting so, I feel that I must.

Last night, one of Caolinn’s best friends tried to come out to his parents. In his usual, brilliant, witty, amazing way, he tried to make it easy and sweet, and he (and we) were all hoping for a loving and caring reception to his moment of brave honesty, but what happened instead, was that his parents yelled at him, berated him, told him that they wouldn’t accept it, that he wasn’t allowed to be gay under their roof, and threw away the gift he gave them. As a parent, as someone who loves him, and as a human being who isn’t an ignorant bigot…my heart broke, not only for him, but for all the kids who have faced the same response or worse. We’ve told him that our phones are on, and if, at any point, he needs us to come get him, day or night, we will, but it doesn’t feel like enough.

What I really want to do is bang down his parent’s door and tell them… Your son is brilliant, tall, handsome, and funny. He speaks more languages fluently, at sixteen, than I can say “hello” in at forty. He can program a computer, design a robot, once founded his own micro-nation (legally…I kid you not), and is a loyal and true friend. He’s also gay. And you don’t deserve him.

Thank you for listening to me, guys…I promise I’ll be happier tomorrow. Β Probably because I stole their kid and egged their house.

84 thoughts on “My Apologies…This Is Going To Be A Rough Ride.

  1. Good for you. How awful for him and how awful of his parents. I’d keep an eye on him—so many gay teens become desperate in these situations. Is there a support group in your community he can turn to? I don’t know where you live, but today most communities do have some resources to help gay teens.

    • He’s very tied in to a great many people who are being supportive, thank God. He has at least two places he can go (ours and another of their friends), that I know of, but my sincere hope is that this isn’t needed, and they come to their senses. So fucking awful. I just didn’t ever imagine they’d flip out like this. 😦

  2. This breaks my heart because I have been in his shoes. Support from people like you is what made it possible for me to accept who I was and I hope he continues to have supporting and loving people in his life.

    • I tried to explain to Caolinn that this is what it was like for almost everybody, when we were kids, and that it almost always worked out. I hate that he’s getting a shitty old-school response, but there’s no way they stick with this, and if they don’t flip this around, I WILL be saying something, and it won’t be nice.

  3. Well at least he has people like you in his life who care and will make his journey easier. Sadly you cannot change that kind of mindset and he must feel so very upset that his family have reacted in this way. It is not fair and it is not right. I have two young children and would support and guide them in any life decisions that they make. That is our job as parents. Good for you.

  4. That’s so terribly sad. He sounds like a wonderful young man. I hope his parents see the error of their ways. I’m glad he has people like you on his side – you and other normal, balanced people will help him through this.

  5. At times like these I wonder if the family unit construct is one the worst possible entities we have ever invented. Such depedence can create such lonliness when it is taken away. He sounds like he has good people in his life and you are wonderful to be so supportive. One of my hardest lessons learned is that it is possible that your family can be poison and the only choice you have is to walk away and don’t look back.

    • There are families of birth and families of choice, and when you’re truly lucky…they’re some of the same people. I haven’t given up hope on them, yet. I haven’t given up the idea of TPing their house, either, but…

  6. This brings tears to my eyes, what a beautiful gift he gave them to then receive that kind of response. Where is their love? Glad he has support outside of his home, including yourselves and hopefully his parents will come to their senses. (They need a severe slap around the chops with a wet fish. Not really harsh enough but maybe just enough to wake them up?)

    • Maybe if the fish has spines?

      And I agree…it is our job to love and cherish them, and they failed. My hope is that sometime in the next week, a HUGE apology comes. He’s such a sweetheart that he’d accept it with no grudge. *fingers crossed*

  7. Anxious Mom

    I’m glad he has someone to support him! It’s a shame how quickly parents will throw away their kids just because of their sexual preference.

    • Right? He didn’t choose his sexuality, but they are choosing to be dicks about it. What does it matter, at all? Sigh… It’ll get better…I keep telling myself that it’ll get better.

  8. Oh boy, I hope when they calm down they’ll realise what a special son they have, and mend that broken bridge. Thank goodness he seems a strong young man, with support around him.

  9. My best friend and the godfather of my son is gay. I was the second to last person he told. We spent years doing everything together in high school and the years after. I told him about every boy I had a crush on or lusted after. He had a few girl friends in high school. We were in our twenties when he told me. I asked him why he waited so long to tell me. Heck we could have been picking up on boys together. He said that he waited to tell me and his mom last. He said “I can handle losing random friends and acquaintances due to being gay, but I would be destroyed if I lost you or my mom.” That was many years ago. I will never forget him saying it to me. What a gift to have someone that special love me that much. What a shame this young man’s parents can’t recognize such a gift they have.

    • It’s funny how similar our stories are… πŸ™‚ My godfather was gay, Matt, my children’s godfather is gay. (something of a family tradition, apparently…maybe Caolinn’s friend will some day will get the job of her kids) When Matt came out to me, I was a senior in high school, and he had just started college. We were in my car, and as he came out to me, he rolled into a ball so small, that I still swear he almost fit in the crack between the seat and the door, and this is a 6′ 4 man. I’ve never seen him look so vulnerable, and I’ve never loved him more for trusting me.

  10. changeling

    Let me know when the egging is on, I have some that have been in the fridge a bit long. Hope they realize their gift before it gets to that though

  11. Oh oh oh this breaks my heart. That is precisely the reaction I feared from my parents. This is the first such story I have heard in a long time, and my soul is aching for that boy! I know we, as adults, know that it does get better almost 100% of the time, but it is so much harder to hear that from his end. Just keep telling him. He won’t believe it until it happens so you have to just keep telling him.

    • Thank you, sweetie! I know…it felt like the old days, and not in a good way. I’m so happy that things have changed so much and so quickly in our society. It’s nothing short of a miracle, but, of course…we still have a ways to go. Hugs…

  12. julieann081

    I am so sorry that this young man’s parents, in this day and age, cannot love him for who he is. I am SO VERY GLAD that you and your daughter can be there to support him and help him through this extremely difficult time. I hope, that with time, his parents come around. In the meantime, I hope this young man is surrounded by love and acceptance and knows that not everyone is like that. ❀

    • I know of at least one other family that has told him they’ll come get him, too. He has so many people who love him and who are in his corner. He’s just SUCH a brilliant kid.

  13. You just be there for him, accepting him, celebrating him, loving him. He will find you when he needs you.
    And may his parents one day realize that in their grief at losing the “boy they dreamed of”, they chased away “the boy who is real”.
    So sad, for all concerned! My heart goes out to your young friend, but it also goes out to his parents, who don’t know what to do to keep him and to love him.

    • I keep clinging to the knowledge that when we were young…it was almost ALWAYS this bad, and yet the vast majority of my gay friends have good relationships with their parents now. *fingers crossed*

  14. Thank you for loving and supporting another human being. How sad that his parents don’t see the gift they’ve been given. You are a blessing for him as an affirmation that he is worthy; unfortunately, the sting from his parents will surely leave lasting scars. I pray that they come to their senses. You are a gift to this young man.

  15. Doug in Oakland

    His parents may come around. This is how minds get changed. I watched it happen in my own family, when my father found out that my sister was gay. First he flipped out and did a bunch of hateful bullshit. Next he discovered that nobody wanted to talk to him because of it. Next I heard about it, a few months later, he and my sister were talking again, and he had hired two lesbian carpenters to rebuild the deck at his house.
    It really sucks to have to be the shock troops of social change, especially at an age when everything is already so confusing. So thank you for being there for him, for being a fierce advocate in his time of true need. Sometimes it seems like you get more impressive with every post.

    • See, the fact that society has changed so dramatically and so quickly in our favor gives me such hope. There is no longer a stigma for having a gay kid, but there is a HUGE one for not accepting your gay kid. I’m positive they’ll come around, and I’m even more positive that he’ll forgive them. He’ll probably give them shit about it that they’ll deserve…but still. πŸ™‚ Hugs for you and your sister.

    • Stabby is exactly the word. Or maybe pokey-in-they-eyesies. And YOU’RE awesome. That and I need your ninja skills for some revenge fantasies I’m currently plotting. πŸ™‚

  16. Hope todays tragedy becomes tomorrows joke. His parents need time to get their heads around this. It’s too easy to say as a bystander that we would embrace it if it was our child. His parents have to reprogram the life they had envisioned for him. They have to deal with the truth coming out to other family members and friends. They will be wondering is it their fault? And also fearing the blame others could make them feel.
    My cousin is a great single mum and her son has come out recently. She loves him unconditionally but it’s still a shock.
    We are extremely lucky that in this day and age being gay is much more accepted.
    Time heals and let’s hope a little time is all it takes πŸ™‚

    • I’m hoping a good night’s sleep and an asskicking from their social group… It’s just SO apart from how I feel on this issue, that I’m having a really hard time sympathizing with them. Love has to come first…especially when it’s your kids. Let’s hope time works…but that it’s a terribly short time.

  17. This makes me horribly sad and happy at the same time. Sad that his parents are so ignorant and happy that, at the age of 16, he is comfortable with who he is and was able to voice that to his parents. Given their reaction, he probably had an inkling that they weren’t the most tolerant of people, so his bravery in facing that at such a young age is inspiring. I just hope they learn to love him as unconditionally as he loves himself.

  18. Oh Meg, my heart breaks for your family and for the young man in question…. I’ve never understood why you need a license to own a dog but anybody can have a kid! As a fellow educator I know you’ve experienced the ‘parentas dickus’ phenomena where the most awesome students have the biggest dicks as parents.

    I’m hoping that given our time difference that by the time you will read this, his parents will have come to their senses and embraced all that is awesome in their son…..

    • I so hope so. He’s gone radio silent and isn’t responding to texts and calls. I’m not sure if it’s him processing (possible…) or if they’ve taken away his phone. If that’s the case, and they’ve removed his communication…I just…fuck, I don’t know. If Caol hasn’t heard from him by tonight, I’m seriously considering storming their gates. Praying for a miracle.

  19. This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that people need to talk about, so don’t worry about apologizing at all! Or thinking that it isn’t cheerful enough! I don’t think I can tell you enough how amazing a person you are, but I sincerely hope you’re aware of it.

    Your first instinct, I understand, would be to physically punch some sense into parents like his. It’s very possible that they truly may never come to accept their son for who he is. But, speaking from experience, parents do tend to come around. I came out to my mom when I was at seventeen… the next few weeks were the worst of my life. And even now, years later, I still remember how awful it felt.

    That being said, she did come around. She and I are closer than we’ve ever been… and she’s done such a terrific 180 that she even speaks out against those who insult and discriminate against transgender individuals.

    So, as one young gay guy to another, tell him that I’m encouraging him to hang in there, and give his parents some time to try to adjust to the news. Not everyone takes it as easily as we’d like. However, as one realistic adult to another, I’m telling you to just keep doing what you’re doing, and let him know that you’re there for him regardless. You said that it doesn’t feel like enough, but I assure you, to a terrified teenager who has no other options, it feels like the biggest and safest blessing there is.

    Long post over. Sorry bout that.

    • I love you, Sugs. I’m sitting here, sobbing off my mascara, and I am SO fucking grateful for everything you just wrote. I just wanted it to be easy and safe for him, you know? I told Caol that this is the way it used to ALWAYS be, and yet almost everybody was back in the graces of their families, once they had a serious process, but still…I just thought it would be different in 2014.

      I sometimes forget that with all the amazing progress…we still have enormous challenges to overcome.

      I’m so, so, so proud of you. If we were both kids, again…you totally could have crashed at my place. My parents would have stashed you, and we could have stayed up all night crying and watching Clueless, because that shit makes everything better.

      • A place to crash AND Clueless! God, why haven’t you been made a saint yet??

        On a serious note, though. I’m so happy that people like you not only teach their kids the value of being kind and loving to others, but that you’re in a position to teach other kids who may not have the same training at home. That’s great consolation in a really messed up world.

  20. It’s amazing what you’d never expect from your parents. They should really be ashamed. And you should really steal that kid and egg their house. With expired eggs… :/ He deserved better than that and I hope he knows it.

  21. It’s this kind of stigma that my brother didn’t come out until he was almost in his 50’s! To think he lived a lie his whole life because he “didn’t want to hurt others!” I wish unconditional love (of one’s child) could be without conditions. Thank you for giving your son’s friend a safe, loving place to land. Perhaps one day his parents will realize what they lost and open their minds and hearts.

  22. That’s a terrible story, and really makes me sad. It really breaks my heart when parents can’t love their children for who they are. Thanks for sharing this story as a reminder to love and support all those around us who may be vulnerable. It is awesome that you are able to be there to support him, and hopefully he will be able to see that his gift, while it was rejected (and that really hurts), their action is not about him, but about their ignorance and bigotry, and how closed their minds are to who their son truly is. It would be nice if as a society we could put away the fear we all hold on to regarding “the other” – be it other faiths, sexual orientations, race, and what ever else we use to divide each other.
    Cheers to you and your strength to support your daughter’s friend.

    • He’s so lovely a human, and we’re so lucky to know him. I’m so proud of his courage, and I know he’ll come through, and so will they. There’s really just no other option. Especially if they don’t want the wrath of a thousand crank calls.

  23. I have a brother who is gay. He came out to our parents and it was a good discussion. My father was unhappy – but not because he was against… it was because he knew just how hard things were going to be for him from here on out. We all knew though – probably before my brother did – so it was mainly a formality. We love him dearly. He is my favorite traveling companion. We’ve been to Korea and England and Wales together and always have the best time. He’s 18 years younger than I am, so I’m always a little amazed that it works out so well for us to travel together. He is also HIV-positive. We’re not afraid of him. To us, he is one of the most wonderful people you could ever know. I so wish your daughter’s friend could have had a family like ours to come out to – but at least he’s got your family and other people who truly love him. And who knows? Maybe his own family will come around and realize what a treasure he is. I will pray that he and his family come to understanding and peace.

    • I’m so hoping that they will. They seem to love him so much, so I can’t imagine they can maintain this level of freak out. For fuck sake…he baked them a cake and everything.

      Huge hugs to you and your brother. The good news is that, with treatment, the life expectancy of HIV is now, basically, normal. You’re so lucky to have him, and he you. πŸ™‚

  24. Your daughter’s friend is lucky that you are there. Being gay myself, it is comforting to know that there are people like you who would readily show support in heartbreaking moments like you shared above. Thank you for people like you.

    • My sincerest hope is that we finally get to a point where coming out isn’t a thing…that we assume nothing and accept, without question, where people are on the spectrum. Hugs. πŸ™‚

  25. My parents were the same way when I came out 35 years ago. It takes time and more importantly determination to change their view(s). I speak from experience on this.

    Now? Well my mother and my aunt tend to share more things than I would ever want to know, like female problems or sex with their husbands.

    It just takes time and adjustments. And a little blackmail like warning them when they’re old, how they treat him now will determine whether it’s going to be a sane nursing home or one that constantly makes the news before closing. That sort of thing.

    • HA HA HA! Yes, love, patience, understanding…and blackmail. πŸ™‚ This whole event reminded me of the bad old days, to be honest. My school social worker and I had a long discussion about it, and she assured me that this still happens entirely too often, and that it almost always works out. Sigh… I still worry. Constantly.

  26. I actually read this post yesterday while waiting in line for coffee and found myself tearing up. It’s heartbreaking. Thank God he has you. But more importantly, thank god he is so smart, clever, kind, forward thinking, possesses fearlessness and personality. As heartbreaking as this is, I believe that may knowing he has people like you and your family in his corner, he’ll be OK.

    I’ve always tried to maintain an open dialogue with my son…no matter what that means. (Some people have found our candor rather shocking. First I’d have to care what they think. πŸ˜‰ ) I’ve learned so much from Mike about life because of his candor. Things I may not have seen on my own. (Clearly, your situation appears to be somewhat similar.)

    That being said, I think it might be appropriate for your young friend to point out to his parents that one day (god willing) they will be old and may need his love, help and support. When that day arrives (which will undoubtedly) should he give them as much as he’s gotten from them??? At that point, being part of their lives will be HIS CHOICE! You reap what you sow… perhaps they should be consider that. I also wonder, what are they actually afraid of??? Clearly their response is fear based. But based in what? Just a thought.

    • I have every hope they’ll turn this around, but it doesn’t make me NOT want to yell at them. I’m so glad for the way that you’ve raised your son. All boys should be so lucky, and you make me have faith in the greater good. πŸ™‚

  27. Brian

    Poor young man – his parents don’t deserve him. It’s good that you can be available to him, for him. He sounds like a terrific kid. He seems to have accepted himself for who/what he is. Too bad his parents can’t be as mature as he is.

  28. Clearly there is fear as others have said. I commend you so much for being there for him because that had to be one of the hardest things he has ever had to do in his young life. Other moments will follow but this one will kind of set the ground work for the future. How awesome for him to know there is support and people who love him no matter what! He sounds like an outstanding young man and I pray his parents do see the value in who he is as a person and their son before they look at his choices and condemn him for them 😦

  29. stormydreams

    This breaks my heart to read. My step-brother (yes, the one with a zombie fetish mentioned in my Ahh! Zombies! post) is gay. This last weekend I was finally able to attend his wedding to his partner of over 12 years. Luckily, our family accepted him but his partner’s did not. I watched this young man go through so much hurt by being turned out of his family (12 years ago, he WAS rather young!) – and telling him ‘well you have us’ did not feel like enough. Just love him, support him, and BE there for him. It doesn’t seem like enough, and it shouldn’t have to BE enough, but..its going to have to be.

    • Sometimes our families of birth do not continue to be our family, and when that happens, it is a true tragedy, but I’m so happy that he’s making his own family…one that loves and accepts him, and who realizes what a gift love is. *hugs*

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