Mom & Dad, it’s okay to admit it.

You’re hurting too. This was the picture (or something that looked quite like this picture) that you imagined the day you first held your child. You had so many images in your mind: your child’s first steps, the first day at school, the first crush and date, prom, falling in love, getting engaged and the best dream of all: dancing at your child’s wedding. You saw your child’s future filled with happiness and children (which meant grandchildren!). Then one day you heard the words, “Mom, Dad, I’m gay,” and it felt like your dreams just died. Your child was shaking, maybe even crying, sitting in front of you. Waiting for that one look and that one word that would say it’s still okay. So you swallowed your feelings.

I understand. I really, really do. But I have some words of encouragement that I can’t wait to share with you. You have been given the chance to begin a journey that will transform your relationship with your child. You have been offered an amazing gift. Your child has, in essence, said to you, “I love you so much that I want you to really know who I am.” You have received an invitation into your child’s life.

Today, eight years after I heard those words, I am still amazed at my son’s courage and his generosity of spirit. He risked rejection and judgment because he wanted our family to experience something more honest, more beautiful and more accepting. We stood by our son. Together, we cried our tears. We grew. We learned new things. Most importantly, we gave each other permission to live life freely and authentically. We did, however, have help along the way. I want to recommend a wonderful organization to you if you are in need of support. PFLAG is a great resource for parents and families of gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered children. It’s a place where you can go to create new pictures and dreams that will help you celebrate your amazing and courageous child.



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