A Mother From Arkansas

Pat is a mother from rural Arkansas who shared her story about her son coming out when he was in his 20’s. Read about her experience below.

  • Briefly describe how your child first came out to you and your first reactions.

  • His Dad and I had just picked him up at the airport, he was in the back seat and simply said he had something to tell us. It made it easier to not look at each other as he talked. It was painfully hard for all of us, he never wants to disappoint us and we never want him to be hurt. Even though I intuitively knew it, by him confirming it, it became very real & scary. I was upset, sad…Of course I cried, probably asked him if he was sure he was gay and also if he would try harder to be strait. Ridiculous, only a mom would ask such a thing. Thankfully, we had a good strong foundation of love to hold on to and support us.

  • What concerns did you experience over the first weeks or months? How did you deal with them?

  • I worried that my son would have to endure the pain and suffering, the stigma, the prejudice and discrimination that go along with being gay. I felt very protective and defensive toward him. I didn’t want anyone to think less of him or say anything to hurt him. This was in the mid ’90’s and I don’t think people were as accepting at that time. Although, every family member and friend was completely accepting. Another concern I had was AIDS…I associated gay with AIDS so I was on high alert at first. Knowing my son as I did…cautious and trustworthy, that concern was resolved. His Dad was very accepting and supportive, as always. Also, my family and friends. It made absolutely no difference to any of them. They’ve loved and adored him his whole life.

  • Has your child come out to other family members over time? If yes, who, when and what was their reaction?

  • We have a very close family, so he pretty much came out to all at the same time. They were completely and totally accepting.

  • Knowing what you know today, would you want your child to “stay in the closet”? Why?

  • Never….Because he deserves to be the person he was meant to be, the person God created him to be. He deserves to be free from all the ugly stigmas attached to LGBTQ, not closed off in a closet. I have a strong faith in God and the God I serve does not see sexuality, color, or race…we are all his children and equal… No person, for any reason, should “stay in the closet”

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