Almost one year ago exactly my oldest son came out to me before he left home for college. Me first, his dad a few days later. I will first say that I had been waiting two or three years for this proclamation. I knew he was gay but I felt (and still do) this was his journey. He needed to come out in his own way and in his own time. His big reveal was naturally met with acceptance and assurance. We love him and want him to be happy. Great. Except… that was it.
Okay, good. He’s fine. He knows he’s loved. We’ll always be there for him. Can’t wait to meet his first boyfriend (when the time comes)… You get the picture. Nothing changed really. All he needed one year ago and right now is to know that we know. Maybe it will take years (I hope not) for him to share with other family members and friends, but I have to trust that he’ll do what is right for him in his own time.
Here’s the thing… I was selfishly hoping for a bigger role. I wanted to join PFLAG (picture Debbie Novotny, QAF) and be there if he wanted when he told whoever he wanted to tell. Every June, I suggest we head to LA or Long Beach to go to Pride. I could sit in a cafe out of sight and out of the way. I understand teenagers don’t want to hang out with their parents. But he isn’t interested in any of that and he hasn’t shared his news with anyone else. Fine. I set aside my dreams of joining the local chapter (it’s a long drive anyway) and even marching in a Pride parade (I still want to do that). It just isn’t his thing. At least not now. The timing isn’t right.
I write M/M romance. Obviously going to Pride parades and soaking in rainbow rays while demanding equal rights matters to me. Love is one of the purest connections we have as humans. Love transcends gender, race… you know the spiel. That is why I have read thousands of romance books and probably why I switched to M/M when I found some wonderful stories that made me stop and take notice.
There is a part of me that selfishly wishes I could show support in a bigger way to one of the people I love the most in this world. As a parent, we are so hands on for so many years and then suddenly…we’re not. We have to trust that the many years under our protection and guidance will lead them to think and act wisely as adults. It’s frustrating. But the fact is that he may never want me to be a part of his life in a rainbow sense.
I’ll support quietly for now. I’ll follow his lead. Not an easy feat for an admitted control freak, but my part of this journey is as supporting cast. Not lead. “Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let people go and hurl themselves into their own destiny…” (Octavia Butler)