I know, I know…I get a little carried away. So much info! I’ll have to break it into two segments today. I’m going to start here with Pride 2014. Later on today, I’ll post something about the upcoming 1 Year Anniversary of Better Than Good (July 8 😉 ) and yes, I’ll be on Twitter at Dreamspinner Press’s page from 11am-1pm PST. Please stop by for a chance to win an ebook copy of my Best Selling (Yes! And I’m so thrilled to say so!) new release, Better Than Friends. More later…
This is the last day of June and thus the last official day of LGBT Pride month. Being a fabulous procrastinator, I attended the last possible event for Pride I could this year….four hundred miles away from home, no less. Yesterday, my husband and I walked in the San Francisco Pride Parade with our gay son. It was his first Pride and ours. I can’t tell you how amazing the day was. San Francisco is a beautiful city, but yesterday it was perfection. Gorgeous weather. Not a cloud in the sky and the streets were literally full of good will.
The short back story for those who don’t know it is that our eldest son came out to my husband and me two years ago this coming August when he was eighteen and about to leave for college in San Francisco. I’d been waiting for years for him to feel comfortable enough to share what I already knew. My husband didn’t expect it. He told our son all the right words. “We love you, nothing changes”, but he struggled to accept and of course our son noticed. Parents don’t always catch on to the subtleties of their words and actions with teenagers in particular. Let’s face it, teenagers are…difficult. They are the worst combination of a gross lack of maturity and a profound wealth of promise. They are smarter than we credit and know a hell of a lot more about their world in a way we never can. And yet, they’re still works in progress. They need and crave our support even when they indicate otherwise. As a female member of the household, I see both sides. I see a father who came from a religious background and wanted something different, something easier for his son. And I see a young man whose very posture gives away the self doubt that crushes his confidence. I’m not one for coddling…um, anyone. My philosophy tends to be “get over it”. Neither person is changing for the other, so find a middle ground. That middle ground in a family love and support. But it’s easy to say the words, right?
Going to Pride this year was our way of showing support. If you’re reading this blog, it’s because you know what I write, so you’ll understand going to Pride was pure pleasure for me. I adore the gay culture and I love my gay son unconditionally. I’m a parent first, however. So Lane Hayes, the author, was there only as an observer while the mother in me was there to march in a Pride Parade with her son and husband. And my husband LOVED it! He wore the Pride T-shirt he was given happily and waved a Pride flag as he walked alongside our son. At one point he even went to the sides to pump up the crowds. As he gave high fives to the men and women we walked with and hugged our son, I knew something special had happened. It’s easy to talk, but not as easy to do. By being present we physically showed support but we were also given a gift, the reminder of the quality of unconditional love…acceptance.
Earlier this month, I was asked to participate in the LGBT Roundtable Discussion as a panelist alongside some amazing authors and bloggers in the community. I was honored to have been asked but I was the one who came away from the experience having learned so much more than I imagined from the authors but also from the people who wrote in to share their thoughts and experiences. Thank you all for your comments. One point I came away with this month, and it isn’t a small one… challenge yourself. There are so many brave men and women who live in fear and fight daily for acceptance. If you have the capacity and strength to lend a hand, to lend support, do so. Your impact is greater than you’ll ever know. Don’t just talk about support, Show support. Find a way to make a difference. Happiness can only exist in acceptance.- George Orwell