Re: “My Son is Gay” (A Nurturer’s Perspective)

So this “My Son is Gay” post has exploded with comments recently, and I would recommend reading it because it’s the basis of this post.

Assuming you’ve read it, I’ll go on.

I completely agree with the writer as far as unconditionally loving and supporting my child is concerned, but this doesn’t seem to be about her son’s sexual orientation at all. No one she encountered accused her of  “making her son gay.” No one even implied it. The other mothers expressed concern that this little boy would be teased, something the little boy himself attempted to tell his mother three different times.

My opinion? Mom could have built trust and displayed acceptance by listening to her son’s concerns. What a great opportunity to have a relevant discussion about fear and bullying! Who knows, maybe with a few more years of continued nurturing and support, the little boy would have wore his Daphne costume all on his own, without having to be convinced it was okay. Mom’s confidence and cavalier attitude can’t simply be given to her son, he’s got to grow into his own secure, confident little man, and he’ll do that in his own timing, at his own pace. Maybe she wishes he’d develop those qualities sooner, but I can tell you from experience that rushing a child out of their comfort zone can be traumatic and cause the child to lose trust in their mother. Although long since forgiven, I carry those memories with me to this day, and I wonder what kind of person I’d be if I were nurtured rather than pushed.

I know that my opinion on the matter isn’t popular; most folks commend the mother for her courage, whereas I don’t see mom’s courage as the issue. She’s clearly courageous enough for the both of them. It would appear that she willfully risked her child’s feelings and sense of security by not listening to his concerns, and only to prove a point that I’m sure we all saw coming: parents are often judgmental. (See me ranting on about this? Case and point.) I could support her in this if she were the one in fear of being humiliated, but the fact that she risked martyring her five year old boy is sad and scary. It would appear that after getting 35,000+ comments on her blog, mom got what she was looking for.

That all being said, he made an adorable little Daphne!

Okay, I’ve braced myself and am ready for you to bitterly disagree with me. Go on ahead and let me have it.

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1 Comment

  1. sarah

     /  November 6, 2010

    I’d never thought of it that way, Melissa. Now that I think about it, I agree with you. I mean, his mother’s courage was great and I’m sure her intentions were good and all but the kid is five years old. It was halloween, a time where a kid should be having fun and not worrying if other kids are going to make fun of him. It’s a complex issue. On the one hand if the mother had denied her son the costume all together, I’d be thinking that she’s not supporting her son but now that she forced him to wear it, we think the mom is a wee bit insensitive.


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