An Open Letter to My Mom, Lulu, On Her Raising of a Gay Son

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Dear Mom,

Here we are for Mother’s Day again. And while I’ve never been one for a public display of emotion, I thought I would pen this letter to you.

You were given a gay child. And that’s me. You named me after a soap-opera character you had a crush on while pregnant with me. So, in a way, it shouldn’t have come as a shock to you that I turned out gay.

You were given a gay child. And to say that you did your best is an enormous understatement. You went above and beyond your best to adapt and make me feel welcomed and loved.

There’s the sissy, the tom boy; we have words for them, but society is still sort of stuck on what to do and how to react to gay kids. And to that extent, I wasn’t like my older brothers. I didn’t much care for sports. When as a toddler, all I wanted was a doll, you got me one. Her name was Sally. She currently resides in the attic somewhere. When as a third grader, all I wanted was art lessons. You found me classes and hung my watercolors with pride. I remember passing by your bedroom once, I was in the ninth grade, you were casually reading the paper, and said, “Oh, look … summer  youth theater starts next week. You should audition!” And I did. And you sat front and center for the first show.

All this in rural Arkansas.

Things were different when I came out. It was tough. But time went on, and we both grew considerably as people. I’ve come to realize how difficult it might have been for you, and I didn’t recognize it at the time. I wasn’t a perfect kid. I caused you all sorts of trouble and heartache. But in raising me, you instilled so much in me, from the basic sense of sense of right and wrong to the importance of sending thank-you notes. I carry all this with me.

You recently came to visit me in Washington, D.C. My home for eight years now. I took you to your first gay bar. You were so excited.

“This is my first gay bar!” you said, adding, “… that I know of.”

Below is the photo of us there. That’s us, and all the boys that came out to meet you. You were so happy that night. We both were. All the boys said how lucky I was.

I get that now.

I love you very much.

Happy Mother’s Day to you.

mom and dad
Brock Thompson is a contributing journalist to TheBlot Magazine. 

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