It’s been a few months since I’ve come out to my mom, and things between us are still awkward. Before I told her I like men, she and I used to be best friends. We talked about almost any and everything (with the exception of my sexuality of course). But now, it’s a miracle if we can hold a meaningful conversation without arguing about me being gay. She thinks I’m in some faze, and is determined to see me out of it. I keep telling her I am who I am and that’s not changing, but she doesn’t seem to get it. I know my friends said I should just give her some time to adjust, but how long do I have to wait before I get my friend back? And do you have any tips on how to get my mom to be okay with all of this?
Mama’s Boy 92
Dear Mama’s Boy 92,
Thanks for writing to me. Although I know you’re not happy with the current relationship with your mother, I want to commend you for being able to live and tell your truth. Everyone can’t do that, so kudos! Now before I offer you my advice about moving forward in your relationship with your mama, I’d like to offer you some insight first.
When a mom has an issue with her son’s sexuality, based on my own personal experience and those experiences of close friends, it usually is because of one or more of the following reasons. Reason one has to deal with religion. There are those maternal figures that hate the idea of their son being gay, because they grew up in the church learning that homosexuals are hell bound. And what mother wants to picture her child being thrown into the fiery lakes when he dies. The answer is NONE!
And then there is the notion some moms just can’t deal with the possibility of people mistreating their baby. Despite the recent influx of gays on TV and film, and the monumental U.S. Supreme Court decision, many members of the homosexual community still face incidents of discrimination, humiliation, and hatred. No parent wants to think of their child doing or being anything that may put them in harm’s way. Most mothers just have this maternal instinct to want to protect their kids, so I definitely understand this point of view.
Last but not least, some mothers become too focused with future grandchildren. Being aware of how human biology works, they can’t fathom a world in which their son won’t extend the family bloodline. A world in which their son won’t produce a mini version of himself. Granted people have surrogate children and adoption is always an option, some mamas can’t get passed how they know babies are “traditionally” conceived.
For me personally, my mom initially had an issue with me being gay for all three reasons above. However over time, she was able to allow her love for me to triumph over all her issues and concerns. She realized I still have a relationship with Christ. Also, that as a black male I’ll inevitably face incidents of discrimination and mistreatment anyway. Regardless of my sexuality. Now she still might not understand how she is going to get some grandbabies LOL, but at least our relationship is back in tact.
With all this in mind, I would advise you to continue to be patient with your mother. I’m not sure how old you are, but I get the feeling that it took you a while to come to the place where you became comfortable with who you are sexually. And just like it took you a little while to reach the point of acceptance, your mom (and really all those close to you) have the right to take some time to process you homosexuality and reach their own stage of acceptance. Keep in mind, regardless of this temporary setback in your mother/son relationship, I can tell your mom loves you. It’s this love that will eventually get you two to a better place.
My usual suggestions going forward:
- Again, continue to be patient with your mom. I really do think she will come around. Unfortunately, I can’t give you a time frame for that. Just hold on!
- Continue to live your truth as the way you know it.
- Don’t continue engaging in arguments with your mom if you can help it. When she starts saying something about who you prefer to lie down with, make it clear you are gay ONE time, then fall back. She’ll get tired of being in a lopsided argument sooner rather than later.
As always nothing but love,