After #pulse…thanking God for my son



I don’t want to write anything funny today.

I am in shock. I am in pain. I am in anger. I am in fear.

Last night, a monstrous, evil, God-forsaking, demonic person entered Pulse, a gay bar in Orlando, Florida, and killed more than fifty people who were just trying to have a good time.

Because the monster was Muslim, I initially assumed this was a standard incident of Islamic terrorism.

I can’t believe I just said “standard.” I do not want to think about the implications of such complacency.

But what I do want to address is something the shooter’s father said: that his son’s actions have nothing to do with religion—they are much more likely to be the result of his deep and violent hatred for homosexuals.


I am the VERY PROUD MOTHER of a homosexual man, and I want to rip this man and his son to shreds. Who are these people to judge others simply because they love differently than the rest of us?

The important thing is that GAY PEOPLE LOVE… and ARE LOVED, by each other, and by those of us who are lucky and blessed enough to have them in our lives. Long before the Lord my God BLESSED me with the birth of my beloved and delightful son, he filled my life with gay relatives and friends who enriched my life in more ways than I can count. They taught me to sing, to dance, to write; they put food on my table when my husband and I were hungry; they walked me home through darkened streets when I was afraid to be by myself; they taught me to parallel park; they baptized my children and taught them the Gospel.

I never understood why gays were ostracized; I never understood why their actions were wrong. When I was growing up, and was repeatedly told that homosexuality was deviant and evil, I honestly have to say I was puzzled. Who were they hurting? How were they corrupting others? Why were their actions so unforgivable?

Don’t think, however, that I have always been a virtuous ally to the LGBT community. Disgustingly enough, the exact opposite is true. In my youth,  I listened to what “the voices of wisdom” were saying, and sadly latched on to the conviction that homosexuality was something “good people” would never accept. It was something to be avoided so fervently that that no impression of the slightest gender-deviant preference was to ever be conveyed. A girl never wanted her hair to be too short, or her t-shirt to be too plain… someone might think she was gay. A boy never wanted to sing too well, or dance too gracefully. No one ever wanted a same sex friendship to be perceived as too close, because… YOU KNOW. People would think you were “one of them,” and justifiably ostracize you. It wasn’t enough to BE straight in those dark days… you had to pass for straight, too, and the only acceptable score was 100.

When I took psychology in high school, we were taught that homosexuality was considered a psychiatric disorder. It was, like autism, perceived to be caused by an  abnormal relationship between mother and child. Imagine how I felt when my baby boy was first diagnosed with PDD-NOS, a very mild form of autism… and when I discovered, not many years later, that he was attracted to people of his own gender! I heard every voice of authority from my youth screaming in my ear, “YOU BROKE HIM!”

For at least a year, I behaved like a monster. I tried to bend him back. I forced him into activities which he passionately hated, because I wanted him to appear “butch.” That way, people would accept him… and no one would blame me. I thought I was weeping and seething in silence, but the poison within me oozed freely enough to reach him, and sickened our relationship for too long a period of time.

I mourned the straight son I’d always expected… and then, I fell deeply, deeply in love with the son that God had given me: a man without a trace of malice in his soul… a man who is as gentle as the puppies and kittens he dotes on… a man with a sharp, piercing intelligence, and a passion for social justice that one rarely sees in this selfish and duplicitous world. I fell in love with a very funny young man, whose loud, genuine laugh  rings often and true. I fell in love with a man who is not afraid to give everyone he loves a bear hug and a kiss.

I fell in love with a MAN. A MAN who is as truly male as any heterosexual man I’ve ever known, and as worthy of respect and affection as any other of God’s creatures. He is my son, my friend, my constant companion, my sounding board, my excuse, my enabler, my protector. My treasure. He is my boy… and when I hear that fifty other young people, just as loved by their mothers, just as worthy of living, and loving, and sharing the treasure of their lives are cut down by the senseless actions of one demonic assassin, I am left in shock!

I can’t say I don’t understand hate. I know it and feel it. I can’t say I don’t understand bigotry and stupidity…every day of my life I try to eradicate them from my soul, and I can’t always say I succeed in extricating those black tumors of intolerance. But I do know this: killing people because they’re not like you is wrong.

Stay the hell away from people like my son.


2 thoughts on “After #pulse…thanking God for my son

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