Dear Mom and Dad,
Growing up I always knew you loved me. I always loved you.
As a child through my early twenties I feared that one day I would lose you.
I knew I was differrent than my friends at a very young age. They wanted to talk about kissing girls, and I wanted to shift the conversation toward more important issues like maybe kissing me.
As the elementary, junior high and high school years passed one thing remained the same -- I still liked guys and I still hoped that the feelings I had toward them would go away.
When I decided to leave home for school in Eugene, Oregon I began knowingly meeting gay people for the very first time. They were genuine and good. They didn't fit the stereotypes I expected given all the cruel things I had heard over the years. I gradually decided I could be one of these people.
Unfortunately it quickly came to my attention that the coming out process was just that -- a process. I couln't just pull the string on a party popper and celebrate my being gay simulataneously with the world among a few streams of confetti and a sparkler. And so I began coming out to one person at a time with the hope that some of my friends would tell the others on my behalf so I could have a reprieve from the repetitive "You know how sometimes when we talk I make really strong eye contact" conversation.
The support I received was mostly positive. Some friends disappeared, but the ones who really mattered stayed.
After I graduated and moved to Portland I finally got up the nerve one late night to call you and tell you I was gay. I knew instantly that your hearts were broken. Your expectations had been violated. Your son wouldn't be walking down the aisle as you had dreamed he would your entire life (so you thought). There was no longer a possibility of my having children (so you believed). A potential life of ridicule awaited me and your fear of the unknown only compounded your worries.
When dad flew up to Portland to talk to me about my coming out, and we cried over coffee in a local coffee shop, I knew then that you would still keep me as your son even though I was gay; that I wouldn't be ostracized for being who I was all along as I had feared for the majority of my life.
You two grew so quickly and I know it was a challenge at times to fully grasp what it meant to have a gay son, but the love inside of you wouldn't allow you to turn the other cheek and walk away from me.
Thank you for being mine and for keeping me as yours. I love you both so much.