I first thought about being a mother with a gay/lesbian child before I was even married. I saw a show with Mary Tyler Moore as the mother, who found out that she had a gay son. She did not take it well, and refused to see her son at first, and then when she did see him, she would not acknowledge that he was gay, or accept his the person he loved. I decided at that young age (probably around 18), that if my kid ever told me they were gay/lesbian/bi-sexual or transgender, they would still be the same child that I knew and loved the day before, and NOTHING could ever change that.
I was really shocked when you told us you were gay. Not because you were gay, but because you asked us if we were going to throw you out!!! What a question!!! You are loved and accepted for being the wonderful person you have always been. You are loved completely by us and by everyone in our family. Of course, my only concern is that it make your life more difficult. But, I remember our first conversation about it when you were only 16. You said that you figured you had only 2 choices, you could kill yourself, or you could accept who you are and make the best life possible. Your Dad and I are so very proud that you decided to accept yourself, and love yourself for who you are. It broke our hearts to see what a tough time you had in High School, but you went to both of your proms dressed in a tuxedo with a female date (and 2 female dates for your senior prom). In the state where we live, that takes real courage. You were taunted and teased unmercifully when you were in High School, and some of those kids have actually come up to you and apologized for the way they treated you. So, yes, things have gotten better as you have gotten older, and for the most part the younger generation (once you get outside of the microcosm of high school) does not seem to care about sexual orientation one way or the other. And, I have to say that Ellen DeGeneres has gone a long way towards acceptance of LGBTs, and she has brought the subject of bullying to light. It appears that more and more people are buying into the unacceptability of bullying, because of Ellen. A lot of young people have taken their own lives because they feel as if life is not worth living as who they are, and the cruelty and bullying has just gotten to be too much. Ellen has also shown the world that it the person that counts, not the sexual orientation. She is an inspiration to LGBT's and parents around the world, and is a a shining beacon of love and light.
Your life has not, and will not always be easy, but we truly admire your courage and spirit. You refuse to hide behind a closet door, and we do not hide who you are. We will never be ashamed of you, as I am sure you have no doubt. We have attended every Gay Pride Day, to watch your performances for the last several years. We even got to ride on a float one year!!! We show up at Gay clubs where you are performing drag, or doing standup, and unfortunately, we are usually the only parents there. All of our friends know that you are a lesbian, and that we love and support you. We don't love you in spite of your sexual preference, we love you, rightly, for who you are!!! We also celebrate the fact that you are smart enough to know that you are who God intended you to be, and that you have the courage to be true to yourself.
We were at a Lesbian club one night, when you were the DJ for Karoke. You and I sang a song together, and afterwards a young woman ran up and hugged me. She told me that she had a 7 year old child that her mother has never seen, and she was so happy to actually see parents who loved their child for who they are. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE??? Gay, lesbian, bi-sexual or transgender, these are still your children, and they deserved to be accepted and loved. Some people say it is choice, but what teenager is going to make a choice which will make them different, when all teenagers long to feel that they belong. These children are being subjected to unimaginable cruelty, and bullying, and it is a crying shame when they don't have parents who love and support them. Your Dad and have been having Gay kids parties for years, and quite frankly, I believe a lot of your friends wish they had loving, caring parents like you do. It a shame, and one that those parents will regret sooner or later.
Now, on the week of your 33rd birthday, we just want to say that we love you and are proud of you for being the person you are. You have been doing stand up comedy since you were 14, and despite your ADD, you have persevered in pursuing your life long dream of being a professional stand-up comic. You are well known in the gay community in our town, and you are on your way to going to New York to make your dream come true. You are a very funny and talented comedian, and you have the support of the people who know and love you. This is your chance to shine and to be able to live your life on your terms as a stand-up comedian. Of course we may be a bit predjudiced, but we think you are awesome, and we think everyone else will think so too. So Happy Birthday to our wonderful daughter Jenn, and as always we love you and are behind you 100%.
Mom & Dad