My mom is a single mom of four children, including 2 gay sons, and penned this open letter mostly to the moms of the Orlando victims, but also for every mother to a LGBT child in the world.
As a single parent of 2 gay sons, my mother was understandably shaken by the tragedy in Orlando, especially because we are from Florida and I used to live in that area. One of the first things I did when I got over the shock was to call her to make sure she knew I loved her. We had a long tear-filled conversation, but the thing that struck me the most was how she identified with the other mothers. Her giant heart has never been a surprise to me as a single immigrant mother with four mouths to feed. But it was a beautiful thing, in the wake of such a horrific event, to see how her heart ached for other mothers, mothers just like her, who now have to bury their gay children. The first thing my mother said to me when I came out to her at 16 years old was that she would always love me, no matter what. My mother came to the United States as an immigrant from Malaysia as an adult. Her culture didn’t exactly wave rainbow flags (and still doesn’t), so her immediate response of love and support went far beyond what the average person might’ve been able to provide me with. Throughout the years she has shown me time and time again that her love doesn’t just stop at me. She has set an example that I will be lucky if I can live up to. An example that pushes me to love freely, and openly, especially in times like these.
By writing about the events in Orlando, I felt like I was doing what I had to do for my community. My mother is a part of that community; an extension of it, and she is not alone. Every mother out there can relate to the feelings being experienced by the parents of the victims of HATE. If every mother out there did her part, however small, to spread awareness of love, change would not only be likely, it would be inevitable. After all, my own mother has proven that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love.
Dear Moms of LGBT Terror Victims,
My first thoughts upon hearing about the shootings in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando were of the mothers of the innocent victims who died unnecessarily simply for being who they were. Each of these mothers had willingly decided at a point in their lives to unconditionally accept and respect their child for who they were, to love them as fiercely as they could, to support them with their dreams, goals, and ambitions as best they could. Each of these mothers also, silently and knowingly, accepted and understood the consequences of being a mother of a gay child, be it, spiritual disapproval, rejection from family members and friends, hostile prejudicial judgments from the “Haters” Club with huge amounts of dirty looks and a lot of name calling. Faggot. Pervert. Queer. The list goes on. We’ve heard it all. These mothers were powerless against all those unacceptable thoughts and behaviors, but rose above and detached from all that hate, continuing on with their utmost love and trust for their gay children. Your child is your child, and each one is a gift.
Of course inwardly we want for our children a life free of hateful chaos, killing, abuse, violence, neglect, and criticism… but mostly the freedom to be who they are. All mothers of LGBT children continually live in dreadful fear of receiving that one call informing us that one of our kids has been killed, shot, injured, or kidnapped. Mothers of gay children fear for their children’s safety on an entirely unique level, and I say this as the mother of 2 other traditional, heterosexual children as well. I have seen every end of parenting spectrum.
The only support I can offer you mothers who are suffering their own personal devastating tragedies is that I share that noiseless empty void of shock that you are in. I share your innermost, secretive feeling that you too wish to die, just to be spared the painful anguish of the loss of your child. I share the unbearable feeling of hopeless solitude of being in this dark black hole that you don’t even want to get out of. But most of all, I share the angry rage and despair of knowing that your child won’t come home anymore.
As you live on, I unite and share your prayers for the courage to live one day at a time, accepting and understanding the grace of God. I will share with you bouts of depression, anger, hopelessness, and the return to faith. You are not alone. I stand and share with you your many bad days until your healing begins, be it five, ten, or twenty years until you find the answers to all your questions… and then the peace and contentment of knowing that your son or daughter is and has always been in that one specific place, alive in your heart forever.
With loving empathy: from a mother with two miraculously living gay sons who are brilliant, intelligent, and creative, lovingly compassionate human beings, with ambitious goals with their lives.