Sunday, May 13, 2012

The 'Lifestyle'

I’m not on topic today guys.  I need to do some ranting and this is where I rant.  Feel free to run if you like.  I wondered if I should have put something different up for Mother’s Day, but then I realized that this is a Mother’s Day post.

I think most of you know that I have two children that I believe to be the two finest children that ever lived.  This rant is on behalf of my son, LJ.  Most of you also know that LJ is gay.  He told me a few days after he turned 14 and now, at 24, he has matured into an absolutely incredible young man.

I also have an 18 year old nephew who is gay.  His parents have not been exactly accepting of this news.  They haven’t thrown him out or anything, but he truly feels unaccepted much of the time.  As someone watching from the outside I see so many things his parents are doing wrong and I see many ways my nephew is making everything worse.  Both sides could behave better.

I took off to campaign at the polls against amendment one here in North Carolina last Tuesday.  Unfortunately the amendment passed, but I’m still glad I tried.  My nephew came and stood with me for a while.  He told me he was going to NYC for a short trip and that he had made arrangements to stay with LJ and his boyfriend Colin.  In the course of the conversation he shared with me something his mother said, it was that, while she accepted that fact that LJ and Colin had a relationship, she didn’t really want her son to be around their ‘lifestyle’.  I remember him saying it, it caught my attention, you know when you hear something that just hits you ‘wrong’.  I wasn’t really mad when I heard it, but the longer I’ve thought about it I’ve begun to do a slow burn.

The lifestyle. Excuse me, the lifestyle?  She wants to talk about my son’s lifestyle?  I can tell her about it.  His lifestyle included graduating from college with honors, and following his dream to move to New York City.  His ‘lifestyle’ includes, working two jobs in addition to auditioning whenever possible and working with his friends to get a fledging theater company off the ground. It included working every single day in April;  taking extra shifts at the coffee house to help cover for a co-worker whose father had died, while at the same time taking over for his supervisor at the park who had gone to pick up the baby he and his wife were adopting from Ethiopia.

His lifestyle includes working, buying groceries, cleaning the apartment, feeding the cats, going out to eat with friends, sending his mom flowers for Mother’s Day, and accompanying one of his best friends to her doctor appointments now that she is eight months pregnant because her husband is working out of town.  And it also includes living with the man he loves. They have been together for nearly eight years now. It hadn’t been Colin’s dream to live in NY, but he gave up his life here and moved there because he knew it was LJ’s dream.  Their lifestyle is just like any of ours, they work, pay bills, pay taxes, live and love. I believe my SIL’s (and many others) image of a ‘gay lifestyle’ has him running around in leather chaps attending orgies.  People need to wake up and see reality.

I love my SIL, we’ve been friends since 1978, since before we met either of our husbands.  But this hurt me.  I’m not say anything about this to her just yet, although I will eventually.  She’s had a rough few years.  We lost her oldest son, a boy we all loved very much, to a drug overdose just after he turned 20. He was five months older than LJ.  He had gotten his girlfriend pregnant and since she’s got drug problems too, my BIL and SIL are raising the child.  You know, maybe it’s not LJ’s lifestyle she needs to protect her son from.


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Written by PK at 4:30 PM

17 comments

17 Comments:

At 3:04 AM, Blogger Florida Dom said...

PK: You Go Girl.

I was saddened by your relative's comment but yet I loved the posst. I felt like you were a mother bear protecting her cubs.

Since you've been a friend and mentor to me in the blogging world, I can tell your readers how fortunate your son has been to have you as a mother who supported him when he came out to you as a teen. If all gays had mothers like you, the world would be much more accepting of gays. It's a credit to you that he had the ambition to move to New York to pursue his dream.

But the tide of history isf running the right way. Despite the North Carolina vote, gay marriage will one day be the norm. And the challenge for gay couples will be to raise their kids as well as you have raised yours. And I love the fact that so many young people treat being gay like being lefthanded, not the majority but no big deal.

On a personal note, I don't even understand anti-gay prejudice. Why do straights care -- much less get upset -- about whether a person is gay? The good thing is that fewer people care in our society.

Great post, PK.

FD

 
At 6:10 AM, Blogger Paul said...

PK, I'm with you one hundred percent, exactly my feelings.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger sunnygirl said...

Good for you. What a great post.

I am sorry for your SIL and BIL and I am even sorrier for their son. It's a heavy burden knowing that no matter what your parents think you do not "measure up" to what they think you should be.

I am glad he has you and LJ and Colin. At least he has someone who will support him in his life's journey.

Happy Mother's Day. LJ and Molly are very lucky children and their character is a testament to the upbringing you and Nick provided.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger faerie said...

Your nephew is very lucky to have you and your son in his life. He may not recieve the love and acceptance he needs from his own family, but he has a perfect example of what unconditional love and support is in you and LJ. Have a great day :)

 
At 12:19 PM, Blogger abby said...

As I have read here I have cheered you on ....your acceptance of LJ and bee heart warming. I have a lovely niece who is gay, she just "came out" at 30...she still is the girl we know and love! Happy Mother's Day!
abby

 
At 12:29 PM, Blogger June said...

I echo faerie's sentiments. Your nephew is very lucky to have you, your son & his partner. People really do need to be less concerned with labels and more concerned with the quality of a person's character. Your son, obviously is a cut above. Happy Mother's Day!

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger SNP said...

A Mother's love is like no other and you have expressed yours so beautifully here. Happy Mother's Day, PK! (Glad you can use your blog to vent a little, too).

 
At 4:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

way to go pk...with you all the way. i pray that in time your nephew will receive the love support and acceptance from his parents...meantime im glad he has you...an amazing mother, aunty and friend
hugs kiwi xxx

 
At 8:16 PM, Blogger sub_rouge said...

Your son sounds like a wonderful loving person and you have every right to be as proud of him as you so obviously are! If you nephew is out to base his life choices on those your son has made, I think he'll be just fine.

I wish all parents were as accepting of their children's choices as you are, and I hope that I can be as accepting as you as my girls grow older and start making these large life decisions.
xox
Rouge

 
At 11:28 PM, Blogger PK said...

FD,
I’ve always felt my kids came to me, calm, mature, and loving. I know motherhood is supposed to be hard, but my kids were really easy to raise and I love who they have become.

Paul,
I love you! Wish you could vote in our elections!

Sunnygirl,
Nephew is a good kid, but he does have problems. Some he had no control over and others he could really do better for himself. I just want to see him be a healthy happy adult.

Faerie,
I hope he does see unconditional love. And I hope his parents do too. They would all be so much happier if they would just relax and enjoy their son for who he is.

Abby,
Not accepting never entered my mind. He is my son and I love him unconditionally. So glad your niece is out and happy too.

Thank you June,
I too wish people could learn to live and let live. My son and his friends, many of whom are gay, are some of the finest people I’ve ever met.

SNP,
Being a mother is the best thing I’ve ever done!

Kiwi,
So nice to see you out and about, I hope you are healing well. We’ll be there for Nephew as much as we can. I wish LJ lived closer.

Rouge,
My son is really a great guy! His choices for his life have been good ones. I have no doubt you will be accepting of your daughters choices because you’ll be there to teach them how to make the little life decisions while they are young. Thanks for stopping by.

 
At 12:12 AM, Blogger Rogue said...

PK, I think you're on point with Mother's Day. We protect our cubs!! It sounds like your SIL is not giving any consideration to how her opinions are affecting her son. Sometimes we all need a swift kick in the pants, and I do believe you're just the lady to deliver one. In a nice way. :)

 
At 5:16 AM, Blogger ronnie said...

I'm right with you PK. I do feel for your nephew must be so hard for him. He's lucky that he has you, LJ and Colin he can talk to.

If she had been my SIL I think I would have had words with her.

Great post.

Love,
Ronnie
xx

 
At 8:51 PM, Blogger playful little brat said...

Wow, good for you. How lucky both your son and nephew are to have someone like you in their lives. I think it's wonderful how supportive you are and your love of your soon really shines through in this post.

 
At 8:02 AM, Anonymous Jane said...

What a supportive mom you are!

 
At 11:08 PM, Blogger PK said...

Rogue,
She’s wrong, wrong, wrong, but she’s a good person and loves her son. I think she really believes he won’t go to heaven if he’s gay. I feel sorry for her.

Ronnie,
She and I have talked and we’ll talk more. I’m trying to keep all the talks kind and productive even when I find myself getting aggravated.

Playful, Jane,
He’s my son – for me that says it all.

 
At 12:59 AM, Anonymous Joanne said...

PK: though I can honestly say I don't really 'like' homosexual situations, I would never put down the right to make that choice. The youngest child of good friends who we had watched grow up, made that decision a few years ago. "Sarah" grew to be 6' tall and 200+ lbs. For most of her teenage years she felt very out of place and unhappy. At one point she was on suicide watch. Since the decision a new person has emurged. happy, healthy, fulfilled and using many of the talents given, like poetry, sketching, and so many more. There are some people who will never accept that choice but most of the friends and family continue to love and support him. I admire you for continuing to be there for your son. When you become a mother, nothing that the child does can ever change the fact that he is your baby and you love him/her unconditionally. Ignore the unthinking comments made by others. It is their loss when they choose to distance themselves from wonderful because of sexual preferance.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger PK said...

Joanne,
I appreciate your comment. I can tell that you have thought about the situation and made the choice to love this young person despite the fact that you’re not totally comfortable with all aspects of the situation. That was a choice you made and it was a good and loving one. Of course being gay is not a ‘choice’. I never sat down as a teen and decided to be straight; I just was and always knew I was. It’s the same for someone who is gay, they just know, they don’t decide. Gay teens do have a choice to make, however, whether to live an open and honest life about who they are or to hide their true feelings.

I’m proud of my son for making the choice to be proud of the person God created him to be.

 

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