The below comes from one of my favorite blogs, Raising my Rainbow. It’s written by Lori Duron aka Rainbow Mom, who is the parent of a young gender non-conforming child. C.J. loves fashion, glitter, pink, Monster High and other things typically associated with girls. Lori and he husband are very supportive of C.J. as is his older brother. But Lori got a surprise lesson in supporting your kids when C.J.’s brother came out as straight:
A few days later C.J.’s Brother was in my bedroom talking to me as I got ready for the day when he mentioned that one of his buddies and a girl from their class were dating. I asked if he was attracted to anyone at school. When I talk to my kids about their current or future attractions, I never assume that they are gay or straight.
“Mom, I’m straight. It’s time you faced the facts,” he said.
“What?” I was shocked by his directness.
“I know what you’re doing. You always leave it open, like I could be gay. But, I’m not,” he said.
I walked over to the bed where he was.
“Okay, but you know that if you were gay or are gay that is totally cool, too, right?” I said.
“Yes, of course, but I’m not.”
“Okay, but if your feelings change….”
“MOM! I’m straight!” he said with firmness, a smile and a shake of his head.
I called my brother.
“C.J.’s Brother came out. He says he’s straight,” I told Uncle Uncle.
“What do you mean ‘he says he’s straight’?” Uncle Uncle said.
“Well, things could change….” I said.
“Babe, he just came out to you. He told you that he is straight. You have to listen to him and work from that for now and acknowledge it and believe it. That’s it. He’s straight. You have to honor that – just like you would if C.J. told you that he was gay. Both of your kids know that you love them and support them and accept them whether they are gay or straight. But, when they tell you like that you have to believe them.”
What touched me most about this exchange was Uncle Uncle, Lori’s brother, is gay. How did he get so smart and perceptive? The second thing that touched me was how this conversation is the opposite of the coming out stories of which we are familiar, but it has a familiar tone to it.
Lori’s surprise and that feeling of ‘are you sure’ is one that is familiar to the scene for many a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender person who’s come out. The difference is Lori’s son has announced he’s straight. That her emotion wasn’t one of immediate relief, perhaps, shows a bit of unexpected progress that we are making in equality, acceptance and comfort level for everyone.