Along my path of self discovery, I often find myself believing that the world is universal and cosmic in the way that coincidences seem to happen. Last Friday night whilst having Sabbath dinner at my parents, I met a remarkable mother. When meeting her I asked her about her children to which she replied, "I have a son who is doctor and gay, and two other children." I was immediately intrigued, not because here was a woman who had a gay son, but that here was a woman who was proud of her gay son and standing in front of me, after a whole week where I had been trying to find the courage to be able to tell my Mom about my sexuality.
Yesterday was a day of me finding the strength to conquer my greatest fears and demons, yesterday was the day that I decided to tell my parents about my sexuality. My first obstacle was my Mom, she is a wonderful women who has endured more than her fair share of hardships in life. She came from a very broken home and from this she has made it her life goal to be the best mother she could be to her children. Allot of my strength, power and drive comes from her, we are both feisty people, but we have always enjoyed a special bond, I guess for her, I am her Cryptonite. After telling my Mom, she stopped for a few minutes holding her chest, I sat there ever worried at what would follow next, but her response was very calm, "this is not so bad." For her there was a sense of understanding, a sense of relief and a sadness for the pain I have been enduring. She was remarkable in her genuine show of not only love, but the unconditional support I so needed. She exceeded my expectations and in that moment our past mistakes had become irrelevant, right there, right then when I needed her most of all, she was more than present, she rose to the occasion. Before me was my Mother and she was not going anywhere.
My Dad is a special man and an exceptional father, but he has always had his limitations in life (or so I thought). He is probably one of the most significant people in my life, yielding a certain amount of influence over me. Our relationship had strained over the last few months and if telling anyone that I was gay scared me, he was without a doubt my greatest fear and obstacle. When I was 18 I got a car and I grabbed my new found freedom with open arms. The result of this freedom included many a car accident, often in the late hours of the night, often after considerable partying. I would phone my Dad for help, he would put on this specific tracksuit and he would come and fetch me, never angry, never asking questions, just happy in the knowing that I was ok. I remember those quiet drives home after he had fetched me, I always wondered what he was thinking, maybe a little nervous at what would still come, but never was there anything aggressive, just love and the knowing that he was there.
My Mom thought it would be best for her to tell my Dad, I knew that she wanted to protect and shield me from the very real and possible response of anger and even rejection. I knew my Dad would require time and I was resolved in my mind that I would not judge him by his initial reactions. After my Mom had spoken to him, she phoned me to ask if i would come to them, I was already there, I walked in prepared for whatever it was that I would encounter. My Mom opened her arms to me, hugged me, I felt like she was protecting me from the world and her love was ever present. I sat down next to my Dad, I could see the fear in his eyes, a pain in his soul, but what he would say to me next was not what I ever expected, he said "you should have told me, I would have put on my tracksuit for you." In that one line I knew, I did not need much more than that and with that one line I felt a sense of freedom and acceptance. I am not sure how or when I lost faith in my parents, but it was not because of them that I did, my mistake was doubting them, my fear was the inhibitor, not them.
This morning I decided to continue my liberation and told my brother, once again I was met with support and love, each and every person that matters to me has managed to surprise me. When speaking to the mother that I met, I asked her, without judgement, but just because I really needed to understand, why was it that she defined her gay son by his sexuality, but not her other children? She stopped, thought and agreed that it was not necessary, but maybe for her that was just her way of showing acceptance, maybe preempting it to the world. If from the last two days I have learnt anything, it is quite simply that my sexuality does not define me, my family and friends and people who matter will always accept me regardless of who it is I sleep next to, because to them they know me and they know my worth, this is something I maybe forgot.