There is a video making the rounds on Facebook, showing an “endearing” scene of a son coming out to his mother. In the video, he waits for his father to leave the room, and then stumbles through an attempt to tell his mother that he is gay. Eventually his mother stops him and tells him that she already knows, that he shouldn’t be sorry, she just wants him to find happiness and that she will always love him.
Cue sobbing noises and heartfelt “awwws” here.
Every time I see the video, the person sharing it is oohing and aahing over just how amazing this mother is to be so supportive of her son. The video has over 61 MILLION views, making that mom into the latest viral hero. “Look how much she loves her son!” “She doesn’t care that he is gay.” “OMG, I’m sob sob sobbing!!”
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I don’t find this woman to be inspiring at all. Why?
Because when did forcing your child to have an incredibly difficult and awkward conversation with you about THEIR SEXUALITY become a heartfelt moment?
Even though presumably the son set-up the camera and filmed the video, you can clearly see that he is really uncomfortable. His concern is palpable. He can’t even get the words, “Mom, I’m gay” out of his mouth. Worse yet, when his father enters the room, they both freeze up and stop until he leaves.
Let’s talk about the mom. The “saint du jour.” There she sits, hugging her son and reassuring him that she has known for a long time. AND STILL, she has to get a dig in there. “I pray every night, let Matthew have his own wife and children…or whatever family he wants.”
Come on, lady! You’ve known your child is gay for a long time and yet you’re still praying he’ll have a wife and kids? You’ve never talked to him about sex? You’ve never proactively said to him, “Hey, son, sometimes the birds and bees can be two birds or two bees, m’kay?”
I can tell you right now, with 100% certainty, that we will never ever have this moment in my house.
My children will NEVER EVER EVER have to “come out” to me and their father.
They won’t have to come out because we are working damn hard to make sure that we are not stuffing them into that proverbial closet in the first place. In our house, love is love is love. With our two daughters, we talk about future boyfriends and girlfriends. We tell them that they can love whomever they want. We share examples of women who love men, women who love women and men who love men.
In our house, it is fine and normal for people to have two moms. Or two dads. Or one mom or dad. Or one alien parent. We don’t fucking care what other parents have going on in their underwear or in their bedrooms. It isn’t any of our business.
What is our business is to make sure that our children know from the start that sexual feelings are normal. They can occur between people of the opposite sex and people of the same sex. Families come in a lot of different shapes and sizes – and all that matters is that when they are ready, they choose to partner up with someone who loves and respects them.
I’d like to see a new kind of coming out video make the rounds. One where the parents sit on the hot seat, proactively telling their child that there is plenty of room in the world for love in whatever form it comes. I want to hear them say that their parental love for their child has nothing to do with their sexual preference – never has and never will.
In that perfect parenting video world, the kid will learn that only one person’s love is important – their own love for themselves. There is nothing to fear, nothing to shame, nothing to hate. When it comes to love, there is only acceptance – of themselves and of others. Love is love is love can only truly exist in a world where there are no closets in the first place.
There are plenty of other videos of kittens and puppies out there to warm our hearts. I think we can afford to leave our children’s sexuality out of it.