I remember the first words out of my mouth when my son told me he was gay. I turned to his brother and said, “Now it’s up to you.” I was talking about becoming a grandmother, of course. That is not an uncommon reaction when parents finds out their son is gay. I found out in 1989 and I never dreamed I live to say the day that my son would be able to legally marry. My dreams, my expectations for what my son’s life would be like were shattered and I had to adjust to a “new normal.”
Thankfully, I did adjust and over a not very long period of time, accepted and embraced my son as the man he was born to be. When he met the man who would become his lifetime partner, I embraced him too.
For some parents and even grandparents, that disappointment doesn’t diminish. I’m not sure exactly why that is but in their mind, two men cannot have children. I read an article in The Huffington Post about two men whose daughter came to them through a personal friend.
One of the dads is quoted as saying, “I think, that as parents and grandparents, you watch your kids grow and you have hopes and dreams for them and envision them having a family of their own one day. So I think that many times when they hear their children say ‘I’m gay,’ they assume many of the stereotypes about gay men and think that hope is lost for them to ever achieve that dream.”
“When Grandma realized that we were together over ten years and now had a child that was legally ours, she realized that those dreams she had once had weren’t lost. Her attitude changed dramatically after that!”
My gay son will not fulfill my dream to become a grandparent. I had to realize that is not his responsibility. What I want for him is to be a loving, giving, responsible adult; a man I can be proud of. He is just that. I felt a little sad that this man’s grandma wasn’t able to change her attitude until her dream was fulfilled.
We give birth to our children and have hopes and dreams for them. They grow up and realize their own hopes and dreams. Isn’t that what we want for them after all?
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