I look at this picture of me with my boys and remember just how much I loved them. I also remember right about this time saying to their father, “I don’t care if Rick marries someone of a different race or religion but I don’t think I could handle it if he were gay.” That was 1972 and Rick was just 3 years old.
When I think about it now, I’m reminded that I never said that about Brian, only about Rick. What was it about him at the age of 3 that made me say that? I don’t remember any (and I hate to use this term) stereotypical characteristics that would make me think him gay. He didn’t play with “girl” toys, he had both boy and girl friends. I can’t think of one thing that would make me think him gay. And yet somehow I must have known.
I was only 23 or 24 years old. I didn’t know any people who were gay. At least none that I knew of then. I was unaware of the Stonewall Riots or anything relating to gay rights of the time. I don’t think I had any animosity toward gay people back then, I just didn’t want my son to be gay.
I guess a mother just knows, even when she doesn’t want to know. I had forgotten that conversation with his father until many years later when his father, whom he’d never come out to, told him, “I know you’re gay and I don’t care. Your mother and I have known since you were three. Ask her about it.”
When Rick asked me, I remembered that conversation. Yes, at age three, I suspected he was gay.
As I’ve shared before, when he came out to me I was not surprised. But I didn’t remember that statement so many years before.
When I look at that picture of my boys, I see the sweetness of their souls, a sweetness they still have today. I realize how blessed I am. Blessed to have a gay son because he opened my heart and led me to my life’s purpose. Blessed to have two sons who grew up to be two incredible men.