I have 2 beautiful, smart, wonderful little boys. I don't know the path life will take them on, but I hope that their Dad and I can impart upon them how to be good, loving people. To come to us if they ever needed to. To know that their home and their family are a safe place where there are no judgements. I want them to always feel our love, even when we are angry or hurt or whatever other emotion we might be going through. I want them to also know that we do not and will not ever tolerate them being bullies or being hateful or ugly.
I've read a lot in the news in the past week about an epidemic of teen suicides related to young people who were bullied for being gay or different. This absolutely breaks my heart. That they felt so ashamed or embarrassed or whatever else that the only solution in their hearts was to take their lives. Children who were once nurtured in their mama's womb. Rocked gently to sleep with a lullaby and a kiss. Children who very well likely were playmates with the same kids who would turn on them later in life and taunt and bully them. Their shame was so deep that suicide was their answer for the bullying and the taunts and the flat out hatred. That just simply is not ok. It is another form of bigotry and should not be tolerated.
I'm a day away from 37 years of age but 17 doesn't seem that far ago. I remember vividly being a teenager. The emotions are so raw at that age. Everything seems so important and all consuming. Though it was 20 years ago I remember the emotions of dating a young man - my first real love - who was too afraid to admit that he was gay at such a young age, especially in a very conservative west Texas town. So he hid behind his cover - dating a girl. We dated off and on (and off and on) over a 5 year period of time before he could finally, courageously come out to his parents, his friends, his peers, me. I, selfishly, was heartbroken at the time, but I knew in my heart that something wasn't clicking for us. Time heals all wounds, but his wounds were likely much, much deeper. He spent that many years, and more probably, hiding behind his true self for the same fear of taunting, bullying, and lack of acceptance. I can't imagine how hard that must have been. For him. For so many of my other friends who are gay and face taunting, bullying, and hiding their true selves for far, far too many years.
Like I said, I don't know the path my boys will take in life. They may want to live their lives out in small town America, marry sweet girls and raise lots of babies. Or they may want to be artists living a life abroad, traveling the world. They may choose marriage, they may not. They may decide to ride a Harley and follow a rock band all over the country. They may choose to have children, they may not. They may even choose to be Republicans (gasp! ha ha!) But no matter where they go, what they do, who they love, I just want them to always know that we love them, and are here for them, and support them. No matter what. Because I felt them both move in my womb. I kissed their first owies. I have loved them, unconditionally, from the moment I knew they were on their way. And I will continue to love them, unconditionally, for all of their lives.