Just When You Think You Know Someone
Last week I get a call from my sister. She informs me that I had been “outed” by one of my brothers to my mother. She and I talked for a while — some laughing some crying. At the end of the conversation with my sister, I felt like I had just been punched in the gut.
Why did my brother do this to me? Why would he do this to my mother? This is my information, my business. I wasn’t ready to have this talk with my mother just yet.
She means the world to me and I did not want to have this talk over the phone with 700 miles separating us. I wanted to see her face and the expressions that she would exhibit. This “right” opportunity will never present itself now that my brother had betrayed me.
After my anger and hurt feelings subsided, my mood returned and I decided to call my mother. I called and got voicemail. Now my mind was racing, did she see the caller ID and not want to talk? Will she call me back? How long do I wait before I call her back if she doesn’t call?
As my emotions were whirling my phone rang, here we go I thought as I looked at the caller ID. After what seemed like an eternity of small talk I blurted out the question.
I told her I knew one of my siblings had called and talked about me to her. I asked her how that made her feel and what did she think about it? My heart was racing as I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my body.
The moment of silence was deafening to me as I waited for what seemed an eternity for her answer. She was calm, cool and collected with her response. This gave me comfort knowing that she had given her answer some thought and more importantly a good dose of love for me.
I had it in my mind that a retired single woman that attends church at every chance would have nothing but disappointment and harsh words for her gay son. At this moment I realized that I had not given this amazing woman the credit she deserves.
I was so worried about what she would say or how this would affect our relationship that I had my own misconceived notions. In that instant my mother was my loving and wonderful mother. She simply said “I have known for a while and it doesn’t mean anything to me.”
After I stopped holding my breath and took in some fresh air, I asked her what she meant. She explained to me that I was her son and no matter what she loved me. She loved me for who I am and being gay is how God made me.
She told me that she prays for me everyday, not for the hope that God will change me. She asks that He just keeps me safe, well and happy. I cannot believe the amazing conversation that I had with this woman. We laughed, we cried and more importantly we connected.
The weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.
As much as I was upset and felt betrayed by my brother, I have to admit he helped open a new connection with my mother.
I have to remind myself that even a retired, small town, church woman can be open-minded and accepting. Sometimes we are so guarded and worried of what people will think we fail to give them credit.
I am far from being a professional athlete, however, given the amount of professional athletes that have come out this year, I wanted to share my story with you. All I have to say is that I am honored to have my mother as my mom, thank you!
Spokes is a Richmonder and resident of Virginia for 10 years. He is a small business owner with a passion for outdoor activities - competing in numerous triathlons, sprints, olympics and half ironman distances.
Good people come in all sorts of packages and associations. We must reach out to all.April 4, 2016
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