“LOVE” by Amy – PFLAG mom of 14 years

They say there is nothing greater than a mother’s love. As a wife, daughter, sister, friend, and mother… I know that to be true.

I remember over 25 years ago, putting my 3-year-old son to bed and whispering to his father as we tiptoed out of his room, “I think Matthew is gay”. I had nothing concrete to base it on, and it wasn’t a judgement, just a passing comment. I just felt it in my heart. His father’s reaction was not one of agreement and he was, in fact, quite angry with me, but my heart just “knew”.

Throughout the years, I loved my son with ALL my heart. I watched with anguish as he struggled with shyness making friends as a kindergartner. I encouraged his love of art, drawing, and nature as a young child by spending countless hours together at the kitchen table doing projects and watching his talent grow. I wished time to stand still as we snuggled, giggled, and whispered when I’d tuck him into bed each night. I cried countless tears seeing the pain he endured when his father and I divorced, and he began to navigate a new “normal” as a young adolescent. Then came the teen years… it’s definitely harder to love an angry, defiant, and confused teen, yet I did… with all my heart.

When I accidentally “outed” my son at 14 by coming across some correspondence he’d been having on the computer, it broke my heart to see his reaction. I lovingly said, “Matthew, I know. It’s okay. I love you and will support you through this.” I was terrified, not because he was gay, but for his safety and how the world would treat him. He cried in my arms that day. I’ll never forget his words, “Mom, I’m going to go to hell, aren’t I?” We were practicing Catholics at the time, and he had been carrying around a rosary for months in his pocket, trying to “pray his gay away”. That comment was truly heart wrenching for me. It was that day I made a call that led us to PFLAG.

Becoming involved in PFLAG helped both of us embrace who Matthew was and who he has evolved into today. The love, acceptance, help, and encouragement that PFLAG has given us both over the years has undoubtedly shaped who we are. That scared 14 year-old-boy is now a successful Landscape Architect with a distinguished degree from Harvard. He is living his best life in Kansas City with Michael, his incredibly wonderful husband of two months (YES, they just got married!) and their sweet puppy, Bella. We are closer now than we’ve ever been, and I could NOT be prouder of this amazing, talented, strong and resilient young man! I am blessed to be his mother! Having a gay son has truly been a gift, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!

Yes, there truly is nothing greater than the love of a mother for her child. I am sure of that.