Letter From A Gay Son's Mother
The following letter was originally posted on the Exit Fundyism Email List on Monday, May 22, 2000 and is published here with permission.
Published on May 04, 2000
Sunday, April 30, 2000
By SHARON UNDERWOOD
For the Valley News (White River Junction, VT)
Many letters have been sent to the Valley News concerning the
homosexual menace in Vermont. I am the mother of a gay son and I've
taken enough from you good people.
I'm tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual agenda" and
your allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing as
advocating sex with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been
robbing me of the joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.
My firstborn son started suffering at the hands of the moral little
thugs from your moral, upright families from the time he was in the
first grade. He was physically and verbally abused from first grade
straight through high school because he was perceived to be gay.
He never professed to be gay or had any association with anything gay,
but he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures like the other
boys. He was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was 6.
In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age
should be doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and
redrafting it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My
sobbing 17-year-old tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he
just couldn't bear to continue living any longer, that he didn't want to
be gay and that he
couldn't face a life without dignity.
You have the audacity to talk about protecting families and children
from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear apart families and
drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay, but I do know
that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to give
you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and
about time you started doing that.
At the core of all your misguided beliefs is the belief that this could
never happen to you, that there is some kind of subculture out there
that people have chosen to join. The fact is that if it can happen to my
family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to choose. Whether it
is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time of fetal
development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute
certainty that it is inborn.
If you want to tout your own morality, you'd best come up with
something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did nothing to
earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested in
hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I
received with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the
very soul of me that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who
reduce sexual orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad
habit or something that can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm
puzzled. Are you saying that your own sexual orientation is nothing more
than something you have chosen, that you could change it at will? If
that's not the
case, then why would you suggest that someone else can?
A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has been infiltrated by
outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for
generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop
saying that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."
You invoke the memory of the brave people who have fought on the
battlefield for this great country, saying that they didn't give their
lives so that the "homosexual agenda" could tear down the principles
they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of the most
horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple
He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to live.
He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did
their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service
was gay, and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out,
it mattered not at all. That wasn't the measure of the man.
You religious folk just can't bear the thought that as my son emerges
from the hell that was his childhood he might like to find a lifelong
companion and have a measure of happiness. It offends your
sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that companion
in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from
tax laws governing
How dare he? you say. These outrageous requests would threaten the very
existence of your family, would undermine the sanctity of marriage.
You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be thinking human
beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your
attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God
knows my son has committed no sin.
The deep-thinking author of a letter to the April 12 Valley News who
lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those of us who have
been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks: "What
ever happened to the idea of striving . . . to be better human beings
than we are?"
Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?