Dear Mothers: Thank you so much for loving your children unconditionally. May your letters comfort any child who doesn’t feel completely loved and accepted by their parents for any reason.
Dear Annie: I am writing to you in response to “Riley,” the gay teen who wrote to you because, since his coming out as gay, his parents have decided that he is no longer invited on family outings or welcome at relatives’ homes.
I am the mother of three (out of four) gay children, and this letter broke my heart. No child should be made to feel unloved by their family, especially by their own parents. I understand that when you find out your child is LGBTQ, it can take some adjusting for some parents. You are changing the mindset that you have had about your child for his entire life, but you need to work through that and always love your child.
The way these people are treating Riley, quite honestly, just seems cruel. I loved my children the day they were born; I loved my children the day they told me they were gay; and I will love my children every day, because I am their mother. I don’t love my children in spite of the fact that they are gay. I love them because they are gay and that is a part of who they are and a part of what makes them perfect and beautiful.
I hope this family gets counseling and finds healing because I don’t believe Riley deserves to spend his teenage years feeling this way. These should be the best years of his life. If Riley needs a surrogate mom when he turns 18, please pass along my info at that point. — Everyone Deserves a Mom
Dear Everyone Deserves a Mom: Thank you for your letter. I am printing it so that the other Rileys of the world know they are not alone. Here is a letter from a mom who lost her son:
Dear Annie: I would love to tell “Riley” that he is brave. He is strong! He is loved by so many! Never give up! You MATTER!!!
My son was not gay, but I lost him at age 15 to suicide. I’d give anything to have him back. If my son had told me he was gay, l would have loved him no differently. He would still be my son. I would have gotten an “extra” son if and when he found his “person.”
Parents should truly put aside THEIR opinions on how they want their kids’ lives to be. You can have opinions, but you cannot force your will on them. If you apply force, after a certain point, anger, resentment and a huge rift appears.
I’d rather have my son back, gay, bi, straight, purple. Alien. I’d rather have him back than to lose him over something that can be a topic of conversation and resolution. — A Grieving Mom
Dear Grieving Mom: I am so sorry for the loss of your son. Thank you for sharing your perspective on loving and appreciating children.