By Jorge Diaz, MSW – Clinical Social Worker
Happy mother’s day… For some, this is a tough day and for others, it’s a day to celebrate and continue to create memories-while others must make an out of state or international phone call in order to connect with their mothers. The power in a mother’s love. We often focus on family or maternal rejection. However, let’s celebrate the mothers whom where free from cultural and religious factors, internal or external motivators or anything that prohibits many mothers that are unable to love and accept their son due to their sexual orientation. BRAVO to the mothers who love and accept us.
Do our mothers know how powerful and instrumental their love and acceptance impacts our journey of self-acceptance or identity formation? The journey of self-acceptance is beautiful for some and difficult for others, however, to know that there is no room for rejection or hate from the foundation of who you are, allows many of us to embark on the endless life experiences ahead with a healthier perception of who we are. It must be extremely painful to embark on your own coming out process and search for your own identity with the harsh reality that your mother is unable to love or accept you.
One of the scariest thoughts is to wonder “will my mom still love me once I come out?” Often we hear stories of mothers that are unable to love and accept their sons due to religious and cultural values and beliefs. I used to believe there was no possibility a mother could not love and accept their son. I use to believe that a mother simply struggled with accepting their gay son but deep down inside she truly loves him. However, we often hear stories from friends who share that rejection- a rejection that translates “my mother doesn’t love me.” Coming out to our mothers can be a scary experience; the unknown of her reaction or the thought of rejection prohibits many from disclosing their sexual orientation.
However, many mothers were able to put those strong and embedded beliefs aside and put their child’s well-being as a priority. Your love and acceptance has paved the way to a healthier journey of self-acceptance and allowing the creation of healthy Latino gay men in our Latino LGBT community. We are stronger and healthier men because of your love. We are able to embrace every ounce of femininity and masculinity because of your love. We are able to overcome the many struggles and barriers and trials and tribulations we face and will continue to face as gay men of color because of your love. And for that, we thank you.