A few years ago, I was going through a rather rough time.
I have the tendency to not sleep or eat well when I work through sadness, anger or/and hurt. This particular patch was rather rough and it had been going on for about a week. I was not willing to talk about it with anyone in my family as I did not want to burden them so everyone tried to leave me alone. After a few days, I knew that my mom was starting to get seriously worried about my wellbeing and so I decided to hang out with her in an attempt to make small talk to ease her concern.
After a little chit-chat, my mom said something to the effect of “When something bothers me and I cannot openly discuss it, I like to go to church to talk to God or to total strangers to tell them about whatever is bothering me. This way even if they judge me, I don’t know them so it won’t matter to me. I realize what you are going through might be something that is not easy to talk about. Maybe it is difficult to talk about it even with total strangers but why don’t you go to people who are like you and talk to them?”
My ex long-term partner and I were having serious issues and I did not have the language to tell my mom and I did not think my mom had the language by which to understand my relationship issues with another woman.
My mom was 71 years old then and I had never thought of coming out to her. And, other than my frequent declarations from an early age that I would never marry a man, my mom and I have never had open conversations about my being queer.
And, although I am sure it made (and still makes) no sense to her, at the point while I was hurting, she prioritized my well-being over her own confusion and uncertainty. She was able to accept my difference and to realize that that difference is frowned upon.
She then pointed me to “my people”. Who she knew would have my back. And that is what I did. I went to “the people who are like me”. My mom sensed that I had a people who were my home.
And they had my back. My fellow queers. My LGBTQI+ community. My shield.
Happy pride month, my people.