My Son is My Teacher

“I was really concerned about my kids. I dedicated my life to them. They were everything to me in life. If anything were happen to them, i could not imagine my life afterwards, it would be pitch dark for me.

Tolga, my son, was my second child. I was planning to bring him up according to general social values in life and expectations. I made myself believe that i was playing my role perfect as an ideal mother figure. Like most of the mothers, i was observing them constantly, trying to help them out with the troubles they face and clear the path so that they can walk through in life with confidence. When i look at it now, i see that i was completely dependent to them. Now i realise it was more of a controlling than helping them out. My son was quite stressed out and anxious in his puberty years. I was aware that something was different about him. After having long conversations with him and observing his behaviours, i was suspecting that he could be gay or he could think that he was gay. I became anxious and was stressed out as well. When these thoughts battle in my mind, i was cheating myself saying that it was not possible since we were the parents who were bringing him up. This confusion could not go on like that.

One day, i nearly interrogated him, asking many questions, after 5 hours he came out to me, saying that he was gay. I witnessed how he was relaxed after that moment of coming out. He stopped crying and calmed down. Certainly, as he calmed down, my world was upside down and my anxiety was at top. I felt sorrow just like the day i had lost my father years ago…Lost…I lost my son after 17 years. I, identifying myself with him, lost myself as well. I could not recognise him anymore. Homosexuality was completely strange to the ideals that i had for him… How does he feel? What does he think of? In brief, what is homosexuality? My son whom i had known for years, did not exist anymore. He was a stranger. For a while we had got help from a psychologue. The psychologue made me realise about many things. In the meantime, i started to read books and articles about homosexuality. As i gained knowledge, i started to lose my fear. I began to understand why the society was afraid of gays. Ignorance or resistance to a new input in knowledge is the most horrible disease of all i reckon. I started to get acquinted him again from the beginning. In this hetic period, i always asked to myself ‘where could i end up other than loving a person?’. Forcing him to change or trying to make him fit into commonly accepted frame was meaningless. He was my son and meant more than my life to me. What was i afraid of? Was it that he would become someone i would not like him to be? Was it that he was completely different than what i had dreamed of? I realised that mine was a conditional love. Conditional love feeds expectations. When your expectations are met, you think that you love…I wanted to feel the unconditional love. So i started with loving myself first. Consequently, i began to love my children more.

I was born for the second time with him. I got to know myself better. My life and the way i look at life completely changed. When i met with his friends, his lovers, his close circle, i learned so many new things and i enjoyed that. Though it was late, I found the courage to ask myself ‘who am i?’. That is why he is my teacher. I am glad that our son found the courage to come out. Now, i have a completely different view about life and people. I would like to call out to all moms who have homosexual sons or daughters; please listen to your children by heart and try to be in contact as much as possible. Please be kind not to scare them with your prejudices and do not try to change them. Perhaps, you are the ones who should change. Just think for a moment that this system of moral and social values that condemn the other could be perfectly wrong. Read about it in order to gain knowledge first. It is a fact that being gay is not a disease and by rejecting this fact, we prepare an unhealty and unhappy future for them. The real love accepts it all. Just ask yourselves when you deal with your kids: What would love do in this situation?”

August 2006, Radikal Newspaper, Turkey

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