Parents have many fears for their gay kids when they come out: fears of violence, illness, and discrimination. These feeling are especially amplified today, when private distaste from some gays has been replaced by open hate. Unfortunately, these fears can also lead to denial.
"You know, he isn't gay," Travis' mom tells a close aunt. "No, he is metrosexual, just like David Beckham."'
I'm a firm believer that the power of support is much stronger than that of hate and the opportunity to be open doesn't always lead to a dead end. Even though a openly gay future at home doesn't seem bright at the moment, Travis has found a friend and confidant in his teacher.
"I came out to my teacher. It felt great. I smiled all day long. I didn't know what was happening around me. I didn't care at all. So, why can't i come out to my own mother?"
It'll take some time for Travis to tell his mom about his sexuality and for her to come around. Right now, she's not ready to listen. Still, this is a chance for Travis to slowly bring up the idea and dispel any fears and generalizations she may have about being gay.
Man Up!: How Expectations of Masculinity Can Lead To Violence
In a sense, it's understandable that some parents experience overwhelming fear for their gay kids. After all, much of what we see in the media surrounding homosexuality is either a joke or a travesty. What's missing are the images—the real images—of stable and adjusted LGBT people that don't fall into the stereotype. Regardless of where fingers point, it's up to parents to see beyond what's been told and kids to share their experiences in order to dispel the beliefs.
Travis will have an easier time talking with his mom as soon as she sees that masculinity and sexuality aren't the same thing. So, when she wants him to be more like Beckham, he can help her realize that even with the nice new threads and six pack, he'll still be gay.
Readers give Travis advice on coming out to his mom. Should he butch up or should she bow down? Answer after the jump.