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A Gay Son's Tribute to His Mom

A Gay Son's Tribute to His Mom

For years I ran toward drugs and gay relationships while my mother persisted in prayer and trusted in God's faithfulness.
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My mom was born in China and didn't know the Lord. She came to America for graduate school, but instead married my father against her parents' wishes. Because of her strained relationship with her parents, she longed to create a new family with my father where she could belong and be loved. With hard work and persistence, my mother helped my father receive two doctoral degrees and establish a successful dental practice.

On the outside, they were living the "American Dream." They seemed to have it all: a new dream home in the suburbs of Chicago, two luxury cars, and two sons in dental school. According to the ways of the world, my mother should have been happy. But she was completely miserable. I knew this because even when I was a child and my parents argued—which was often—I was the shoulder on which my mother would cry. They had already begun the paperwork for a divorce when I decided to make a public declaration.

On May 17, 1993, I came home after my first year at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry and announced to my parents: "I am gay." This devastated my mom. News of my death would have been easier for her to take than this. She thought an ultimatum would bring me to my senses, and demanded that I choose either the family or "that" (she could not even say the word gay). In my mind, there was no choice. I could not change. It felt like I had been disowned, but to my mother, I had betrayed her. Without a church family, she had no one to turn to, so she started looking through the phone book and listening to the radio in the hopes of finding help. When she was at the end of her rope, she resolved to do the unthinkable—she was going to end her life.

A changed heart

After seeing a minister who gave her a pamphlet on homosexuality, my mom bought a one-way Amtrak ticket to Louisville and planned to say goodbye to me before ending her life. With only her purse and that pamphlet, she embarked on a journey that changed her life forever. As she began to read the pamphlet on the train, she was immediately captivated. It explained the plan of salvation— that all of us are sinners, yet God still loves us in spite of our sin. The eyes of her heart were opened as she realized that just as God loves her, she could still love me . . . in spite of my living as a gay man. Before, she could not find it in herself to love her gay son. But now she realized she could do nothing other than love me as Christ had first loved her. My mother, who had not been searching for God, had been found by her loving Creator.

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From Issue:
Today's Christian Woman, 2014, February Week 1
Posted February 5, 2014

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May Week 1
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Why I Don't Go to Church on Mother's Day

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A Reflection on Raising Boys

A Reflection on Raising Boys

A real, live, former boy’s letter to his mom
Learning (and Relearning) to Forgive My Mother

Learning (and Relearning) to Forgive My Mother

The compelling message of love and grace
A Tribute to Mothers

A Tribute to Mothers

What a few TCW contributors have to say about their moms

ratings & comments

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Displaying 1–3 of 21 comments

Echo

March 18, 2014  4:03am

Yo D. Aaron celibacy isn't a way to hide or ignore your own desires it's actually a way to devote yourself whole heartedly to God. God is a jealous God remember, so having relationships like with your children or husband is actually taking time from him. But he is also an understanding God as well so he loves those who marry just as much. God appreciates a married man who loves him but he appreciates a single person even more. And it shouldn't bother you so much he's the one that's struggling with that not you.

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lew

March 07, 2014  3:03pm

Mike.....He said this at the end of the article. It 'leads' one to believe he is practicing. May not be so, but he's being coy and should say what he is one way or the other. 'The eyes of her heart were opened as she realized that just as God loves her, she could still love me . . . in spite of my living as a gay man.'

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T.G.

February 20, 2014  12:35pm

D. Aaron, if Christopher isn't blaming his mother for her initial response, I don't feel anyone else has the right to, either. People's responses to anything is partly about their culture and what they know. As far as what I believe God's desires are, I look to scripture, and try to live it out with the grace of Christ. I call anything I might deny myself of, because of it not aligning with Scripture, a sacrifice.

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