I know some might be wondering what kind of follow-up e-mails I might have received from my mother. Since there has been a little back and forth, I'm just going to contextualize and share some highlights.
I did not respond to her initial message, since she had said "more to come". So eventually, on Monday the 19th, she wrote back [excerpt]:
I am sorry that you had to wait so long, and I feel I must have failed you in some way that you couldn't tell me sooner. I am sorry I didn't earn your faith and trust. I'm not perfect either!
Have you told your dad? Sarah? David? Katie? My mom? etc? You didn't say not to say anything, but I haven't and won't until you say it's ok. It's your life to decide who know and who doesn't. But I'd like to know... not that I'm going to call or write to any of them and 'talk' about you... but sometimes something like that comes up in a conversation, you know..'
And then there is [My seminary teacher] She's going to be devastated. She told me how she felt she'd be held accountable if she accepted Brandon [Her gay son] the way he is- which I guess is gay from what she said. But I don't agree, you raise up your children as best you can, and then they make their own choices, or go their own way, and you love them even if they become an ax murderer. But from what I gathered talking to her, she can't except him as he is. She didn't say this but the impression I got was he can't come home until he 'cleans up his act'. Sad.
Are you going to tell her?
Well, aside from receiving the same love as an ax-murderer, this e-mail was much more satifying and I think she just doesn't really get that the way she's describing her feelings can be taken in an offensive way.
I told her that she was the last to know, and that I had told my Young Men's leader back in Virginia a while back, but really I wasn't sure about telling anyone from church from my past, (not that I intend to hide, either). She has asked if my roommate was more than just a love interest, and I told her no, that I hoped she'd think I could do better than that--no offense to my roomie. She replied:
Well, actually I had hoped [he wasn't your boyfriend], but if I was wrong, I wouldn't want you to think I didn't like him, I do he's a nice guy... is he straight or gay? I assume he knows. Do you have a 'love interest'?
Then she offers some motherly advice, which I find a bit revealing about why she might have never been able to remarry...
And I'll tell you the same thing I would no matter what sex prefernce... Don't have sex lightly... I think... I know from hearing it, that masterbation is a big no-no, but I think 'self service is better than getting involved in a relationship based on lust. And I'm sure I don't have to tell you about STDs. A good rule of thumb in finding 'the one for you' is... make a list of the 10 things you must have... and the 10 things you just can't live with. For me I couldn't live with someone I can't talk with.. or who loves Country western Music or the Beatles..... and hates what I love in music... I can listen to some for a little bit, but I've got to have my stuff most of the time, I need someone who can love most of what I love... I'm sure that sounds shallow But you've got to know what you can live with. Someone who is never on time? always? mellow ? compulsive? honest? sloppy neatnic? Politically inline with you? etc.... if you can really make the two lists... and in talking to the person who you are interested, you can steer the conversation around to these topics with out being obvious...you have a better idea of if it can be a long term relationship...
And wrapping up one of her messages she reiterated
I am sorry you felt like I would have dissed you. I thought I had expressed that I loved you no matter what. you know... unconditionally......
I guess when I really think about it, I have a really wonderful mother. I hope she and I can become truly comfortable with everything. My prayers go out to the parents of all my fellow moho's who might not have as easy of a time with their folks. Good luck, it feels good to be "out".