I am the proud mother of a gay son. When he first told me about his sexual orientation I was distraught, finding it difficult to reconcile my love for him with my understanding of the sinfulness of the lifestyle I believed he had chosen. More troubling, though, was the genuine fear that someone would try to hurt him because of his sexual orientation.
Every day when my son leaves the house, I beg him to call me when he gets to his destination and when he leaves to come back home. Often he returns with frightening stories about being verbally attacked by strangers, solely based on the presumption that he is gay. I love my son. He has excelled academically even though I was not always able to provide him with the resources he needed.
After leaving high school, he won scholarships to study abroad and has been making great strides in his chosen field. I wish more people were open to hearing his story, because he could serve as an inspiration to so many Jamaican young men from poor, single-parent households. I was grateful to hear that Commissioner Owen Ellington has retracted the dangerous statements made by SSP Fitz Bailey. The police force should indeed carry out its mandate without prejudice.
My son is already seen as a villain because of his sexual orientation. Jamaica does not need another reason to indict him for his sexuality. I slept a little more comfortably last night, believing that if one day my son should be attacked by an ignorant homophobe, justice would be served. My journey to accepting my son’s sexuality has been a challenging one, but I never questioned the importance of reassuring him of my love. I hope that other parents of gay and lesbian children can find within themselves the compassion to love and accept their children who are already exposed to so much hate.