I have a son. He is not the only son I have but this son is gay. I love all my sons, they are beautiful persons, each having unique qualities, each one a treasure.
But, today, I would like to specifically share my experience about this particular son.
This son of mine, of ours, was born to us around midnight, one day in November, some 30 years back.
He was a boy like any other, playing and fighting with his siblings, interested in some things and not in others and doing well at school in spite of the many challenges we were facing as a family raising his younger brother with a disability.
He had, unfortunately, also witnessed the tragic accident that resulted in the loss of his baby sister while he was still of a tender age himself.
Considering all the challenges we had been facing, I could see that, as he was growing up, he was exhibiting certain beautiful characteristics and values that I was very proud of.
He was a loving and caring individual, always asking how one was feeling, making sure they were comfortable or getting them the things they needed to make them feel welcomed.
People and family loved being around him because he made everyone feel special and he always had time to listen to them.
He had an artistic streak in him too and wished to have an opportunity to perform. We took him to lessons and rehearsals regularly. We went to watch his performances and were enthusiastic about his achievements.
He always strived to do his best. He continued his studies and graduated. And, then, he decided to move abroad.
I knew that, one day, this would happen as he always had this wanderlust to travel, to see new places, to explore other civilisations.
It pained me that he would be judged, he would be sidelined, he would be rejected and insulted and hated. I was pained because I loved him so much and I did not want to see him suffer- Louisa Grech
However, there was another reason he needed to move out. He felt suffocated, unable to express himself honestly, to be who he is, to live what he is.
Since his secondary school days, there were moments when I could see that he was different. I began to understand, but not truly accept, that he might be gay.
I did not want it to be true, not because of who he is but of the suffering he would encounter because of who he is. It pained me that he would be judged, he would be sidelined, he would be rejected and insulted and hated.
I was pained because I loved him so much and I did not want to see him suffer.
When the truth was finally out, I hugged him and kissed him and told him I loved him with all my heart, my soul, my being.
How could it be otherwise? He was a part of me. I gave him life. I was there for him when he was a baby, a toddler, a child, a teen, an adult. And I will continue to love him all the days of my life and beyond. How can it be otherwise? He is my child, my son!
My wish for my children has always been one – to see them happy. Happy in their life, happy in their work, happy in their relationships. We were so pleased when we learnt that he had met a partner.
This partner became his soulmate and, last year, they tied the knot. It was a magical experience, an experience of love, of commitment to one another, a promise to share their life journey and be there for one another.
And all the people there – their families, their friends – they too were surrounding them with their love and support. What a beautiful experience!
God was awesomely present throughout this journey and will continue to be with us all throughout the rest of our lives!
I would like to thank Drachma Parents, who also supported us on this journey, who gave us a safe space to talk and open up our hearts, to feel that we are not alone in this journey and that, when our story is shared, we feel comforted and strengthened to move on and be champions for our children.
Louisa Grech is coordinator of Drachma Parents, a group of Catholic parents of LGBTQI+ persons, offering support and a safe space. To contact the group, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 9945 4581.