Dr. Hapgood, your cruise director (hapgood) wrote,
Dr. Hapgood, your cruise director

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A chain post worth engaging in

A Mother's Reflections

The following is a very strong and moving letter
written by the mother of
a gay boy in Vermont...

"Many letters have
been sent to the Valley News concerning the homosexual
menace in Vermont. I
am the mother of a gay son and I've taken enough from
you good people. I'm
tired of your foolish rhetoric about the "homosexual
agenda" and your
allegations that accepting homosexuality is the same thing
as advocating sex
with children. You are cruel and ignorant. You have been
robbing me of the
joys of motherhood ever since my children were tiny.

My firstborn son
started suffering at the hands of the moral little thugs from your moral,
upright families from the time he was in the first grade. He was physically and
verbally abused from first grade straight through high school because he was
perceived to be gay.

He never professed to be gay or had any association
with anything gay, but
he had the misfortune not to walk or have gestures
like the other boys. He
was called "fag" incessantly, starting when he was

In high school, while your children were doing what kids that age
should be
doing, mine labored over a suicide note, drafting and redrafting
it to be sure his family knew how much he loved them. My sobbing 17-year-old
tore the heart out of me as he choked out that he just couldn't bear to continue
living any longer, that he didn't want to be gay and that he couldn't face a
life without dignity.

You have the audacity to talk about protecting
families and children from the homosexual menace, while you yourselves tear
apart families and drive children to despair. I don't know why my son is gay,
but I do know that God didn't put him, and millions like him, on this Earth to
give you someone to abuse. God gave you brains so that you could think, and it's
about time you started doing that.

At the core of all your misguided
beliefs is the belief that this could never happen to you, that there is some
kind of subculture out there that people have chosen to join. The fact is that
if it can happen to my family, it can happen to yours, and you won't get to
choose. Whether it is genetic or whether something occurs during a critical time
of fetal development, I don't know. I can only tell you with an absolute
certainty that it is inborn.

If you want to tout your own morality, you'd
best come up with something more substantive than your heterosexuality. You did
nothing to earn it; it was given to you. If you disagree, I would be interested
in hearing your story, because my own heterosexuality was a blessing I received
with no effort whatsoever on my part. It is so woven into the very soul of me
that nothing could ever change it. For those of you who reduce sexual
orientation to a simple choice, a character issue, a bad habit or something that
can be changed by a 10-step program, I'm puzzled. Are you saying that your own
sexual orientation is nothing more than something you have chosen, that you
could change it at will? If that's not the case, then why would you suggest that
someone else can?

A popular theme in your letters is that Vermont has
been infiltrated by outsiders. Both sides of my family have lived in Vermont for
generations. I am heart and soul a Vermonter, so I'll thank you to stop saying
that you are speaking for "true Vermonters."

You invoke the memory of the
brave people who have fought on the battlefield for this great country, saying
that they didn't give their lives so that the "homosexual agenda" could tear
down the principles they died defending. My 83-year-old father fought in some of
the most horrific battles of World War II, was wounded and awarded the Purple

He shakes his head in sadness at the life his grandson has had to
live. He says he fought alongside homosexuals in those battles, that they did
their part and bothered no one. One of his best friends in the service was gay,
and he never knew it until the end, and when he did find out, it mattered not at
all. That wasn't the measure of the man.

You religious folk just can't
bear the thought that as my son emerges from the hell that was his childhood he
might like to find a lifelong companion and have a measure of happiness. It
offends your sensibilities that he should request the right to visit that
companion in the hospital, to make medical decisions for him or to benefit from
tax laws governing inheritance.

How dare he? you say. These outrageous
requests would threaten the very existence of your family, would undermine the
sanctity of marriage. You use religion to abdicate your responsibility to be
thinking human beings. There are vast numbers of religious people who find your
attitudes repugnant. God is not for the privileged majority, and God knows my
son has committed no sin.

The deep-thinking author of a letter to the
April 12 Valley News who lectures about homosexual sin and tells us about "those
of us who have been blessed with the benefits of a religious upbringing" asks:
"What ever happened to the idea of striving . . . to be better human beings than
we are?"

Indeed, sir, what ever happened to that?

If you believe that homosexuals deserve the same rights as everyone else,
this, and be thankful that there are people like this mother, because
them, where would we be?

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