Those are the words two separate families heard at separate times, two different reactions, two different boys building up the courage to finally utter the words “I have a boyfriend”. These two boys know not of each other nor have they ever met.
One, we shall call Adam, he has a single mom and is all of 16 years of age. The other boy, or rather man, we will call Luke, he’s 21 with a stay at home mom and a father that works for a good company. None of the fluff matters, who their parents are, what they do for a living or whether they are single or married, it does not matter.
I happened to be sitting between Adam’s mother and Luke’s father at the end of a table which seated 12 people one night. We were all enjoying drinks, laughing, joking around and having a good time, it was a get together of like minds and a few of us had just met for the first time. As you do, you start to talk to the respective’s and it turned out that Luke’s father came from Cape Town. This naturally got us talking the lingo and about the life down here versus life in London.
The conversation at the table eventually turned to finding me a husband, my visa had been rejected for the last time and now they were all trying to come up with back up plans. Luke’s dad piped up “I would offer you my son, perhaps he will be game though I don’t know what my son-in-law-to-be will think”. I cracked up immediately, he and I come from similar stock, I understood exactly what he meant, this was just a comment and at the same time for him it was normal like saying “daughter-in-law-to-be”.
Adam’s mom took a double take, her jaw just dropped. She then told us about her son and how when he told her that he was gay she had been really upset. She told us how she was torn in two by it for she loved him but had never planned this for him. She was still upset by the fact that her son was gay and couldn’t get her head around the fact that here sat a MAN who was ok with his SON’s sexuality.
She sat there for a few moments then turned to Luke’s dad and asked “Why are you ok with your son being gay, does it not upset you?”. That was when I witnessed one of the most beautiful conversations I have ever heard in my life. He turned to her with kindness in his eyes and said to her “I have suspected that Luke was not into women for a long time, that he preferred men and because I suspected this I tried to make it easier for him to be open about it.”.
This stunned Adam’s mother beyond belief and she asked him why he had not told Luke that he knew or broached the subject sooner. Luke’s father just said “If I had forced the issue and not allowed him to come to me then I would have been seen as judging, which I wasn’t. If I had brought up the question of his sexuality I may have put him in a box which I did not want to do, I did not raise him to think that he WILL be a doctor only that it is one of the many options available to him, same with sexuality. I wanted to see how he evolved and how he transformed into his true self. All I could do through it all was just be there, listen and continue to show that I was never judging only loving of who he is and that it made no difference whether he liked boys or girls just not sheep”.
She then asked him if he was disappointed with how his son had turned out and he responded with “Luke is Luke, he is my son and I love him for who he is, he is a part of me, he will only disappoint me when he is not true to himself, only then will I be upset”. Jaw dropping again, we were stunned and I was once again grinning from ear to ear.
This blew Adams mother away, it blew me away, she couldn’t though understand how he could be like this. It wasn’t ever in a nasty way, she was grappling with this push and pull in her heart and soul. We have all felt something of this, none of us are immune. This woman is truly amazing, seriously, I love her to bits and this was a very profound conversation for her. Seeing her internal fight, Luke’s father explained to her that her reaction is not wrong, it doesn’t mean she is a bad person it just means that she was brought up with a different set of “rules”. Our society teaches us wrong and rights and we live by them, the commandments if you will, just because “they” set them out doesn’t mean they are wrong, sin, or anything else.
He then went on to explain that coming from a city like Cape Town where being gay, having gay friends or having a child that is gay is normal. While walking in the streets of Cape Town it is no shock to see two men holding hands or two women for that matter, it is rare that anyone will blink an eye lid at all. Yes there are still people who can’t stand to be around homosexuals or anyone that doesn’t fit into their predefined boxes but the majority don’t care.
Two different parents, two different societies, two different views. Luke’s father said it was because he came from a place where sexuality didn’t matter, that he would walk his son down the isle. Is it because he grew up in a more free thinking society or is it because of his security in the knowledge of who he is and what he prefers?
In Cape Town same-sex marriage has been legal since November 2006, the “news” says that one out of four girls has at least kissed the same sex, one in ten boys has done the same.
I am the same as Luke’s dad, I don’t care what you are, you can be the President or in a same sex marriage, you can be blue, yellow or Martian, I really don’t care. None of that fluffy stuff matters, we all have the ability to be an asshole, we all have that choice, that’s what matters.
Do you hate what happened in South Africa, all those years of Apartheid and sanctions, then turn on the TV and watch the Olympics in China?
Do you castigate and rip off a homosexual person only to go home and fantasize about a threesome or sleeping with someone of the same sex?
Freedom to vote is great.
Freedom to love who you want to, now that is true human rights.
In my personal opinion a homophobic(ist) is the same as a racist, if not worse.
You don’t have to be African to fight the Apartheid, you don’t have to be White to fight it either, you just have to be human.
You don’t have to be a lesbian or a gay man to fight this Apartheid, you don’t have to be straight, you just have to be human.
Are you human?
The box of which “sexuality” you are is the new Apartheid of the world, it is an old one but now it has a name.
Now fight it
This post was inspired by Lindsey who’s post’s brought this conversation back to me, the posts are Discovering the Girl God sees: a lesbian’s story, Gay Marriage Vs. Polygamy and Bestiality and Does that box come in my size? Vanessa’s post I am NOT an abomination! is also a must read.
*names and some identifying details have changed