A lot of people that don’t understand what it’s like to be gay do harm without even knowing it. That’s what I first thought when I read this story about a couple who lost their son to drug abuse. It didn’t start that way, though — he was a young boy that came out to his mom and dad and was rebuffed. They were a religious family, and their son loved the church life…until he was made to choose between two things he felt very strongly about. It’s difficult to feel like you don’t fit in as it is, but then to have your faith taken away from you? That’s not easy at all.
The article is here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-robertson/just-because-he-breathes-learning-to-truly-love-our-gay-son_b_3478971.html
It’s a tearjerker. In all seriousness. It’s not easy to wake up and admit that you had a heavy hand in your son slipping away from you. She deserves our respect for opening the dialogue. She’s lost her son, and she’s reflecting on that.
What we need to reflect on is loving each other. Yes, that includes straight people. Ii now that’s not going to be a very popular idea, but the truth is that they don’t deserve hatred. We can’t ask for an alliance and then talk about them like they don’t have feelings. Yes, I know that you’re probably hurting right now because you’re not getting the acceptance that you need form the straight people in your life. But if you let yourself get consumed by hatred, you’re not going to be happy either way.
What you need to do is make sure that you’re thinking about the bigger picture here. You need to be able to do the things that really matter to you, rather than just fixating on all of the things that can go wrong with your life.
Linda Robertson focused more on her religion’s views than loving her son. She paid a high, high price and my heart aches for her. I’m not a parent yet, but I know that if I got the chance? I’d love my child no matter what. Love is really what we’re all looking for. Acceptance is something that matters to us.
If you are facing that type of discrimination within your own family, just remember — you’re going to turn of legal age to get on with your life. The Internet is a great place for gay teens to get together and support each other. You don’t have to feel like it’s the end of the world. I know it can feel like that, but plenty of gay teens escape and they move on with their lives. You have to think about survival at a certain point. If you know that you’re in a family that doesn’t believe that you’re going to be able to be part of them unless you subscribe to their views, then the best thing that you can do is be silent. We never want to make anyone feel like they can’t speak up — but you might have to be cautious of who you come out to.
The death of Ryan Robertson is tragic, but we’re used to the loss of gay youth, aren’t we? May we never get so used to the sight of losing young people that we forget what truly kills them: ignorance. A lack of understanding is more dangerous than anything you can ever imagine.
If you’re really looking at the bigger picture, it’s easy to give in to the hatred, the lies, the fear. But you have to rise above that. Otherwise, we’re really just like them. Why hate anyone?
We’re all hurting, in our own way. If you take nothing else from this story, take from it that everyone deserves love. Never turn your back on anyone. You could wake up and find that you’ll never have a chance to make things right.