It was the early half of 2010 when I knew if I wanted to be happy, I’d have to start dating other women. I was a sophomore in college at the time, and it still took me quite a while to admit to myself I was actually attracted enough to girls to date them, let alone admit I’m gay. It was sometime after Easter when I was sitting in my dorm in Chicago and just had a terrible fit of anger over the phone with my mom. She asked me, “What is wrong with you lately, why are you being so negative and bitchy?” I told her she would never understand, and proceeded to hang up the phone. I looked over at my cousin who was visiting me that weekend and she suggested that I call my mom back and tell her I am gay. I couldn’t stop crying. I was so mad, I didn’t think anyone could possibly understand the identity crisis I’d been going through for so long. I called back, and I told her that I had to tell her what was going on with me. I remember saying “You won’t understand, no one understands, no one I know has had to go through this.” I begged her to guess what it was, and the first thing she asked was, “is it a relationship?” and I said “No”, though I felt in that moment she had a slight idea of what was happening. She told me that she didn’t want to guess, and I needed to just tell her. I looked out of my window at that moment to the city and I said “but, I’m gay” and started hysterically crying. Her immediate response was, “I know sweetie, that’s ok.” We talked for a little longer until I ended up falling asleep. At that moment, an unbelievable amount of weight was lifted from my shoulders.
The next day she called and when I answered she was crying. She was apologetic because I had went through the coming out process alone, commenting on how difficult that must have been for me. She then said, “Lauren, it doesn’t matter who you love. All that matters is that you can love.” The most beautiful and simple sentence I’ve heard to this day.
In the two years of my being out of the closet, my mom has joined PFLAG in the city she lives in, and is even on the board. She heads meetings, marches in the LGBT pride parades holding a “I love my lesbian daughter” sign. She and my stepdad are the only straight couple at an LGBT church as well. I am so fortunate to have my mom so supportive of who I am, and I’m not even kidding when I say she knows more gay people than I do. She refers to herself now as a “fruit fly”, and has rainbow decals all over the house and car. She considers my love for women as much a part of her life as it is mine. Last time I went home she thanked me. She said, “I’m so happy you’re gay. I’ve never thought about this demographic of people before in my life. I’m so happy to be a part of this community now too.”