July 7, 2011

Mama's Boy

"I like Lady GaGa! Born This Way is my song!"- my mother as of 7/5/2011 at around 10:30 pm. She then proceeds to sing the chorus.

Something in me broke at that moment. A single tear rolled down my cheek as I chuckled into the phone.

"Why are you laughing at me?!"- she asks.
"Because that's something I never thought I'd hear you say...." I respond.

We went on to chat for another hour or so but her singing Born This Way just kept playing in my head. My mother, who still listens to old Motown and Christmas music (year-round), had not only heard of Lady GaGa but also loves one of her songs. And not just any song. I think it's a fair statement to say that it's the most LGBTQ- affirming song of our time and my mother, who goes to church every Sunday (and Wednesday) and once called me the son of Satan for being gay, was singing Born This Way to me over the phone. She didn't say much else about it except that she likes Lady GaGa more than Beyonce (Yeah, I made that same face you're probably making right now).

Back to the conversation. Now, we're talking about crime dramas and how she can't watch them because she always cries. She described one episode of a tv show where the criminal was a pedophile and creating child porn. After telling me how long she cried over that episode and has never watched the show again, she says "Now, as long as two consenting adults are having sex, it's fine by me. But not with children!".

She said "two consenting adults." She did NOT say "a man and a woman" like she has told me in the past. Another tear began to slowly stream down my face. I've become very observant of the things my mother says now and as I've mentioned in a similar post (here), she's been subtly using phrases or saying things that make me think she's slowly becoming more accepting of who I am.

On to part two of the conversation. At this point, I'm beginning to tell her that I don't want to go to graduate school in psychology. Instead, I want to go directly into working for an advertising company or something related. I explained to her that the thought of doing 2 years of research to get a graduate degree did not sound appealing to me and that I would probably hate my life. I told her how certain classes I took last semester opened my eyes to the world of advertising. For the first time in a very long time, I actually had a thirst to learn again. I wanted to learn more about the tricks of advertising and everything that goes with it. She initially met me with strong opposition. "But you could become a teacher. You'd make a great teacher! Or you could do therapy. You have this ability to see people for who they are and you can help people in need. Doesn't that sound exciting to you?", she rattled off as soon as I stopped talking. Long story short, we went back and forth for a while before this...

"I just want you to be happy. I want you to build that house you've always dreamed of. I want you to have the nice car you've always wanted. I want my son to be happy. No matter how that happens."

At this point, I began to fully breakdown. Thankfully, she decided to go to bed so I hung up the phone and let the flood gates open. I usually dread to see that my mom is calling me. I've been avoiding talking to her for the past few weeks actually. But by the end of the conversation, I felt like the worst son ever and also the luckiest. She hasn't directly said that she supports me as her gay son, but, part of me feels like she doesn't have to. I know what she means. Every time that I talk to her, I can her it in the "I love you baby" at the end of every conversation. I can sense the pain and longing for her only child in each "How are you doing?". It stabs me in the heart with every "I miss you."

So no, she hasn't said "AJ, I support you for being gay", but, I know in her heart that she does. And that was evident to me tonight. Would I like for her to say it? Hellz yeah! It would lift a great burden off my shoulder. But I know that her saying that could be just as hard as it was for me to first say "I'm gay" to her. So, I won't push. I know that she'll say it when she's ready. Her saying that would be going against everything she was raised on and believes in. It would be cracking her entire faith system, the thing she believes in, loves by, and lives by. So when she's ready, so am I.

I guess that last thing that really hit me after that conversation was this: I'll always be a mama's boy.

I love you Mommy!