Insight: A Mother Shares Her Thoughts


Father and Son

“In my experience, a parent only has one choice and that is to accept your child’s sexuality, in the same way that you accept that her or she has blue eyes and brown hair. If you fail to do so, your child will be lost to you – how sad is that…”

– Lidia Theron, mother and author

Love Me As I Am is a collection of so many touching and heartfelt stories. Some of them, if not downright sad, at least carry an undertone of sadness. I won’t be surprised if some of these gay men carry their scars for life. But, why? Why should it be necessary for these men to even tell their stories? Stories that, if it weren’t for their reference to sexual orientation, perhaps needn’t have to be told. At best, if it weren’t for their homosexuality many of the contributors in the book would’ve lived very ordinary lives.

In many instances, people’s skewed perceptions of what the Bible say and how they interpret the particular verses referring to homosexuality played a massive part in the lives of many of these men. Upon reflection, I have to ask: What is the point of it all, when it brings so much harm?

As a mother of a gay child and having met many gay people throughout the years, I have made a few observations. One of which is the fact that gay people, when coming out of the proverbial closet, experience a period of ‘real’ adolescence, regardless of their age. Some will start clubbing or explore things that are not always fit for their age, because all of a sudden they have a freedom that they didn’t have before. I found this in quite a few of the stories… and it sadly only magnifies the destructive elements within the gay community.

I so wish I could meet these men, if only to give each of them a hug and to say: “Everything is okay. I love you exactly the way you are.” But I also know that for some of them it can never replace the love of a father or mother that they have to go without. I also wish that all parents of gay children will read this book.

I often say to gay people and to the parents of gay children: Have you ever thought about the pain of the other party? Do you really know what is going on in their hearts?

For a gay person it can take years to come to terms with his or her own sexuality. Once they have come ‘out’ to themselves, the rest of the world and their parents must suddenly ‘catch up’… often with very little preparation. It will be so much better if parties on both side of the fence take this into account when they get caught up in the emotions and confusion of coping with ‘coming out’. There are two sides to the story. Both need to be acknowledged.

In my experience, a parent only has one choice and that is to accept your child’s sexuality, in the same way that you accept that he or she has blue eyes and brown hair. If you fail to do so, your child will be lost to you – how sad is that.

Lidia Theron lives in South Africa and is the author of I Back My Child Unconditionally’. She also did a very insightful interview about her own experience and daughter’s coming out with Francois Lubbe, Editor of ‘Love Me As I Am’. Follow this link to read this interview:

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