Open Letter To Mothers of a Gay or Lesbian Child

This is an open letter to mothers who are not in a good relationship with their gay or lesbian children:


My son is gay.  I knew that he was gay when I realized that he had too many good things about him to be just one person; I think that he was two years old.  His interests were varied, as were his abilities.  Not only was he more able to get along with both genders better than most adults, but, as he grew up, he was able to converse on a multitude of subjects and participate in a multitude of activities.  Do NOT insert snide remark here. He suffered because of who he was. I didn’t know it; he was that caring to protect me.  




If you are not on good terms with your gay or lesbian child, you and your child will miss out…YOU more than your child.  You will not be let in to his or her world and you will not be entrusted with their love.  You will not be revered, respected or cared about if you do not know what a gift your child is.  The fact that he or she is gay takes away nothing from the priceless life you brought into the world. It is another facet of who your child is and another piece of the magnificent puzzle that is life.

Family Portrait by Bronson B. Page

Family Portrait by Bronson B. Page


As my father said to my son when my son told him that he was gay, “Grandson, that means as much to me as the color of your eyes.” My father was an incredible man, just like my son.



Homosexuality is not a choice; it is part of a human’s makeup. Do you really believe that anyone wakes up one day and says to himself or to herself, “I think that, from now on, I will conduct myself in a completely different and largely unacceptable manner.  I will make myself become attracted to someone of my same sex and I will prefer things that are confusing to all who love me.  I will fight the urges of my physiology, sexuality and chemistry and do the exact opposite.  I want to be someone who is often beat up, harassed and usually dismissed as being less than a human being.  I want to be ridiculed and unloved by my parents and disciplined, sometimes unmercifully, for being other than what they had in mind when they created me.”  Think about that for a few seconds.  What in the Universe would be the gain of such actions?

If you have been unsupportive of your child because he or she is gay, you have just plain been unsupportive of your child.  If you have had angry thoughts or have chastised or punished your child because of their homosexuality, you have acted against the very essence of life.  Your child may very well go on and thrive anyway.  However, it will never be because of anything positive that you did on their behalf.  It will be in spite of all you have done to bring down the very being to whom you gave life. My son and his partner, Sam, had their committment ceremony over a year ago. As the most important icing on the wedding cake, they are now legally married. Sam is so amazing! I could not have asked for a better son-in-law!


Every child teaches his or her parents many things.  They teach us what a true love really is, how much of a child we always will be and they teach us that the world is a wonderful place.  They bring hope to the world while they bring validation to our existence.  They are the children of the Universe…the future…the reason to face another day.  Depriving your child of your love, trust, affection and esteem will cause you to wither and die an unfulfilled human; unloved by the very creature who was meant to love you unconditionally.  Your days will echo with the laughter that might have been and you will look forward to the night because it brings sleep…and, with sleep, escape from the light.

If you are concerned about what sexual acts take place behind the door of privacy, are you so certain that the acts you perform behind those doors…or even elsewhere…are those which you believe are someone else’s business? If you show scorn to your homosexual child, or worse, you have done a crime against nature.  Are you certain that it is wrong for two people to make love…ANY two people…more wrong than two people bringing fear and pain to each other? Have YOU ever been cherished?

I hope that I live long enough to see that marriage between same-gender people is accepted in our culture.  There are so many people who accept hate between people and murder between people. The old hippie saying of “Make Love, Not War” is more blistering a comment on these times than I would ever have imagined.If you want to lose your connection to the Earth and to your time here, all you have to do is forsake your child. 

Do not get me wrong; there is nothing for YOU to forgive. However, there is much for your child to forgive…if you ever get the chance and if you ever see the light. And this is the most important of all of my…tales from a broad.



Bronson’s mother,

Conny E. Van Dyke






20 Responses to “Open Letter To Mothers of a Gay or Lesbian Child”

  1. Wow. I couldn’t be prouder. 🙂 – B

  2. Would love to submit your work on! Contact me!

  3. 2lesbosgoinatit Says:

    Although my parents eventually came around, whenever I think of my mother’s first words to me upon learning . . . 30 years later, it still makes me cry.

    Parents, what you say to your children on this issue is never forgotten. Don’t speak or act until you consider the consequences on your relationship with your child and your child’s happiness in life.

    Bronson is one lucky guy to have you for a mom.

  4. James…I’d be honored for you to submit my article!
    And to 2lesbosgoinatit…good words about the impact parents’ words have on their children. Also, I am glad that your parents grew up and got it…and I’M the lucky mom to have a son like Bronson and a son-in-law like Sam!

  5. justyntyme Says:

    this was beautiful…
    my parents don’t know I am gay…they would disown me if they did…i wish i could share this with them!
    will you be my mom 🙂

  6. Earth-mother that I am, Darlin’, I AM your mom.
    Just continue to be you and, with any justice in the Universe, there will be a time to tell them. Just remember that most people are hard-nosed about what they fear; they fear things that they don’t understand. When and if there is the time to tell them, you will know. Meanwhile, back at the ranch…you are loved.

  7. I do not have any gay people in my family however I do know of some of my friends that do. I am trying to understand not in a judgemental way but for insight. It has been said there is a gene that causes this in people.
    It has always baffeled me why the need to keep who they are a secret for fear of harm or being thrown out of the family. It hurts me to think someone could do that to their child. I detest any hate crimes or abuse of a gay person. It doesn’t come from knowlege just the opposite ignorance. You have to understand first then draw a conclusion if that’s possible. I would like to know more about homosexuality and why some people are. Knowlege is the only way those of us who don’t know first hand what these people feel can possibly do so. We are all members of the human race, all different in our own way. We should respect each other for what we are even if we don’t agree.

  8. Well, Joanne,
    It’s bafflingly simple, and kinda like this: the way you (I assume) feel about men is how I feel about men. I’ve felt this way about men for as long as I can remember, which is about the age of 3.

    I don’t want to be a woman. I like being a man. There’s no environmental ’cause’ for my homosexuality that I can tell. I had plenty of male role models in my life. We actually have a friend, a geneticist, who is studying the genetic differences between men and women, gay and straight, and therefore the genetic coding for gay people, specifically. The fact is, there have been gay people as long as there have been people, throughout all of history, and humans aren’t the only species who exhibit homosexuality.

    The reasons that family and friends reject gays who come out are many, with religious beliefs likely topping the list, and although I am not a Christian, I think that Jesus would have treated us with love and not hate and excommunication.

    Sometimes a child coming out forces family members and friends to deal with their own sexuality, as the gay child represents a trait that they hate in themselves. Nine times out of ten, perpetrators of hate crimes are actually deeply conflicted homosexuals themselves.

    Homosexuality is not a sickness or a disorder, or even something of which I would ever want to change about myself. My relationship is as ‘normal’ as yours. We just have the same plumbing, as it were.

    Some will say that my sex with my husband doesn’t result in procreation, so it’s unnatural, but they don’t consider that heterosexuals aren’t necessarily having sex for procreation all the time either. They’re doing it as an expression of intimacy and love.

    We interact with hundreds of people daily, and never give a second thought to what they do in their most intimate moments. It’s not required for general interaction, and should be a non-issue. In many cases, straight couples are doing everything that gay couples are doing, anyway, so what’s the difference?

    I don’t expect most people to approve of, condone, or applaud my sexuality if it runs counter to their religious beliefs. I, and gay people like me, simply demand the respect due any human being, and the recognition that we do not all follow the same code or religion. No way is right, or only, even though they will tell you that is the case. They are all valid ways to those who believe in them. We just need to stop judging, and stop imposing our values and beliefs on others who don’t share them. It’s important to remember that long before Jesus and Christianity and the Bible, there were many enormous, ancient religions who also claimed to be absolute and only. Now we look at their religious icons as art, and their scripture as mythology, no less fantastic than Christian mythology, and also no more real, credible, or absolute.

    The world is naturally full of diversity. To expect us all to be exactly alike is unnatural. Imposing human constraints onto what is natural is a losing proposition, and it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature.

    I recommend this article, which will go a little further with what people believe about gays, and what’s really so.

    I hope this has cast some light.
    Best regards,
    Bronson, Conny’s son

  9. Bronson,
    Thank you so much for the answer you gave me for it was intellegent and well written. It really helped me understand some of the truth about gay people and get rid of some of the myth. I’m glad you are happy and don’t feel some of the things others do. You are a considerate person and I admire that in you.
    I am a Christian and we don’t believe in this lifestye however I myself know we have choices in life. It’s not up to me to play God or judge. That’s for God. No matter what a person believes they can respect each other, I know that none of us are without something about us someone could find fault with. If we understand and let people be who they are it will be a better world. I hope I’m saying this right. I have the greatest respect for your Mom.
    I know some would disown their child if they were gay. Some I know have, I think that’s awful. If my son where gay I would hope I’d love him the way your Mom loves you. The reason I say that is not because you don’t deserve it or it is some big scrafice, it’s just a shock to a parent. You have helped me so much and I wish Sam and yourself all the happiness in the world. Your Mom is one special lady but you know that. Love to Conny and all of you.

  10. Wow. Just Wow. I’m really glad I stumbled upon this. I hope you don’t mind if I link to it from my blog…I actually got watery eyed when I read this. My mom had, I think, an easier time dealing with the fact that I, her only son, am gay. Dad….well, that’s another story. Thanks again and your son is lucky to have such a cool mom!

  11. […] there was a link to Conny Van Dyke’s Blog and it was on her blog that I came across her post Open Letter to Mothers of a Gay or Lesbian Child and thought, ‘Now THATS a cool assed mom!’. I can think of a number of parents who […]

  12. Chuck,
    I am glad that you found this open letter; it sounds as if it gave you a boost. I guess that I shouldn’t be surprised that folks are reading this post now…it’s the Holiday Season. Nothing surprising about people reading about love and family as the air gets more chill and we look for that warm, happy place by the fire. I am honored that you link to my blog and I send you MOM Hugs xo

  13. thank you! i know it’s a bit late but i’m still glad i stumbled upon your post. bronson’s reply was equally moving. if only somebody would translate this to every language known to man (yes, it was that good :D) so that the rest of the world will be able to get the message, too. I will be posting a link to this site on my blog.

  14. Pop Max,
    Glad you found this post. I hope that you will visit again soon to see other relevant items. And thank you for adding the link to your blog.

  15. Debbye Pinnell Says:

    First I would like to say a heart felt thank you to Nate who posted Conny’s letter. I,too,am the mother of a gay son. I consider myself fortunate and blessed to be Jared’s mom. From the day that he was born,I have loved him unconditionally. When he told us there were things that I had to come to terms with like my own personal religious views. It was at that time I realized what I had been taught to believe about homosexuality in my head was not the same thing that lived in my heart. Jared and his lifemate,Guy,filed a domestic partnership in the state of New York several years ago.I,too,look forward to the day that they can truly be married.Because that will mean to me that the world has taken a giant step forward ,putting hate and prejudice aside and replacing it with love and respect for all human life. I watched a movie last night,PRAYERS FOR BOBBY, and realized that but for the grace of God,that could have been me. I thank God every day that my love for my son outweighed any prejudice or ignorance that at one time may have been a part of me. I love Guy as if he were truly my son.He loves Jared and has made his life complete. I could not ask for a better son-in-law. He is a lovely man and we are blessed to have him in our family. The first part of your letter describing Bronson,could have been describing Jared. I pray that your letter is read by many parents who are struggling to come to terms with what they were TAUGHT to believe and how they feel about their children. If you disown your gay child,you will be the one who loses. Jared has taught us much about unconditional love,true friendship,and what it means to be a human being. Because of him,we have many friends who are gay and I love each and everyone of them,one in particular,who if he ever reads this response will know I am speaking of him 🙂 Thank you for this letter.Thank you,Bronson,for your insight as well. God bless you all.

  16. Thank you Conny for this amazing article. I reached here through Pop Max’s blog. I just came out to my mother and I understand how hard it is for her now to take this new info about me, especially when homosexuality is considered illegal and sick in my country, India. I pray that God gives her strength, just the way He had given me when I was confused and frustrated before finally accepting my sexuality.

    By the way, I too have linked to this article from my blog. Please have a look at it, coz I have used one of your photos. I hope it is okay. It is listed under “Must Reads” in the middle column.

  17. Debbye,
    I am so happy that you were able to relate. Fortunately for me, I was never really taught to believe anything derogatory about folks…period. My maternal grandmother had a few opinions about how things got more complicated when you mix backgrounds, etc. That was from the 40s and 50s; even she evolved ahead of the times. But, other than for manipulating a child, whose business is it who you love? And…honestly, behind closed doors is no one’s business either…gay or straight.
    Love to you, to Jared and to Guy. Stop by any time.xocvd

  18. Crazy Sam,
    Thank you for the link! And, what actress ever complained about having her picture printed.
    You already know to stay true to yourself. I am sending most positive thoughts that your mother will celebrate your life appropriately and know that we are born as we were meant. Our only job is to love.

  19. crzy.d.. Says:

    Since sam decided it’s a must read, read it! 🙂
    i just love the para about ‘homosexuality is not a choice’. it puts into words so elequoently what i feel when i’m tryin to explain my ‘not so straight’ friends to my straight friends. it’s frustrating that i have to explain in the first place and, touchwood, though they might not still understand wholly i know that they will not discriminate and try their best to accept. i really feel that this should be addressed ‘friends and family and the whole world in general'(:D) instead of just mothers coz everyone could do with a dose of unconditional acceptance of who they are as well as the people around them!

  20. Crazy D,
    Thanks for the note. I hope that you will pass along to whomever you think might benefit. It does my heart good to know my letter could be an assist.

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