Friday Feedback: A Grandmother and Her Gay Grandson

istock_000001483014xsmall.jpgFridays the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Carmen, responding to “What If Your Child Is Gay?” by K. Danielle Edwards.

Here’s Carmen’s comment:

I am the grandmother of a 17-year-old grandson that I am raising. My grandson came out at 13 years of age. I remember thinking that this was not something that I dreamed of for him, but even more I was scared for him. We are Black and in our community and also in my family, being gay, at that time, was not eagerly accepted. I constantly wanted to keep him with me to shield him from the craziness and brutality of a community that looks at gays like they have no right to live.

I remember wondering if he had a sexual encounter or was it something that I over looked while he was growing up. Then I thought maybe he was around just women too often. You are right when there is this part of you that wonders if this is just a phase or gender issues. I remember thinking will he out grow this or maybe, just maybe, some aggresive young lady would see this as a challenge and try to conquer him liking young men. Once he had an experience with a young woman, maybe he would change.

Then I prayed. One thing I knew for sure was that I loved and would love my grandson, even if he was gay. I also realized that I needed to educate myself, so that I could educate others around us, especially our family. His dad, my son, was not receptive and was hurt. He felt that he had done something wrong. I could feel and see his pain. The upside of this was that my grandson felt comfortable enough with his dad to come out to him. To this I felt his was also reaching out for guidance and support.

To date, my grandson, son, and I receive counseling. I am constantly trying to secure information to understand this issue. I want to support my grandson in all of his endeavours. Our family is becoming supportive. I still sometime wonder what has happened that so many young men and women are coming out now. Do you know the answer??


  1. Carl Matthes says

    No one has done anything wrong – not even God! Your willingness to listen and learn is amazing. I would encourage you to know that your grandson may encounter a lot of hate and discrimination from friends, his school, church, society, etc. and the more understanding and acceptance he receives at home the better that prepare him to handle those things. I would suggest not putting labels on your 17 year-old grandson. Except, perhaps, that he is your grandson. If he wants to label himself that is his privilege. In any case, he doesn’t need hate coming at him. You may know of PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. They can be very helpful. As to why many young people are willing to come out now is the fact that it feels much safer to admit your inner feelings to friends and family. The newspaper and TV are full of positive info and attitudes are changing. Our President is setting the right tone, some churches are accepting, educators have been, well, educated about the LGBT community. A big plus is that the gay community itself is now able to see itself as a positive force in supporting each other (there is less self-hate now), in the community and in the life of our nation.
    As someone who may be older than you, and who has gone through the process of learning and acceptance, it will get better for you, your family and grandson. Congrats on your willingness to learn and love.

  2. Skip says

    Hurrah for Grandma. Doing the right thing is hard but she gets my vote for being courageous and a loving person. You go Granny.

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