It’s Mother’s Day for 96 countries around the world today (12 May) so, as Oprah Winfrey once famously said: ‘Well hello! Let’s celebrate that!’
And what better way to celebrate than by sharing sweet stories from LGBTI kids about when they came out to their mom?
Of course, it’s not always the case that everyone’s coming out experience with their mom is a positive one.
For this reason, it’s important to celebrate in how far we’ve come, but how much we still have yet to do.
Grace Morgan, 28, lesbian, Manchester, UK
I was 17 and got home from the pub.
I went up to her bedroom (a little tipsy) and she was reading in bed. So I sat down next to her and started crying.
She asked me what was up (whilst still reading) and I said I had something to tell her. So she was like ‘Go on then, love’ (book still in hand) and I told her I was gay.
She put her book down and her response was ‘Do you think there’s a problem with that?’ to which I defensively said no, and she said ‘Well then what are you crying for? I don’t understand why you’re sad’.
I said I didn’t know. She then said ‘Ok then love, well you don’t need to cry. I’m gonna keep reading now so I’ll see you in the morning. Off to bed’.
That was it. No questions ever asked.
It was almost like she was confused as to why I even needed to tell her in the first place! It was the perfect reaction.
From that day, I’ve been lucky enough to never be scared to ‘come out’ and be who I am.
Tommaso Remia, 24, gay, Porto San Giorgio, Italy
She hugged me and asked me to stop crying.
Then she told me: ‘I hope you don’t actually think this makes any difference to me because if you do, it means I’ve failed as a parent’.
Beth Granter, 36, queer/bisexual, London, UK
My mum brought me up expecting me to be bi.
So not sure if it counts as coming out, but first time I kissed a girl, I told her the next day and she said: ‘Oh how exciting, what was it like?!’
She wanted all the gossip.
Kyle Stewart, 30, gay, Tamworth, UK
I came out on my 18th birthday after my mum got me drunk to lower my defences then asked me.
She asked what gender of stripper I would’ve preferred if she were to have booked one – clever!
She was amazing though, she’d always known but waited for me to be comfortable enough to tell her. She’d left opportunities out in the open for me to tell her before, but I always bottled it.
Nowadays, 12 years on, she takes me to march at Pride in London every year with her work (Levi’s). This has given me an opportunity to not only bond with my mum over Pride, but also for me and her to meet other LGBTI parents and advocates, including her becoming good friends with Stuart Milk!
Mirte Van De Kerckhove, 18, bisexual, Antwerp, Belgium
I told my mother I was bi using a letter and her answer was so sweet.
She said she just wanted me to be happy and she doesn’t ‘care’ if it’s with a boy or girl. After her reaction, I could fully accept myself.
She means the world to me and I’m so thankful for her reaction.
Kiran Evans, 23, gender fluid, UK
I wanted to change my name for a few years and my family already knew that.
I see it as I gave them (rather than ‘came out’ about my identity) that final piece of me that was missing all my life.
My birthday seemed to be the most appropriate and special for my mum, dad and myself. So on 14 September last year, I was reborn.
They have always been and will always be so supportive of my life journey.
Using my new name and pronouns was difficult for them as it would be for most people. But they always use my correct name and pronouns, even when I’m not in the room.
They continue to educate themselves about LGBTI terminology as well as others around them. They’re true allies and role models.
Through watching shows such as Drag Race and keeping up with iconic queer celebrities such as Miss Fame, Sasha Velour, Ezra Miller, and Jamie Windust, they all inspire me to go against the binary, and they continue to do so as well as many other openly non-binary people out there too.
Josh Milton, 23, gay, London, UK
I came out to my mother via 20 questions.
In the background, the TV was on and it was the day the episode of Ugly Betty that Justin comes out as gay aired in the UK!
‘See? If Justin is gay, so can you,’ she said.
Savannah Rodgers, 24, pansexual, Los Angeles, US
My mom responded incredibly well.
She said: ‘Is that what all the fuss is about?’
She then told me she loved me and hugged me. In retrospect, she may have been a bit exasperated because of how dramatic it was.
Editor’s note: Savannah shared her full coming out story in a Ted Talk. Watch below:
Caleb, 27, gay, Nashville, US
I came out to my mom by saying something like ‘I’m dating someone and it’s a boy’ and she was like ‘Is he nice? Does he treat you well? What’s his name?’
I thought it was going to be a bigger deal for whatever reason, but it was very chill.
That was my first boyfriend and we were together for almost three years. She even had a picture of us as her lock screen on her phone.
Michelle Edmonson, 24, lesbian, Ontario, Canada
My grandmother is my mother as I have no relationship with my biological mother.
I blurted out very anxiously: ‘I’M GAY’ and she looked up from her newspaper and said ‘Oh hunny, I know.’
Moms know us better than we know ourselves.
My grandma raised me from birth and never stopped loving me despite her generation’s views on LGBTI people.
She even asked me one day: ‘How to I do an unfriend on Facebook?’ because one of her friends posted a homophobic slur.
Kyle McGovern, 24, bisexual, Blackwood, South Wales
I first came out to my mum on a night out via text, and I was beyond scared of the response so I deleted her response before I even opened it.
The next day when I got in, she said to me: ‘Who you fall in love with does not a make a single bit of difference to me. It doesn’t matter what you are or who you love, all that matters to me is that you’re happy. I’ll love you no matter what, Kyle.’
The first few weeks I didn’t really talk about it with her apart from that, but now I’m so open with her about everything.
Her response is the reason why I’m so open about my sexuality with her now.
John Longland, 30, gay, London, UK
My mum asked me a couple of times whether I was gay or interested in men (computer browser history innit) and I had always denied it.
Then one day, I met a guy and was like: ‘I’m gonna come out’.
I was so scared, got home and got into bed and texted my mum saying: ‘I need to speak to you’.
She came in and was like: ‘What’s happened?
I ‘urmed’ and ‘arhed’ and tried to get her to ask me again. Anyway, she didn’t, so I just said ‘I have a boyfriend’ and winced.
She was just like: ‘Oh, is that all? I thought something was wrong? Do you want a cup of tea?’
I said ‘No’ and then she just said ‘goodnight’ and told me she loves me.
Mia, 22, bisexual, Ontario, Canada[My mom] asked me: ‘Mia, are you bisexual?’ because she saw me posting about it on Facebook.
I responded: ‘Yes.’
Her reaction? ‘Me too!’
I wasn’t really surprised but I was happy when she told me. It was sweet to me that she decided to tell me like.
After I told her, she bought me a bisexual pride flag to hang in my room.
Michael Barnett, 33, gay, Essex, UK
I was so worried as she had always suggested that she didn’t think being gay was right.
So I wrote her a ‘coming out’ letter and left it for her knowing that I wouldn’t see her until the next morning.
When I got up, all she did was give me a hug and say ‘It’s Ok’ and everything’s been the same ever since.
So, sometimes, you may not actually know what someone thinks or how they might react to something and it just might be Ok.