Daniel Williams, a field organizer and legislative specialist with Equality Texas, brings us this guest post after the organization's highly visible lobby day last week.
Mother of Gay Son reaches out to Capitol Staffer After Rude Treatment
By Daniel Williams
Equality Texas held our Lobby Day last Monday, March 11. Equality Texas seeks to build a state of equality in Texas where all people are treated equally regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. We had almost 500 people at lobby day from 103 House Districts and all 31 Senate Districts.
Burnt Orange Report was kind enough to ask us for a report of the day. As I sat down to write this e-mail popped up on my screen. It's from a mother from Spring. She participated in Lobby Day with a group of parents and grandparents of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender kids. Some members of the group had been treated rudely by a staffer for Sen. Dan Patrick. The staffer told the group that “homosexuals” were seeking “special rights,” compared homosexuality to “bestiality” and said that she would be disgusted if her child or grandchild was gay. The group of constituents she spoke with, all straight, was so upset that one of the mothers wound up in tears.
After reading the response from this mother I couldn't think of a better explanation of why we do
what we do at Equality Texas.
Read her letter below the jump.
On March 11, 2013 you met with some very dear friends of mine. We were all in Austin lobbying with Equality Texas. We are with a group called PFLAG Houston. PFLAG is an acronym for Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays. It is a support group for gay people and the people who love them. We specifically educate people on sexual orientation and advocate for our loved ones.
I want to share with you why they were in your office and how your treatment of them affected all of us. We come to Austin, not as you suggested, for “special treatment” for our children, but for “EQUALITY” for our children. I have never nor will I ever ask for more for my child than what your child has.
You, as a Mother, must know how painful it would be to see your own darling heart outside your body being marginalized and mistreated. You see having a gay child is not something horrible. (I know you think it is because you told my friends that if your child or grandchild was gay you would be disgusted.) It is actually a blessing.
I know first-hand because my most precious angel is a young gay man. I knew very early on that my son was probably gay. He liked to play with dolls and he had several male cousins his age and he was just not interested in the rough and tumble things they were doing. They would be terrorizing the dog, climbing trees and creating all forms of mischief but he would be right up under me asking about recipes, wanting to help me around the house, painting or writing. He has always been the sweetest, most thoughtful child. I have never for one second found anything about him to be disgusting. I have cherished every waking minute of the last seventeen years and I am confident he is going to make the world a more wonderful and loving place just by his sheer presence in it.
I know from my own experience with you back in 2011 that your Bible is very important to you. I was with a group from Equality Texas that year and when we said why we were in the office you made quite a production of pulling out your Bible and treating us all quite coolly.
I want you to know that we didn't deserve that. My husband and I have always been active in the church. His devotion was such that he was actually in seminary for a brief time. We have devoted countless hours and tens of thousands of dollars to the church. I have baked casseroles, tended to the sick, loved those in my church like they were my own.
When my son officially came out to me the first question he asked me was “Am I going to Hell?” and I cannot express to you how heartbroken I was that he would even have been exposed to such a harsh and unloving message. I prayed that night and asked God to tell me if everything was going to be okay. I asked that he tell me if he still loved me and my son. I got the most wonderful overwhelming feeling of peace, love and happiness at that moment and I know He was saying HIS love is for each and every one of us. It is not based on anything but compassion and caring.
Reducing a mother to tears is not appropriate. It hurts to have someone say hateful things about your child. I implore you to not only apologize these constituents for suggesting that a mother wanting equal rights for her child will lead to people wanting to have sex with animals but to open your heart and mind.
People are born gay. It is not a choice. I know this for a fact because I witnessed it in my own Christian household. I think you and I are not so different that we could not find common ground to discuss this. We are both strong, southern women who hold firm to our beliefs of family, religion and country. Perhaps you would find it in your heart to meet with me in the next few weeks so that I might tell you face to face how important it is to see the other side of a coin.
Having compassion for someone can only make you a stronger wiser person. Please call me and let me know if we can meet. I can drive down from Houston anytime. We could meet in your office or I could treat you to a tasty lunch. I assure you that once you get to know some of these PFLAG parents you will see them as heroes. We fight for our children because they are worthy. They are beautiful. They are loving and loved. They are Americans and they deserve equal (not more or special) treatment under the law.
Hope to hear from you soon,
Elizabeth “Ebie” Hussey