Last week I was asked to give a mother's perspective at a "Coming Out" workshop. API Equality - LA, a non profit Asian Pacific Islander LGBT organization developed this workshop in response to what they saw as a need. I am not sure if I can accurately describe how these four hours opened my eyes to the anguish, fear and conflict that rips at the heart of those who contemplate revealing their true selves. Will my parents disown me? Will I lose my job? Will my friends abandon me or make fun of me? On top of that I heard about the religious and cultural layers that further threaten to shame and ostracize LGBT individuals from family, friends, churches and co-workers . . . communities that we all need to belong to, so we do not feel alienated and alone.
In my speech, I couldn't help but cry when I shared my story and youth in the audience cried or struggled to hold back tears. I knew the fear and uncertainty in their hearts, was the same feelings my son faced daily until he was able to ask me to accept and love him as the man he was meant to be.
I so admire all of those brave souls that are "out" in the community inspiring others to be their true selves and giving hope to LGBT individuals and families everywhere. I want Two Spirits, One Heart to be part of this hope. I see a world guided less by fear and shame . . . .and more by love and acceptance. Please see that picture with me. Let's change the world one heart at a time.