Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dear Mama . . .

Happy Birthday to my mom, Ms. Linda Louis Green. Today my mom turns 61. Not sure if I've ever shared the story of how I came out to my mom. Picture it - Frisco City, Alabama, 1995. I was at home visiting with my mom. I would be home for several days and she was making a list of things she wanted me to do while she would be at work the next day. Mama had met my boyfriend several days earlier but I had not yet disclosed the nature of the relationship I had with this guy. I only introduced him as "my friend."

As we were sitting at the kitchen table my mom started making a list of my next day duties. She started with, "first I want you to pay the light bill and if you could then go and pay my cable bill."

At this point I interrupted with, "I need to give Eddie a phone call."

Her response, "Who is Eddie?"

I replied, "He's the guy you meet a couple of days ago."

My mom continues, "Oh okay . . . I need you to go by the bank and make a deposit for me. Put this money in my checkings account and put this in my savings."

So I interrupted again, "Mama, Eddie and I have been dating for about a year now."

Her reply, "Who is Eddie?"

Again I say, "He's the guy you met a couple of days ago"

My mom, "Oh okay . . . and then I need you to go to the Post Office.

Me, "Mama did you hear what I just said. Me and Eddie are a couple."

Mama, "Yeah - okay."

Me, "Do you have anything to say."

Mama, "I don't know what to say. Are you happy? Cause if you're happy then I'm happy."

I remember this conversation so well because it had such a profound influence I how I would live my life. The unconditional love and support of family has a way of giving you immeasurable self-esteem. If she had expressed some disappointment of disapproval I'm not sure what I would have done. I do know this - once I had my mom's acceptance, I really didn't give a damn about what anyone else in the world thought about my being gay.

Mama - I am who am because of you. I love you and I pray that you're having a terrific birthday. I wish I could be there with you.

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