By Meg Abhau (also posted to their family blog http://theabhaus.blogspot.ca/)
Some people may see our Facebook coming out letter and think we came to all these conclusions overnight, or even immediately. The Facebook post came after 2 months of diligent research, countless prayers, and spiritual confirmations on how to handle this. I wrote a letter to my siblings a week after Jon came out to my husband and myself. This is my side of the story of those first few days. It’s real. It’s not perfect. Part of me wants to keep some of this hidden for shame of not understanding immediately. But, I think this could help other parents or children who might be struggling. That is the purpose of this blog. To help and uplift others who might find themselves in this situation. It is uncomfortable for me, at times, to be so open. But, I would not be where I am if others were not open with their stories. With that said, my letter to my siblings:
My dear siblings,
Hi everyone. I have some news. My loving, talented, kind, beautiful, amazing, compassionate, smart son is gay. He came out to us on Friday. As you can imagine, this is very difficult for us, so I am not going to call you all personally and talk about it. I tried. I got through 2 phone calls and it is just too hard. But, Jon wants to be open about this, especially with the family. I am starting with my siblings first because I know what accepting and loving people you all are. I will try to answer some of your questions in this email.
First, this is what we know from Jon. He loves the gospel. So far, nothing has changed with that. He is still a 13 year old boy who is working on his eagle and wants to serve a mission. He is so rooted in the gospel in a way that I will never understand. He and Jake have the testimonies in this house hold for sure. So, that is where we are at now. We will take this day by day and if anything changes, we will support and love him whatever he chooses. He wants to be open about this because he wants to (his words) be an example to other teens that might be struggling with this and know you can be happy and amazing just the way you are. He also said he wants to show that you can still be a part of the gospel and be gay and be happy. This is where he is at right now and I hope you guys can support that. Of course things might change. He is 13. He says he wants to be a beacon of hope for others that might be like him. (his words) I have cautioned him about telling kids his age just yet. Not because he should be ashamed, but because I want to protect him from cruelty and hate for just a little longer. He says he feels so strongly that Heavenly Father made him this way for a purpose and he is perfectly happy with it. He just realized this a week ago. Literally, a week ago he planned on marrying the most beautiful girl, Sierra. He is 13. He saw 2 guys kissing and that made sense to him. He was shocked that it made sense to him. He started to question this and then discovered his preference, physically and emotionally was toward boys. He knows for sure. Jake and I know for sure. As soon as he did some research and confirmed what he thought, he came to us. He has not grappled with this or struggled with shame or depression. He just realized something about himself and told his parents. If any of you know Jon very well, this will not surprise you because he is the most amazing human I have had the pleasure of knowing. If some of you don’t know him that well, I feel sorry that you have missed out on this beautiful soul.
Second, this is where I am currently at. I am ashamed to say that I have had some selfish moments thinking about the future I had for him vanish. I have only one child. One shot at grand kids and they are going to come to me in a way that I was not expecting. I am devastated. Jake and I both are. We are first and foremost concerned for Jon and the cruelty that could come his way. He is strong, but we don’t want ANYONE to break his beautiful spirit and heart. When he told me, I was sobbing. I asked him to not take that the wrong way. I still loved him, but I was sad for the hard road he now faces. I made it very clear that he is loved and safe and we will help give him the best life any kid could have. But, it felt like a death to me. I mourned the loss of the life I wanted for him. Someday I might feel ashamed of that, but I could not help it. Apparently my feelings are normal and it is all part of the process. I am ok if I talk about logistics, but when I see my grand babies that look just like Jon vanish away, I break down with a sorrow I didn’t know humans could feel. That is where I am currently at. For me, I am not concerned for his salvation like some of you will be. I understand this. It’s amazing how perspective can change over night. I felt a peace (a Godsend) that he is loved by God. He is a child of God. And I am a loving parent. I cannot imagine creating a beautiful person like Jon and then condemning him for the way I created him. I just can’t imagine it. Jake has a sure knowledge of the gospel and this concerns him. This is where he is now. Again, this can all change over time. I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know if Jon will continue in this gospel that he loves. He is 13. I don’t know what life will be like when he is 16. We are taking this one day at a time. All I know is that he has 2 parents that love him deeply. I know he did not choose this. He knows he did not choose this. I think Jon is going to change the world.
Third, I am telling you all this because he asked me to. He accepts and loves people no matter what. He has a compassion that some people strive their whole lives to have. He really feels the world will treat him how he would treat it. He is gifted that way. Please take care of that precious soul and accept him. This is my plea to you, my siblings. For I have always been a mother bear. Once I found out about Jon, that didn’t seem a fierce enough title. There is a whole new level of protections that has come over me. I now call myself a Mama Dragon. I could literally breath fire if someone hurt Jon. Dragons have talons, scales, claws, fangs and they can fly. I will use all of these resources if someone were to hurt Jon. Jake said he has a new great fear. He said we need to keep bail money on hand. He is afraid he will physically hurt someone if they hurt Jon. This comes from a man who has never hit another human in his life. Not even his own brother. This says a lot coming from Jake. So, we are circling our wagons around Jon, but I know we can’t protect him from everything. And as a Mama Dragon, that is the hardest part of this. I don’t know what the future holds. I just know that there will be love.
Fourth, please do not tell your children yet. I would ask that you start a loving dialogue about the gay community. Please, for Jon’s sake, teach them that gay people are children of God too and he loves them just as much as he loves you. Teach them compassion. It would crush Jon on a very deep level if hate speech came from his beloved cousins. They are his only siblings and it would crush him. If you love Jon at all, please help us in this. When you feel that your child is ready to hear it, please let us know and we will let them know. Jon needs to be enveloped in love right now. He will get plenty of hate from a world that simply does not understand. His road will be hard enough. I ask this other favor of you all.
I know everyone will have strong opinions on how I should handle this. I appreciate your concern. Just know that I am his mother. I have been given the great privilege of raising him. I will do what I think is best for him. Jake and I both will. I do appreciate any resources of reading information about this world that we are now plunging into. I have read more about this loving community that he is now a part of than in my whole life. It’s overwhelming it’s scary. It’s sad. It’s everything. I can’t tell you I will be perfect, but I will do my best. I appreciate any support any of you are capable of giving. I also understand that some of you will really struggle with this. I will do my best to understand where you are coming from. Thank you for reading this.