We were in her car on the way to her house so I could eat dinner with them (yeah, the allure of free food and adult conversation does sometimes lure me away from my single-mom-college-student lair). The topic of homosexuality was brought up (because this is the only term my mom uses for non-hetero people. If you aren’t straight then you must be gay). I knew I couldn’t make her understand my point of view (she’s a Mormon) so I decided that I wanted to try to understand hers. Maybe I could make a more convincing argument that way. Well, that was a pretty big mistake.
Here are some quotes from my mom:
"Gays are just confused."
"If you aren’t ever going to have kids, why bother getting married?"
"Well, two gays and two lesbians can just swap partners and marry then."
"Everyone has challenges. Some people are born blind, some people lose their limbs, some people are rapists or axe murderers, and some people are gay." (<— This one almost made me lose it.)
"Gay people need to marry people of the opposite gender and just tough it out. They need to suck it up."
"Sometimes friendship is more important than love."
"If you get married to a woman, I won’t ever accept her as my daughter, or as anything more than your friend." (This is the part of the conversation that got me started on the emotions.) She continued on this branch: "If she ever came over to our house, I would expect that there would be no PDA. You know that I don’t allow other things in my house, so this shouldn’t be too hard for you." (I understand her no smoking and no drinking rule. But this one is tough to swallow.) I wanted to point out to my mom that this was a big deal for me, so I said: "Mom, I know that you want all your kids and grandkids to come over and spend the night Christmas Eve so that we can all be together for Christmas. If I marry a woman, I won’t be able to do that." Her response: "You could come without her."
When she finally pulled into her driveway I was at the point of wiping away tears. She asked me “Are you thinking of marrying a woman?” And my stupid self didn’t want to tell her the truth (that at this point in my life I would much rather marry a woman than a man), so I lied and said “No, mom, I’m just getting close to my period so I’m all hormonal.” and I got out of the car as quickly as I could and focused on getting my son into her house.
Also, she had some real gems to say about trans* people:
"If it looks like a man, I’m going to call it a man. If it looks like a woman, I’m going to call it a woman."
I asked this: “What if someone is in the middle of their transition, and you can’t tell what gender they look like?”
"Then I’ll ask them what parts they were born with and that’s what they are."
Me: “Even if they identify as something else?”
"Of course! You can’t be something other than the gender you were born as. God doesn’t make mistakes like that."
Mom, I love you because you kept me alive long enough for me to be able to keep myself alive (which was about 12 years old). At this point, I don’t think I can have anything stronger than respect for your maternal life-giving abilities and sewing prowess. I don’t see you as a human being worthy of admiration anymore.