I Love them Either Way
Lumena (68) is the mother of her only child Derrick (39). She has known that her son was gay since he was a child.
EVEN AS A CHILD, DERRICK WAS DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BOYS.
Instead of playing with cars and doing boy stuff, he wanted to make mud cakes and play with other girls. My son always had a lot of friends, all girls. He connected with them immediately and was just one of them. That was when I started suspecting Derrick was homosexual. Knowing for quite a while gave me the opportunity to get used to the idea slowly. So, by the time he came out, I was able to accept him straight away.
Derrick first told me, and together we planned how to tell his father. My son always comes to me first. He loves his father very much, but he and I are like two peas in a pod. His father always knows something is coming when he sees us talking. He knows us very well. Derrick came out when he was going to technical school. The college school in Otrobanda was our first choice because it was close to our home. Only boys were allowed at the school and everybody there was very conservative. It didn’t work out. I knew people were talking behind our back, saying bad things about my son. We decided to switch to a Protestant technical school. The school was further away from where we lived. But Derrick was accepted immediately. It was the first year that girls were allowed at that school, which probably helped a lot.
We live in a small village called Boca Sami. The men in this village are mostly macho men, and the man-and-woman roles are rather conservative. When Derrick was little, he sometimes avoided the neighborhood’s store, to avoid being confronted with bad attitudes from other guys towards him. My husband knows almost everybody in our village. I am pretty sure that also had a positive influence on the way the people in town treated Derrick with more tolerance than was to be expected. When Derrick got married, we even organized the wedding party at our house and invited some of the neighbors. We are happy we were able to do this for our son. It does not bother me that I will never have grandchildren. We have many children in our village that see me as their grandmother or godmother. Sometimes I even hide because I want some rest from all the children coming to our house!
Of course, I accept my child. He is my child, I gave birth to him. He didn’t choose to be in this world. That is something I am responsible for. I can’t understand why parents wouldn’t accept a gay child. I believe gay children are very loyal to their parents, they are lovely, hardworking and love to help others. It gets so much easier for both the parents and the child to accept the situation and move on together. Why would you hurt the one you love most? I know parents that accept that their child is a thief or even a murderer, but they would not allow of accept it if their child was gay. To me that really is the world upside down.