I Love them Either Way

Shirley (65) has two sons. Ludgene (37) is her first born and openly gay.


After a while, Ludgene refused to go. He found the game too harsh and had no connection with the macho behavior of the other boys. While his brother got along in the sports teams easily, it was very hard for Ludgene. He wanted to go to make-up class and explore his creativity. In that same period, Ludgene came home after school and told me he wanted to study in the Netherlands and had already arranged everything with his mentor from school. I was surprised because it was a lot to arrange, but everything had been taken care of very professionally. So, I gave my permission and he left.

Ludgene started attending the all-round hairdressers training in the Netherlands. He lived with my cousin. After a while my cousin called me and told me that Ludgene had participated in a mister gay contest and had won all the prizes. I said, ‘What do you mean? I’m not sure I understand what you just said. Ludgene is in the Netherlands to study and not to participate in gay activities.’ I hung up the phone. I really had to recover. My youngest son calmed me down and said, ‘Calm down mama. Listen; please do not ever say that again. Accept him the way he is. He is your son.’ His words calmed me down and I was able to think about it for a moment. I also talked it over with my cousin whom Ludgene lived with at that time. That made me realize that Ludgene needed the freedom to express himself as he is. He is a very calm boy, not the extrovert gay type you sometimes see. He just does his own thing and he has many creative talents.

Ludgene is very popular. He is loved by all our family and friends. His homosexuality has absolutely no influence on that. It is not an issue or a topic of discussion. I just accepted him the way he is. We have a lot of respect for each other and have no problems. The moment you reject your child and do not accept them, you are giving the child room to go the wrong way. By accepting each other’s feelings and keeping the conversation between you going, you can help the child to walk the right path in life.

In the area where we come from, we have never really had to deal with discrimination towards gays. However, in the neighborhood where I work, I see many couples walking around stealing kisses and flirting with each other. Unfortunately, they do not have the space and freedom at home to be themselves.



Even as a child, Derrick was different from the other boys.

  • Juvani


When I was 23 I moved from Aruba to the Netherlands. I started studying Jazz and Musical...



I love all of my seven children dearly. I have four daughters and three sons.