I Love them Either Way
Marnix (18) is the youngest child of Ingrid (56), he has three older sisters.
I CAN REMEMBER MARNIX’ COMING OUT WELL.
We were on holiday in the Netherlands and were visiting my mother, his grandmother. It was January 2013 and it was one month before Marnix’ 12th birthday. He had announced that he wanted to tell us something, but first, my best friend who was visiting had to leave the room. Marnix was very clear to her that he could not wait until she was gone. Once she had left, Marnix and I sat down together on the sofa. His grandma was sitting on a chair. I said: ‘What do you want to tell us, Marnix?’ He first looked at my mother and then at me and said: ‘I like boys’. My mother looked at me expectantly to see how I would react. The first feeling that came over me was surprise. It did not give me any feelings of negativity or disappointment at all. I said something along the lines of ‘Oh, okay!’ I never thought that Marnix might be homosexual, he was so young. He had even occasionally had a crush on a girl at school. So, the news struck me like lightning. He had never expressed any feminine mannerisms. Granted, he was not very masculine, but I attributed that to having three older daughters in the house. I was, however, delighted that Marnix felt so safe with his grandmother and I that he had talked so frankly and open to us about this. We did not talk about it any further. It was what it was, and for us, it was not an issue.
As a parent, the only thing you want is for your child to be happy and if this is his path to happiness, who am I to condemn that? Marnix is our fourth child, so we had already experienced what it meant to struggle with our children as they became older. Not necessarily related to their sexuality, but regarding the choices they made in their lives. You have to have confidence in your child. You raise them with the right standards and values, and at a certain point, you have to let them go and let them choose their own way.
Marnix came out in a very safe environment, but I do realize that there are people who react very differently to his sexuality than we did. We experienced that when he was just out of the closet. Luckily, he is a very well-spoken boy, who is strong enough to stand his ground. I tell him that he needs to be careful to whom he expresses his nature. In principle, I believe every child should be free to be who he or she is. I firmly believe no one should deny their own sexuality, but I think it is best to only reveal your sexuality if there is a specific reason, for example if you have a boyfriend. Some people take offense to someone else’s sexual nature, and I do not want him to end up in unnecessarily unpleasant situations. His homosexuality does not define him. It’s one of the things he is. He is my son. I will always have his back and I love him to the moon and back for who he is and what he is!