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What Happens When a Son Tells His Mother He Is Gay. In Botswana

We read hundreds of stories every year about American children coming out to their parents, and how sometimes that conversation goes swimmingly, and other times it ends with exile. So here’s a story from Francistown, Botswana (the country’s second-largest city), where one mother shares the story of her 24-year-old son coming out.

After learning her son was gay, Mmegi reports, first came the crazies: “I lost my son, though he is still alive and we are living under the same roof. On that day, I did not know what to say to my son. I was not sure whether he was still my real son or not. But physically he was still the same.”

Then the cold sweats: “That word [gay] was like a deadly blow that knocked me off. I felt confused. I started sweating. My whole world was crumbling. I could see my world falling apart in front of my eyes. I felt like my son is no more though he was right there beside me.”

Then acceptance: “I had to accept that my son is different from others. I accepted that the few girlfriends that I have seen and even the last beautiful one who was officially introduced to me was just one of the many attempts by my son to fight off the truth that was burning inside him.”

And deliverance: After counseling sessions, she began to believe “as human beings, we are different. It is not an easy thing but I have no choice here because he is my son, my own blood and flesh that I carried for nine months. I therefore cannot disown him because of his condition.”

Finally, joy: “At least he was able to be assertive and bold enough to tell me the truth. I will always love him and respect him for that.”

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