Just in case you should start to think that this year has been all doom and gloom for me, I need to balance the scales … for there has also been great joy.
On Thanksgiving Weekend, our oldest son Jordan and his partner, Dempsey, announced their engagement.
We can’t be more thrilled and excited.
Many of you know, and more of you have already gleaned from my blog, that my beautiful, dark-eyed son is gay.
Jordan “came out” to Gilles and I a few months after his 16th birthday. I’m sure it was as traumatic for him as it was for us … but while he quickly moved on, happily secure in his newly established identity, we were gob-smacked.
Our biggest overwhelming emotion was fear. Yes, we live in one of the most gay-friendly cities, in one of the most gay-friendly countries, in the world … but there is still a frightening amount of senseless homophobia out there.
We feared for our son’s long term safety and happiness. The world suddenly became a lot scarier for us. We didn’t sleep much in that first week.
I told Jordan one evening that he would have to be patient with us. Every parent overlays a vision of the future on top of their child – some of it vague, some of it well-defined. One of mine was someday dancing at Jordan’s wedding. I was already mourning that loss.
I told him we would need time to let go of some of these dreams and “rewrite” new ones.
He handled us with a maturity beyond his years. Ironic, isn’t it? I’ll be forever grateful.
We were lucky to also have the support of thoughtful friends who helped us re-frame our paralyzing fear and sense of loss. One of the pieces of advice I received was to not assume we lost anything. The world was changing.
A little more than 4 years later, in 2005, Canada legalized same-sex marriage. It became a game-changer. Here I am – 11 years later – bursting with joy, because my son is going to be married. My dream of dancing at his wedding is alive again.
We dearly love Jordan’s partner, Dempsey. We already think of him as one of our own. In that respect, this wedding will be a formality … but at the same time, I guarantee that both Gilles and I will cry shamelessly.
They will be tears of happiness and boundless love for these 2 fine men.