Hudson Valley Parent

HVP March 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 9 of 41

10 Hudson Valley Parent ■ March 2015 By DAWN GREEN P at yourselves on the back, mom and dad. You've made it through the baby years. Your little ones are grown up and navigat- ing middle or high school. Now you can start fantasizing about weddings and grandchildren. But what happens when those fantasies are suddenly turned upside down? What happens to that daugh- ter or son-in-law you imagined, to those grandbabies you would spoil rotten, when you hear your child say, "I'm gay"? 'Always shocking' Kerhonkson mom Christine Wyn- koop was faced with this question. An educator at Rondout Valley High School, she was familiar with LGBT issues, as she was involved in the gay-straight alliance club Synthesis. She says that she had some sus- picions that her son Matthew was gay, and was waiting for the day he would confi rm that. When that day fi nally came, however, Wynkoop was still taken aback. She says that this news is "always shocking." Her biggest concern was his safety. She wondered, "How is the world going to treat my child?" Matthew was a freshman in high school at the time, and it was not the fi rst time he had revealed this news to a family member. He had already told his brother, Randy. The two were always fi ghting, but after Mat- thew came out to him, their whole relationship shifted. Wynkoop says Randy felt honored that his brother shared this with him. It took another year, and a prom- ise of support from Christine and Randy, before Matthew felt comfort- able coming out to his father. Wynkoop says that it took a great deal of courage for her son to come out to the family, particularly in 2002, and for that she admires him. But even as a socially aware and well-educated parent, Wynkoop needed support from others to pro- cess this news. How will others react? Anne De Muro of Poughkeepsie learned that her son Tyler was gay through his Facebook profi le. She had allowed him to create a profi le on the social media site when he was 13, with the understanding that she would have his log-on information. When she logged on, she saw messages that he had sent to a friend discussing his sexuality. She says she was disappointed that he told his friends before trusting her enough to tell her, and when she confronted him about it, he became upset that she had invaded his privacy. De Muro says she asked him if he was sure he was gay. Tyler's response was, "If I told you I was straight, would you ask me that?" De Muro calls this question the only bump in the road of their con- versation, but she still had serious "Mom, I'm gay" Local moms on parenting their LGBT teens Parents and students from Hudson Valley chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network participate in the annual Hudson Valley AIDS Walk on the Walkway Over the Hudson . When Anne De Muro of Poughkeepsie asked her son, Tyler, if he was sure he was gay, he responded, "If I told you I was straight, would you ask me that?"

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Hudson Valley Parent - HVP March 2015