Many years ago, our oldest son told my husband and me he was gay.

Many emotions swept over me. My son, for a split second, changed. I remember feeling as if something had died, and all I could do was stare into space and cry.

I picked up a glass on the table and threw it. I thought, “I’ll never have a child of his on my knee.” Part of me wanted to reach out to him, but nothing happened. I was scared for him, for me, for our family.

It seemed as if a shadow of fear had replaced all of the years of happiness and love. The tears continued to roll down my face.

When he got up and slowly moved to leave, we looked at each other like never before.

He had tears in his eyes, and I realized he needed me and the calm I had always represented. In a few short seconds, I grew a lifetime.

After our son left, I found myself reflecting on our lives. I realized that any decisions he made for his future needed only my love and support.

Because of my ignorance about homosexuality, I wondered if I did something wrong during the pregnancy. I decided I needed educate myself about a subject I knew little about.

The Maine State Library provided a wealth of knowledge that saved our family from homophobia and, more importantly, heartache.

I stopped crying and never shed those shallow tears again. I have now cried tears of pride and happiness for a son I couldn’t be more proud of, a son who is strong and confident and who lives the life he was meant to live.

Education is the key to acceptance. I sincerely hope that homophobia will one day be replaced by unconditional love.

Pamela Corbin, West Gardiner

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