Quiana, Shawnie, & Jasen

L to R: Quiana (top left), Jasen, (bottom left) Shawnie, Cynthia

When we found out our mom was gay, we all reacted differently. Our dad had died not too much earlier, so we were all dealing with a lot. It was strange to us because we thought she liked men, but she really loved women that whole time. It was hard for us to accept this.

In some ways, she wanted to keep things secret from us. She used to stay over at her girlfriend’s house and not be at our house as much. We got suspicious, and Quiana called her up and said, “Mom, you’re spending the nights over at her house a lot. We know you’re a grown woman, but are you gay, or what?” Her answer was, “‘Yeah, yeah, I am.”

That phone call didn’t end very well.

Life really changed once her girlfriend moved in with her kids.  It was like a whole big, new family. It was easier for some of us than for others. We told some friends that our mom’s girlfriend was our auntie, and her kids were our cousins. After a while we just started telling people the truth. Our mom is really such a sweet person.  We really just wanted her to be happy.

All our friends who are gay or who have gay relatives know that they can come to us – and that we understand. Our friends even call our mom because she’d tell you the truth about things like HIV, STIs, all of that stuff. She’s real—she’s the kind of person you can be comfortable with and everyone likes her.