Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son

A Very Good Mother


Hello, internets. Apparently my iPad got peckish and ate the post that was almost done. I’d say it was a pity except it wasn’t much good, so perhaps it is in fact a blessing. Anyway, hello.

My hand is still bandaged but much less terrifying, lest you feared I’d met a gangrenous, Game-of-Thrones-ish end.

The Bean is splendid and only driving me slightly insane on these hot, mostly house-bound days; he more than makes up for it with his new love of the alphabet. I’m not claiming he knows what a letter is or anything, but he is quite smitten with the list itself and now babbles bits of it. He has this sly, preening look he gets when he knows he’s about to do something clever; the other day at breakfast, he looked at my side-long under a raised eyebrow and remarked significantly, as if making a witty observation,

H I J.

In short, he can play me like a violin.

Meanwhile, here is your Friday Feel Good, thanks to Mombian:

This month is the 40th anniversary of PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, which is the kind of organization I can’t even really read about without getting a bit teary. I’m just going to quote two of their six strategies goals, while I collect myself:

Create a world in which our young people may grow up and be educated with freedom from fear of violence, bullying and other forms of discrimination, regardless of their real or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation or that of their families.


Create a society in which all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons may enjoy, in every aspect of their lives, full civil and legal equality and may participate fully in all the rights, privileges and obligations of full citizenship in this country

Until today, when Mombian posted about it, I’d never thought about how PFLAG’s founding; it was just there, helping people like me and my family, and maybe still more blessed, helping parents who maybe aren’t quite sure what to think when their children come out to them, giving them a place to be afraid and unsure what to think and still love their kids.

It turns out the whole thing started with one hell of a rockstar-mom, Jeanne Manford, who stood up for her gay son after she saw him on the TV news, injured at a protest while the police did nothing to help. She wrote a letter to the newspaper, saying something both perfectly natural and, in 1972, not quite three years after Stonewall, revolutionary:

I have a homosexual son and I love him.

She marched in that year’s NYC pride parade, carrying a sign reading, “Parents of Gays: Unite in support of our children.” And they did.

Thank you, Jeanne Manford. Thank you, all you parents of us LGBT folk who just keep on loving us. We know it’s not always easy. I hope that in those moments when loving the Bean requires courage, I can live up to your example.

(reading about Jeanne Manford today keeps making me think of the brave — both in her life and in her willingness to show her vulnerability when writing about it — author of the blog Transparenthood. Check her out.)

13 thoughts on “A Very Good Mother

  1. I realize this was not the point of the post at all, but youve made me realize I need to teach our twins the alphabet! Or at least start. Oy, they are behind! πŸ˜‰

  2. PFLAG. My wife cries every time she sees them in the Pride parade (also: veterans, children, police, etc. But especially PFLAG). It’s one of those organizations that makes the world seem like a less scary place.
    Do you look him in the eye and say ‘K LMNOP’?

  3. Oh, Bean. You are a wit, aren’t you? πŸ™‚

    Love PFLAG. Never could convince my parents to go. My dad said in an email when I first came out, “Maybe in 10 years, assuming your orientation hasn’t changed and we’re still in contact with you.” They never did go. But that’s not PFLAG’s fault. PFLAG is awesome. And so is the Bean.

    • It’s funny; I never thought my parents had even heard of them, but last year I found in a stack of mail at their house a letter addressed to members. Probably they just sent some money, but I was really touched. I suspect they got involved bc of a nasty adoption fight in their state.

  4. SIGH! I hope I can be so courageous if I ever need to be, whether it’s for my child or someone elses child. Maybe I should be so couragegeous about something right now you say? But it’s too hot.

  5. What makes me sad is that such a wonderful mother *had* to stand up and say that, just because we as a collective society treat some people as sub human. Because of who they love. Isn’t that just awful?


  6. Thanks for the story about PFLAG–I didn’t know that history either.

  7. the bean is practicing his heartbreaking ways on mom. he seems to be doing well.

    bunny’s latest? after i say “no that hurts mama” because he was clawing my face (a fun new game he must have learned from a cat) or something, he moves in for a hug and his version of a kiss.

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