And a New Family Begins…….

When I was 19 years old, I was a freshman at Ithaca College. It was
towards the end of the year and my mother was driving me back home
to Maine, when “it” happened.

She turned to me and said, “Julia? I have some news to share with

I turned back and said, “Are you getting divorced?”

Her face softened a little bit and she answered, “Wow, yes….are
you alright?”

I always felt that my parents were lovely people but wasn’t
surprised by the divorce. There were no cuddly, over-the-top, cute
interactions between them and I always wondered if there was a
spark that used to exist and perhaps had been fading for some

Instead of the “more expected” response of ‘Yeah Mom, I’m
great!!’ or ‘No mom, this completely ruins my day!’ I instead
retorted, “Let me guess, you have a girlfriend!” Now I’ll be
honest, I didn’t say this expecting a serious ‘yes’. But the
following few seconds in this conversation are so clear in my mind
that I feel as if it happened yesterday.

My mother’s face lost all color and she was as white as a sheet.
She slowly pulled over the car, with tears in her eyes, and softly
said, “How did you know? Is that okay?”

At this moment, I knew my mother was nervous that this decision
would “adversely affect” me, that I’d receive tension from
society in general, and that it’d be awkward to tell people. I
gave her a hug and told her I supported her and was excited to see
her so happy for the first time in a long time. I can honestly say,
for all of you parents that might be a little apprehensive about
having children because of the way it will affect your children, my
mother coming out had a positive effect on me and in no way was it
adverse. It inspired my career to fight for equality, it showed me
what unbelievable strength and courage my mother has, and taught me
that there are false stereotypes out there about gay and lesbian
parents that I am determined to unravel by showing what an amazing
mother I have.