Today, after almost one year of sharing my true heart and personal story with all of you here on Facebook and on my blog, I got my first hate-mongering comment. To be honest, I’m surprised and even proud that it took so long!
I have a few things I’d like to say to all of you. Many of you follow this page because you have children with special needs like I do. And some of you are mamas to neurotypical kiddos, but you share in the same moments of exhaustion, defeat, and worry that we ALL do.
Not only do you relate- but you have chosen to educate yourselves, and to be open to learning about disability and how it can affect the lives of other parents. And I think that’s amazing. I’m truly proud to have you here with me.
One thing we ALL have in common is a desire to create a better world for our children. A world where they will be accepted, encouraged and supported in their dreams- whatever they may be.
I don’t post anything that I consider to be controversial on this page, as it’s meant to be an environment of true support- an authentic place to shed a tear, chuckle at a silly meme, or just vent for a minute when no one else seems to get it. That’s what I’m here for. You do the same for me, and when I say I’m so grateful- I really, really, mean it.
I can honestly say that I don’t share anything that doesn’t make me laugh out loud, make me pause for a moment to reflect, or give me hope. This page is about laughing together, crying together, and keeping it real together.
A few days ago, I watched a video of a terrified teenage boy telling his mother that he is gay. I watched this seemingly conservative mama fully embrace her baby boy with all the love in this world. I watched her put herself, her fears, and possibly even her own beliefs, second to her son’s profound and desperate need for acceptance. THAT’S motherhood at its finest.
It touched me. And without a second thought, I shared it here with all of you. Not for one second did I think of it as controversial. A mother loving her son unconditionally is the most natural, pure, thing in this world.
While I grew up on the “progressive” West Coast, I also come from a conservative background and attended Catholic School for over a decade. So I can say personally, that one’s religious background and political affiliation are simply no excuse for homophobia.
I have gay family members and I have gay friends. They are some of the most morally upright people that I have the absolute privilege of knowing. I also have two young sons. And while I worry more about one’s future than the other, I have absolutely zero concerns regarding their future sexualities. Just like the mama in this video, I worry only about the way the world will treat them; I want only for their happiness.
I started this page as an emotional outlet, but it has turned into so much more than that. It’s become a platform for awareness and tolerance. A place where special needs moms and typical moms can just be people- struggling together, learning together, rejoicing together. It brings a tear to my eye to think of all the friends I have made, and all the compassion and companionship I have seen here on this page.
So when I woke up today and saw a notification of a new comment- I couldn’t wait to read it. But I wasn’t prepared for what I read. I wasn’t prepared to be reminded that even here- on this page- this positive and safe space that I’ve worked hard to create- ugliness, hatred, and intolerance would eventually find its way here, show itself, and present me with a defining choice.
Today I was told that by sharing this video, (which simply shows a mother fiercely loving her son unconditionally), I promote an “evil lifestyle” and that I’d be losing a follower as a result. So I’d like to reply publicly, as these are the moments in life that we are presented with life-defining choices- turn away or choose to fight the good fight- regardless of the potential consequences.
So to this follower, I’d like to say goodbye. I don’t know if you’re a special needs mom or not- but it doesn’t really matter. This page is about tolerance, love, hope, and acceptance.
It is not about disability; it’s so much bigger than that. If I want people to treat my son with respect and tolerance you best believe that I will be treating the world with the same grace and dignity. And not just disabled children and their parents. But everyone. Period. Everyone. You don’t get to pick and choose who you tolerate in this world. You don’t get to be an advocate for special needs children and also be a hate spewing, judgmental, homophobic at the same time.
You don’t get to pray for your family and your church while you walk around calling other people evil, simply because you don’t agree or understand their lifestyle. It’s the very antithesis of what we are asking from the world. It’s the very undoing of it. It’s the only evil I have seen on this page. And it’s one thing that will not be tolerated here or anywhere that I see it happening. You’re going to hear from me about it.
I won’t demean you by calling you a hypocrite. I won’t even resent you for bringing ugliness and negativity to this space. Instead, I’ll thank you for revealing your true beliefs and wish you well. Just know that today, when I see one less follower on my page, I’ll remember that my work is not furthered by numbers, traffic, and statistics, but rather it is furthered merely by speaking my truth, and by practicing the same tolerance and acceptance of ALL people- the same tolerance and acceptance that I hope my son- both of my sons- receive in life.
If you take offense to these words then I respectfully ask that you kindly unlike and unfollow this page. I love the community that we have built here, but if I must lose traffic and numbers for the sake of integrity and authenticity- bring it on.
I’d rather have 5 followers who practice tolerance than 50,000 followers who undermine it. For my son, I cannot afford to give you a voice here. For my son, I cannot afford to just delete you and move on. For my son, I must say that you are wrong, so so wrong.
That’s the cause. That’s my cause. If it’s yours too, welcome home- you’re in the right place. If it’s not- that’s okay too- Thank you for your honesty. I’ll be praying for you to find peace, love, the clarity to see the power you have in this world, and the courage to use it for good.
For those of you who choose to stay- It’s an honor to have you, know you, share this life with you, and I’m so grateful in the knowledge that you’re out there- fighting this good fight with me. ❤️