How I Met My Mother



My personal struggles with my mom are no secret. In a recent column I detailed how her rejection of my sexuality led to one of the lowest points in my life — a time when I wrestled daily with thoughts of suicide.

What I haven’t talked about, though, is how my mother and I overcame all of these difficulties and forged a new bond. In other words — I haven’t told the story about how I met my mother.

When I left lawyering at the end of 2008, I had a sit-down — down South. I told my mother I wanted to build a company like Playboy while she stared blankly at me in her sunny sitting room.

“But what about your law degree?” she asked, her voice at an almost-whisper.

The delivery of this message about my career was one of the many moments in life when my decisions ran headlong into a collision with her big dreams for me, and I could see just how much I had disappointed her.

It hurt like hell.

I have noticed that our battles over my personal choices run a three-year course:

Year 1: I tell her the truth (for example, “Mom, I am gay” or “Mom, I am a pornographer”), and a very bad reaction from her follows — usually crying, possibly guilt-tripping, or general malaise.

Year 2: We follow a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I talk to her over the phone and circumvent discussion of uncomfortable topics. This method leads to a very fragmented and empty discussion of things happening to me, since I cannot discuss either the good or bad parts of the unmentionable offending areas.

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