Singer Belinda Carlisle and her activist-actor son, James Duke Mason,
reminisce about the way his coming-out affected their family, offer
advice for confused parents of LGBT teens, and discuss how former first lady
Nancy Reagan is "down with the gays."
Carlisle, who enchanted music lovers as lead vocalist of her pioneering pop band the Go-Go's and as a chart-topping solo star, admits that even though most of her friends are gay or lesbian, she was still shocked when James Duke told her he is gay. Carlisle, who has had a large LGBT fan base throughout her career, eventually came to a realization that she'd kind of known all along. "Of course I'm going to have a gay son," she says with a laugh.
The pair share that Carlisle's husband, Morgan Mason, a former aide to former President Reagan, initially thought their son was going through a phase and later joked that being affectionate with him in public might cause the wrong perception that father and son were May-December lovers. Carlisle, who has filmed public service announcements for marriage equality, goes on to offer strong advice for parents who can't accept their gay children.
Carlisle begins a summer tour with the Go-Go's Friday in Las Vegas, which will mark 30 years since the band's platinum debut album Beauty and the Beat was released. Mason recently launched an LGBT awareness campaign called Trailblazer and will soon appear in his first film, What Happens Next.