Patrick Wallace and Michael Volpat started the website A Note to My Kid as a place for parents to proudly share memories, thoughts, worries, and -- ultimately -- love for their LGBT children.
The site, which launched in May, is also as a means of supporting youth who
are pondering ways to come out to their parents.
"The love and support of our parents has been a treasured blessing in our lives," says Wallace. "But many people we've been fortunate enough to meet throughout our lives have not been so lucky. We've heard stories firsthand of LGBT youth being ridiculed, disowned. and physically beaten for being gay."
Wallace wants A Note to My Kid to help parents learn "how to express his or her love." Read some of the most compelling submissions to the site on the following pages.
There was never any question in my mind that I would always love and cherish you as my son. I was told by many that "yes, I would always love my son, but not the lifestyle," yet I knew that was not enough. I embarked on a high learning curve, understanding homosexuality took time, but as I learned more about human nature/makeup, my thought expanded. I was ever getting closer to feelings of "This is my child, he needs all the love and support he can get, and I need to truly accept who he is!"
I only wish 10 years ago I could have gone to a "private space" and been able to share my emotions with others. I needed to know about others' stories and family lives: where there were REAL personal life stories. I needed to know how other parents processed coming to terms with their child's orientation. As I sought understanding, solace came via friends and from books of families' stories of love and acceptance. I went from the gut-wrenching feelings of fear of unknown for all of us to the baby steps of learning about it and coming to full term with the great realization that "This is my child, and he did not make this choice. He is who God made him to be!"
I will not pretend that I was not disappointed when I learned that you were gay. My disappointment was primarily driven by my belief that you would be forced to endure a life of ridicule and prejudice. I now believe that our society has improved in that regard to the point that you may now even enjoy an advantage in some respects by belonging to a group that has so many wonderful and talented members who stick together and promote each other. Your partner, Mike, is a perfect example! Just like you and so many of your friends and associates, he is smart, polite, mature, industrious, respectful and respectable. You are both valuable citizens of this great country (still with faults, but great nonetheless), and you deserve the same equal treatment as everyone! Love, Dad
I feel great about telling others that you are gay, and using it to explain the goodness that you put forth in life, and the strength you have shown while growing up in a world that can be judgmental, prejudiced, and mean to those "THEY" perceive as different. Everyone is different, and thank heavens for that!!! Everyone should be treated the same if they are good people. It's the goodness in people that makes them special. So, I could go on and on down my memory lane of Life with Mikey ... and show extreme happiness and pride that you are "My Son." Love, Mom Love, Mom
So many memories. I think I knew you were different, more as you got older. My heart cried when one day you came home after a school fight. It was later I realised you were a tough cookie. I also remember you taking anything you wanted from other kids in the playground, not something I condoned :)
I tried hard to toughen you up as you got older. I dressed that up as my fear for you, I was so afraid someone would hurt you. I knew a long time that you were gay before you told me. I know you tried to hide and pretend to me that your life would take the "expected" route. I think we were both protecting each other. It took time for understanding, but most of all, the love we all feel has only, and continues to grow stronger.