My cousin Peter has achieved what he set out to do. Here we are sitting around our kitchen table with our family, talking openly about gay issues.
As a mother I have honestly never had a problem with my daughter Sarah-Jane being gay. She is part of me. I love her and my other children unconditionally. She is strong, funny, challenging, interesting and is always rescuing someone. We have LEARNED a lot from her.
Sarah-Jane was a happy child, but as a teenager she was unsettled and seemed troubled. She stopped confiding in me, and I knew something was going on. Her dad and I began to worry that she was ill or that something awful had happened – when I put the pieces together and realised that she was gay, to be honest, I was relieved! I thought, “Is that all?” I told her that I knew she was gay and that it was no problem. I wanted her to know that her dad and I were on her side, that she could talk to us about anything, and most importantly that we loved her.
Of course, I had my concerns. Lack of education and understanding leaves some people ignorant about gay issues. Unfortunately, some people think if somebody is not able to conform to the “norms” of society, there is something wrong with them.
I still have fears for my daughter in this world. Life at the best of times is difficult, and being seen as different can sometimes be dangerous. But I worry about all my children, their health and their happiness. I don’t see my children’s sexuality as any more important than any other aspect of their lives. It’s just one of the many things that make them who they are, and I love them for who they are.
Before I got married and became a mother, I lived in London for a while. Some of my work colleagues and friends were gay. It didn’t matter to me – it was none of my business. I like people because of their personalities and good character; their sexuality is irrelevant.
When I read or hear something negative about gay people, it annoys me. There are so many important things in this life with which should be concern ourselves, and other people’s sexuality is definitely not one of those things. It seems that some people, when they think about gay people, just think about sex and sensationalising it; when they think about straight people, they don’t think that way. It’s so hypocritical.
From what I have seen, being in a gay relationship is about love, commitment, friendship and sharing your life with someone of the same sex. How can anyone have a problem with that?
All the gay people I have met are very supportive of each other, probably because they know what it is like to be treated unfairly and to need help. They are more open, understanding and accepting of others. If they were running the country, it would be a much better place.