By Laura Howells Leavitt
This has been a humbling year for me as I’ve invited and gathered the sometimes heartbreaking, oftentimes encouraging, and always inspiring and sacred stories of our Mama Dragons. Since last December, 44 of you have taken the time and made the effort to share your stories so that other Mamas can feel encouraged, guided, educated and maybe most importantly, not alone! THANK YOU.
My husband Glen and I have six children – three sons and three daughters: Jonah, 25, (married to Hayley), Sunny, 24, (married to Jaxon, with 1 year old daughter Annevieve), Acoya, 22, Cannon, 19, True, 17, and Brighton, 14. Our youngest son, True, came out three years ago, although my mama heart had pondered the possibility ever since he was his highly creative-super endearing-cleverly witty-crazily costumed-lover of beautiful things-toddler self. And although I ADORE all our children, I feared and worried mightily over this one. I vividly recall vacuuming one day while True was 12, in a frenzied state of mind, telling myself, over and over, “Maybe True isn’t gay. Maybe he will find a woman to marry and everything will work itself out!” I was desperately seeking a Win-Win – for True to get to be his authentic self and seek for love and companionship while remaining in our religion’s good standing – yet no matter how hard I wracked my brain for one, there didn’t seem to be a happy ending.
For the next several months I went through the motions of life with what felt like a dark heavy cloud hanging over me. I stopped smiling. I cried a LOT. I had never felt such discouragement and as far as I knew, there were no answers to be found. As almost comical as it sounds now, I knew in my mama heart, that if this precious son of mine was going to Hell because of who he was created to be, then I was going with him. I would not let him be alone.
After months of this deep and profound sadness I sort of woke up one morning and decided that the God I knew and loved (raised Lutheran, joined the LDS Church at 19, served a church mission at 21) didn’t want me to feel this miserable. And that same God certainly didn’t want this beloved son of mine to feel this miserable. That’s the day I decided to figuratively “pop the bubble” which had contained my thinking and get outside of it. In my own heart and mind, there was nothing wrong with this incredible son, although frequent teachings and authoritative opinions claimed there was. I decided that God had given me my OWN heart and mind, and I was going to use them. That’s the day I realized that “God is much bigger than this”. And that’s the day I started to feel joy again.
After True came out, I knew I wanted to help in the cause of loving and supporting our LGBTQ children and their families and allies. When I was asked to be the editor for our Mama Dragons blog in October of 2018 I felt equal parts inadequate and honored. I am still both. But what a GIFT this has been. I am constantly humbled to be the keeper of such sacred, vulnerable, and valuable stories. Your fierce love WOWS me. Your resilience and determination empower all of us. Truly there is great strength and power in the sharing of our stories. EVERY Mama has a story worth sharing – Mamas from all over the world, of every denomination, or none at all. Thank you again. Let’s keep igniting the fires of LOVE and INCLUSION. Here’s to another fabulous year of Our Stories.
To share your own story on our blog, please contact Laura Howells Leavitt on facebook or email@example.com.