For My Son, Kevin

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

This story is just for Kevin, my son, because he asked me to write about my opinion of him being a gay man. This is a difficult subject for me and very sensitive to Kevin. However, to make him happy, I agreed to write a short story for him

Kevin was born as a beautiful boy in a refugee camp in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur in a hot summer of 1982, after I had escaped Vietnam in a fishing boat with my two small daughters. We later were transported to a camp in the Philippines when he was a few months old. He was so cute and chubby looking, so every time I carried him outside, the neighbors in the refugee camp would ask me if they could hold him. He was such a precious boy to me and his young two sisters. In those days, I was a young woman with my three small children and lived peacefully in a refugee camp after beating the odds of survival in the open sea. Kevin was taken care of by his 10 year-old sister in the refugee camp while I attended daily a half day of classes about the new culture in our soon to be new country of America. This was a requirement by the US government, as a culture shock might occur to us if we did not prepare for that.

We arrived to the USA in Feb 19th 1983, and Kevin was only eight months old, along with his two sisters, each of them were separated by five years of age respectively. It was not easy for me as a single mom with three small children in a new country. Being busy with schedules of work, ESL school, school homework, shopping, driving classes etc. I did not pay attention or have much time for my children, because I was always tired or exhausted from work and chores. They very much grew up by themselves, and their behaviors were influenced by their peers. Kevin grew up surrounded by three woman, me and his two sisters. There was not a figure of a man as a father to him. No man there to teach him to play sport or teach him how to grow up to be a man. I always thought that my son would be normal like every one else when he grew up. Never in my mind did it occur that he would be different. He always came with friends who were beautiful teenage girls in the neighborhood or from his school. I always saw him with beautiful girl friends.

Until one fall day when he was at home after serving in the Americorp Volunteer program in Orange County, CA when he was twenty-five. He told me, “Mom I have something to tell you, but you have to be calm.” So I started to get nervous, and asked him what was it about. Then he told me that he was gay. I could not believe what I heard, had I heard wrong? Or maybe he tried to pull my leg. But he already spilled it out, and his face was serious. His words were clear, and I had never had a problem of hearing before. So my son stood tall because he did not want to hide from his mother. He wanted to come out of a closet. I did not recall what my feelings were at that moment. Yes, I was disappointed, and was in fear of him being different. I had read news one time of a guy named Matthew who was killed by a hatred group. I knew that the society was prejudiced towards the gay group, and religion condemned their sins.

For me my mind went blank. What is gay? Does it make any difference, as he is always my son, and he is still the same Kevin by look, his body did not shrink an inch, his mind is still smart, his talent is still there. I just tried to forget what he told me and went on with my daily routine. I thought to myself whatever made him happy, that’s what mattered.

He has only one life to live, as not many people would live past 100 years. So what Kevin is gay? To calm myself I theorized that at least he would not fuss around with women, then impregnate them and then have to pay child support, or get married then get a divorce, and have children that would suffer. That eased my mind a little, however, I still was disappointed. Who would not want their son to be normal, under the eyes of one’s society?

Sometimes when I lied in bed and thought about Kevin, I would blame myself for not raising him up right. The mystery of Kevin being a gay man was never solved in my mind. I still did not understand what element had made him gay. I remember when he was 15 years old and used to hang out with two pretty teen girls in my neighborhood, and went to the prom with a beautiful young Filipino girl, and had a picture taken with her that was in his room all the time. A few years later, sometimes I saw that girl at the church and she would always ask about Kevin. She liked him so much. I always wished that Kevin would marry that charming Filipino girl. God did not grant me that blessing. There must be a reason. I had many theories about why he became gay. The first one was maybe when I was two months pregnant with Kevin and escaping out of Vietnam in a fishing boat, I may not have had enough nutrients to feed the fetus. Or maybe because Kevin grew up without a man around him, or maybe he hung out with a wrong group. Or there was a curse in my family. So many theories, but I knew I would never find the answers as to the reason. Kevin being a gay man would always be a mystery and maybe it is God’s will.

Today, he asked me, “Mom tell me honestly how do you feel about me being gay.” So I told him, “Why do you want to stir that up, the surface of the lake was flat and smooth, now you want to throw a rock and make bubbles.” I told him that I did not want him to stand up for gay groups, in fear for my son being jeopardized. He said it was important to him, he had a blog site, and people discussed about that, but he is safe.

I told Kevin that if you want my honest opinion, I would tell him that if everyone in the planet was gay then it would be the end because no one would have children. However, God didn’t create it that way, because your group is a small group, and they are like a group of the same type of trees standing strong together under this universe, and they are no different than the other trees. All the trees need the same basic needs for survival. They need water to nutrient them and they want to be recognized by other groups because they were also creations from the same Lord and in the same planet.

I told Kevin that the gay group is harmless to other peoples. You want to live happiness among the same type, for me it should be acceptable. The Lord had his opinion to create this universe. I just hope that society should leave them alone, and not be prejudiced about your group or ever harm them. Like many times I have heard, all men are created equal, so should you be. You should be treated like others. It doesn’t matter if you are gay or not.

I wish that my son should have a happy life and there will not be any obstacle on his career or hatred wherever he wants to go or whatever he wants to do to accomplish the things that he wants to do in his life. As long as he does good things for a society, whatever his private life people should not judge him, let it be the Lord at the day he is called home.

photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong

19 comments

  1. Tym Moss

    Wow. Thank you very much for that honest response. You are an incredible woman. And Kevin is an incredible man. I see where he gets it from. There is nothing wrong with Kevin or the way you raised him. All of your concerns are very valid. However, he has grown into the man he is supposed to be. Just continue loving him and celebrating the beautiful person he is. And thank you again for your very honest perspective. All the best.
    Tym

  2. Justin

    This is such a beautiful letter! I especially love her metaphor likening a group of different trees to the gay community-so thoughtful and compassionate!

  3. Sandra Miller

    Kevin,
    You asked something very personal of your mother and she gave you back a heartfelt gift. You are both wonderful people, sharing both your courage and fears with not only one another, but for all to consider. Love, acceptance and truth are the best gifts we can give one another – even when it may be painful. It is clear you treasure one another and that is what counts. I am hopeful that one day concerns over sexual orientation will no longer be an issue for any of us.
    Keep on your path,
    Sandra

  4. adoreabhijit

    Thank you….I say this as a gay boy struggling to come out to my father, who has worked hard and alone to give me a good life, freedom and ensure my future. I love him and respect him but still I fear he may not understand. You are a strong and wonderful woman and a great mother. :))) Kevin is lucky.

  5. Zirjaye S.

    This is one tear jerker .. :’) Seriously I really felt like it was my mom talking and did the writing for me. Kevin, you are so lucky to be supported and be loved by your mom. We’re all special and with you standing as a gay man. Promoting the love for all in equal with the LGBT community. I salute and support you. Thank you for having this blog, sharing it to people like us. It brings up positivity in life. Keep it up! More power. xx

    -Jaye

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  8. Ron and Ben

    Kevin, you are an amazing young man – I just completed reading your notes, the beautiful writings /letter of yet an incredible beautiful mom and seeing the sisters who you have. Ben and I are happy that you were able to stay with us in Vancouver and for us to share some of your life and the important work you have chosen to do.

  9. gidor

    Hi Kevin,

    The story of you mother touched me in so many levels. It just shows how she loves you, whatever fears she might feel. I laud you for your efforts for this project. I discovered your site by chance and back reading it. By the way, I am from Palawan, Philippines. We have a village here where the refugees used to stay. If this was the place your mother mentioned, I hope you can come back.

    warm regards,
    gidor

  10. Jem

    Thank you for sharing such personal things. What you are doing, Kevin, is going to go down in history as a precious and powerful thing to influence life for the better for gay people. Thank you for all you are doing. And thank you to your precious mother for raising you and loving you. You are making her proud.

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