I came out to my mom when I was 26, and then it was never talked about again for years. Literally not a word. Every so often, she would make a comment that maybe it was a phase, to which I would reply it wasn’t, and that’d be the extent of it. I always said my mom accepted it, but she’d never be the type to walk in a gay pride parade with me. Which was fine, it was just how it was.
Well, I think that changed in Vietnam, when she went with me to all the shoots I did for the Gay Men Project. Essentially she was my translator for all the Vietnamese men I photographed for the project and participated in all the conversations. Many of you have had that conversation with me, so you know what it’s like, and I didn’t filter anything just because my mom was there.
She recently sent me this email after seeing the blog for the first time (she just got internet at her house), and I wanted to share it, because no matter what happens with the project, whomever I’m able to reach, I now know I’ve reached at least one person–my mom. And really, that may be the most important.
P.S. mom, i will make a book, and i will share it with the world.
It’s good that you brought home pictures of your friends from Vietnam. Reading June’s storyremind me the time we were in Vietnam, and I was glad to see him in person when I read his story. He is an honest person, and his story was good to read. You should made a book of your Gay friends with their consensus, and publish it to share with the world.
If you have more of your Vietnamese friend’s story, I will translate for you. I think it’s fun since I don’t have a job now.
Love, take care. Mom”
I think everyone’s journey to acceptance (of anything in life) is a process, and it’s worth reading this story she wrote for me last year, regarding me being gay:
Lu, in his own words: “Life is much more wonderful if you are yourself.”