Marcia’s Law – This IS Normal
“Normal: a: according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule, or principle b: conforming to a type, standard, or regular pattern c: occurring naturally” (Merriam Webster Dictionary).
By: Marcia Prichason
“I get the window.” “Move over.” “It’s my turn.” “Mommmmm!” Ah, the joys of parenthood. Engaging in sibling rivalry has always been a popular sport. And my boys, like most siblings, engaged in it regularly. Sometimes they were genuinely fighting over who had the upper hand. Often times, it was just to see who could prove the most annoying. Other times, though, I think it was for attention. Whatever the reasons, my kids had it down to a science.
Despite the constant squabbles, we raised our boys to be kind to one another, to respect each other, and to treat each other as they would like to be treated. Most of the time…okay, SOME of the time, they got the message.
It didn’t surprise me, then, that my left handed son knew that my gay son was gay years before we did. He honored his brother’s wish to keep it a secret until he was ready to come out to us. We had taught him that part of “normal” was to maintain someone’s trust; and he did.
My left handed son has always supported his brother. He never knew any other way. I’m proud of him and very indebted too. When we learned our oldest son was gay, it seemed as if our inner compasses went haywire. We didn’t know who to turn to. We blamed ourselves. We thought, too, we had done something to cause this to happen. My husband, who took our left handed son to school each morning for early classes, cried before they left each day. I, who returned home from work early, cried all the way until dinner. We were a mess. Our left handed son decided one day that he had finally had enough of us wallowing in our misery and insisted we get help.
We went to counseling and dragged him with us. There, he told us we were great parents, that we had not “caused” our son’s homosexuality, and that his brother was okay and, perhaps even more significantly, was going to be okay in the future. At sixteen, he knew that his brother was normal and that we were too.
Becoming PFLAG members also helped us regain our equilibrium. We saw that what we were experiencing was normal. And, our younger son, who I have for years introduced as my “left handed son,” has been a huge part in helping us realize that, rather than being “left” out of our family dynamics, he has been critical in helping us understand that our love for both of them transcends everything else.
Even now, our left handed son stands by his brother. They conspire together to aggravate us. They don’t get along. They hang out together. They can’t stand the sight of each other. But none of it has anything to do with one of them being left handed and the other being gay; it has to do with the fact that they are engaging in normal brotherly behavior.
I believe my left handed son is a wonderful role model. He has already made a positive difference in this world. He shows clearly just what normal is; that normal has nothing to do with who a person loves. It has to do with a person’s character.
And nobody, not people who want to deny my gay son his civil rights, not the leaders of the religious right who would like to see him placed behind barbed wire, and not those who go along with the discriminatory laws in many states will ever convince me that he is wrong.
So, when people argue that homosexuality is not normal, I look to my left handed son as the barometer. He knows what “normal” is. He knows that normal is how he treats his brother, the stranger on the street, the person next to him at a grocery store, or the woman at the coffee shop; as equals and with respect.
THAT is what normal is, and THAT is who both of my sons are.
…And I’m just a mom who loves her son(s)…