I recently attended a “Coming Out” candlelight vigil at the Blue Frog in Cortland, in memory of those innocents who were lost due to many hateful actions of homophobic people and stigma from a world where so many deprive gays, lesbians. and transgenders from acceptance and respect. As I watched the faces on the screen of those young people who no longer are with us, my heart raced and tears filled my eyes. “Why God, why is this happening” I thought. I looked over at my loved one and I thought… this must never happen to you. What can I do to help you, but also so many others? I spoke out that night and had my own sense of coming out as a Grandmother who loved her Grandson and accepted him for the person he is. When he came to me, before he told anyone else, and said Grandma I need to tell you something. With tears in his eyes, “I am gay”, I hugged him, I cried with him, and I told him I loved him, and it was okay. I will be here for you always.

He is 17 now and it has been awhile since that day. We have both learned so much since then . He had to be quiet about who he was for a long time and it was rough, but he did it. I told the group at the Coming Out Vigil that it was the most beautiful moment I have ever experienced when he confided in ME. To tell me who he was before he told anyone else was so very special to me. This is the same boy I have always loved and is no different in my eyes. Why can’t others feel that way about their loved ones? Why can’t the world accept that these are people who love and laugh and care like anyone else? Why must they be degraded and felt that they are less of a person?

It is my desire and intention the rest of my lifetime to take a stand for these people who are just as good, loving , caring , and deserving individuals as anyone else. We who want to make change come will band together and strive for that change to happen . We will try to bring an awareness and  understanding to others.  Eventually, and hopefully, love.

These hate crimes and suicides must end, and all of us , in PFLAG and individually can try to be an advocate for Gay, Lesbians, Transgenders, and others in need of support. Let’s do it!

A Grandmother that truly cares – Kay Scott

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