October 29, 2015

We received the following via email:

Hello. My name is Dawn Jaksons and I'm a PFLAG mom in Edmond, Oklahoma.

Our son came out to us when he was 14. We told him we loved him no matter what. Accepting and supporting my son has not been hard for me but I know it is still hard for others. It is also hard for some to understand MY love and support OF him. Because of this I have made a point of being very vocal and demonstrative to others about my love and support of him. But as I began to pay more attention to LGBTQ news and issues, I soon came to realize that JUST loving MY son wasn’t going to be enough. I had to do more.

My son was bullied physically, emotionally, and verbally for being gay his last year of middle school. When he finally told us we took immediate action with the school, parents, and law enforcement. He is now a senior and, luckily, it has never happened again. But it does continue to happen to others, over and over and over. From peers, relatives, parents, strangers…and leading to an alarmingly high rate of suicide amongst LGBTQ young people. I slowly became more involved, seeking out people and organizations that were trying to combat the discrimination and self hatred that LGBTQ people felt. At first I just tried to stay informed about LGBTQ issues and then as time went on I became more personally invested in doing what I could to help bring to light these issues, donating time and money where I could. The more I got involved, the more invested my heart became. I have met so many fantastic people, some have had horrible stories and some have had good stories, but all have touched me. From the young person who was kicked out of their home as a young child, just for acknowledging that they were gay, to the person who is not allowed to visit their partner in the hospital because the law says they are not ‘family’, to the stories of love and hope and acceptance. You have brought me tears of sadness and tears of joy. They are all a part of my heart and soul now and I will always, always be here for them.

For me, JUST loving and accepting MY son wasn’t enough. Sometimes I feel like my friends and family don’t always understand why I am so passionate on the subject of LGBTQ equal rights. I have a overwhelming need to do what I can to let every LGBTQ person out there know that I love and accept them, that I’m fighting for them. Not because they are gay but because they are a person who deserves to be loved and accepted for who they are. Even if they feel like no one else cares, I DO!

Like Dr. King, I too have a dream…..a dream that one day soon, my son and every LGBTQ person, will share the same rights as the rest of us. It's so important to speak out and not stay silent.

My husband I have become PFLAG board members and we also volunteer with other local LGBTQ equality, support, and education organizations. I wrote the following poem for my son's 18th birthday last year. I surprised (embarrassed) him with it at his party.

I also did a surprise reveal of a tattoo that I got on my wrist in his honor. I'm including a photo of it. I've also sent a video of his father reading him the poem (I couldn't trust myself to get through it) and then I reveal my tattoo.

So, without further ado, here is Dawn's poem...then be sure to watch Tristan's response, and see his mom's beautiful tatoo!

It's Okay To Have A Gay Son

Its ok to have a gay son
He's perfectly queer,
But I don't shed a tear.
It's ok to love a gay son,
His name is Tristan and he is NOT an abomination,
If you ask me he's a winning combination.
It's ok to have a gay son
He's not evil or bad
And he's not JUST the latest fad.
It's ok to love a gay son,
no need to worry about a teenage mother.
Just say 'no' to sleepovers with
Anyone who is someone's brother.
It's ok to have a gay son,
his room is in need of a garbage can but he's always
got a glowing tan.
It's ok to love a gay son
He doesn't like to clean but he's compassionate,
Full of life and fun,
He smiles and boy, he can preen,
always in the latest styles.
It's ok to have a gay son,
When he needs to take a look,
any reflective surface
will serve his purpose.
It's ok to love a gay son,
From boy to man,
I'll always be his biggest fan.
It's ok to have a gay son,
He's eighteen today
An adult to the world
He'll be okay.
I love my son,
No one will sway me,
He's my flesh and blood,
He was born this way.