I, as a 14-year-old boy, was sitting next to my mother as she drove us home from school in Valdosta, Georgia. We came to a red light and she stopped the car. I turned to her and said, “Mother, I’m a homosexual.”
“Are you sure?” she asked.
“Would you want to have sex with Rock Hudson?”
“In a heartbeat.”
Several days later she came to me and asked if I’d be willing to talk to a priest that her friend, knowing about homosexuality, had recommended. This surprised me as Mother is an Atheist. We called him and Mother and I listened to him. He began talking about how it was a sin. Mother took the receiver out of my hand and placed it on the cradle, looked at me and said, “This man has nothing for you.”
A week later she brought me a book and said, “Read this, you’ll find beautiful things for you in it.” It was Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” which had lines like, “Oh boy of responding kisses…” and “We lay in the field at night…”
I loved my mother before her gift. After it I knew for sure that she loved me. This was in 1958.