I’m From Memphis, TN – Video Story

by Saeed Jones

I finally came out to my mom my freshman year of college and that did make me really nervous because you’re like “I think she would be cool but what if she isn’t?” If she isn’t okay with it, it’s really going to impact the way I view our relationship. So that’s what made me nervous.


I got a postcard from a friend that had a picture of me that said, “not even his clothes are in the closet anymore.” As if they’d ever been. And I thought it was really funny so that’s what I used to tell her, like, “Oh this is so funny! Not even my clothes are in the closet–hahaha…” And she was like, “…what’s that mean?” That was the first thing she said.


I was like, “Uh, you know…my clothes aren’t in the closet…like, I’m not in the closet?” And so my awkwardness was really getting in the way of me giving her the information she needed and she was like:


“What are you trying to tell me?”


I was like, “You know…gay?”


And she was like, “How long has this been going on?”


And I was like, “You know, a while.”


And she was like, “How long have you known?”


“You know, a while.”


And she was quiet. And now I’m getting nervous standing in the middle of the campus lawn. And she goes, “Well, have you had an experience?”




“An experience.”




“An experience.”


“Are you always going to call it that?”


“Have you had one?!”




“Have you worn a condom?”




“Okay….I gotta go.”


And that was the end of the conversation. And at first I was like, “Yeah!” and I went to tell my friends, “I just came out to my mom and it was cool! She didn’t like hurl obscenities at me…it was fine.” And then, instantly, I freaked out, like once I thought about it I was awkward but I also realized I was being very nonchalant doing it over the phone. So I felt really bad. My first reaction was that I hadn’t really considered what this meant for her. What does it mean to find out that your son is gay? You know, not that it’s a negative thing but that’s new! That’s something to take in as a parent. So I was really concerned.

She called me back and she was like:


“ I, um, when we talked earlier it was a lot to take in and I needed to sit down but I’m okay and I just wanted to say that I love you.”


It was really sweet. And she said:


“And I forgot to say that.”


And there’s this Buddhist idea of creating value, it’s called “Soka”, and she was like, “You know, you sound happy and that’s what matters. As long as you’re creating value and if this is what it is then do it.”


And, of course, that was exactly what I needed to hear. You know what I mean? I got all emotional.

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