Today is NYC Pride Parade 2019 and the largest LGBTQ celebration in the world. It’s also the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, considered the catalyst for the modern gay rights movement. As well as the first time WorldPride is being held in the USA. And…our son Spencer is there! Yay!!
There was a lot of fashion chatter about whether “Pride” has become too commercialized. It did seem that EVERY brand, every store, every label had its own colorful take on June’s rainbow theme. As you can see here, I could not resist joining the movement. I’m hoping the wide availability of merchandise means our world truly is becoming a more accepting place — not just on the surface or with our wallets but in our hearts.
As a parent, we often refer to our children as our “pride and joy.” I have three amazing sons, so you can triple that. One of those sons happens to be gay.
In the fall of his Senior year of High School, Spencer came out to his father and me. He’d already told his brothers and his closest friends. We were next on the list, then it was the rest of the world. I’d be lying if I didn’t say we were very, very surprised.
The night before, Chris, Spencer and I had had a big row about his getting into trouble at his “no strikes” boarding school (meaning if you are caught drinking/doing drugs/cheating/stealing, you are immediately kicked out), not working hard at his studies, and generally just being a super difficult teen. He stormed off into the night, and I’m sure a good friend’s house. When I came down for coffee the next morning, Chris said “Spencer is gone.” My heart sank, as I thought he had run away. Then Chris handed me a note. I won’t reveal all of it, except for the closing line. It was: “I hope that after telling you this, you’ll still love me like the Spencer I was before you knew.”
Well, if that didn’t go to the core of Mother Love, I don’t know what would. Of course we did! Spencer did come home later that morning. And we did much talking (and hugging) the rest of that weekend. I think we all learned a lot about each other and ourselves. Frankly, it was a huge relief for all of us. For Spencer, not to have to try to be someone he wasn’t, to hide, to drink or drug away feelings, his true self. For his parents, it was the “Aha moment” as to why this smart, handsome, kind, athletic, artistic, wildly popular boy had been engaging in random, self destructive behavior. A huge weight had been lifted, and there was a rainbow at the end of the uncertainty.
Today, I find new meaning in “Pride and Joy.” I take immeasurable Pride in the man my son has become and the man he will continue to grow into being. I take pride in the fact that he trusted us enough as parents (and people) to reveal his true self to us. As for joy, it is the continuing celebration of our own unique and inclusive rainbow family. Today. And every day. And I can’t imagine living or loving any other way.
Happy Pride World! xoxomp
Tee: (PRIDE x H&M, Unisex, I’m wearing XS) Love the reversible sequin effect on it! And Jersey City celebrates PRIDE in August, so I can wear it again. Or this one (sold out in white but still available in grey), that I’m actually wearing tonight as I write this post. J. Crew is donating 50% of the purchase price of this tee to the Human Rights Campaign, America’s largest civil rights organization working to ensure LGBTQ people are safe, equal and free in every community. Fashion tip: wear these fabulous tees all year long!
Bracelets: (Cristina V, every color of the rainbow!)
Photos by Spencer & MP Allegaert, Photo Editing by Kristin Moore-Gantz.
Shot on location @ six26.