By: Christine Nicco/TRT Reporter—
A mother’s love; a son’s affirmation of support. That is what happened to Zach Gibson after he came out as bisexual to the world on Facebook.
His mother, on August 30th, posted a photo of the handwritten letter to Zach, on her Facebook page too.
“I didn’t get to talk to him before I left for work today, so I left this on his bedroom door,” typed Michelle Conway McClain to her son
Zach via Facebook.
The letter has gone viral and Conway’s support for her son is more than obvious, as expressed in her loving closing to Zach. Her concerns are not at all related to his sexual orientation, but to the cleanliness of his room.
“The only thing that concerns me is the number of empty soda cups and tea bottles in your room. Throw them away before ants come inside,” read the handwritten letter. [pullquote]“The only thing that concerns me is the number of empty soda cups and tea bottles in your room. Throw them away before ants come inside,” read the handwritten letter.[/pullquote]
According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), “roughly three-quarters (73 percent) of LGBT youth say they are more honest about themselves online than in the real world.
When someone “comes out” they need support, as stated by most LGBT youth organization websites. If you, or someone you know comes out to you, please remember some helpful facts from PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Unlike what has happened to Zach, there is research that shows that coming out online could not be such a positive experience.
According to a recent (July, 2013) GLSEN report, “Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth experience nearly three times as much bullying and harassment online as non-LGBT youth, but also find greater peer support, access to health information and opportunities to be civically engaged.”
Despite negative online experiences of bullying and harassment, the GLSEN study reported that “LGBT youth indicated the Internet is also a space that offers safer opportunities to express who they are, find peer support and gain access to resources not necessarily available in person.”
Other LGBT youth of color experience different “coming out” experiences too. For instance, LGBT Hispanic/Latino youth’s concerns when coming out to friends and family members depend on the environment they live. The HRC’s latest report — Supporting and Caring for our Latino LGBT Youth — explores the experiences of nearly 2,000 LGBT youth who identify as Latino.
Zach, in this particular instance, was lucky to find a safe place at home with no judgment, just love and acceptance. Hopefully he will find the same in his surroundings too.