To All Moms: Happy Mother’s Day
by Belinda Dronkers-Laureta on May 11th, 2016

Keeping Families Together

The Asian And Pacific Islander Family Pride Blog

May 17, 2013

To All Moms: Happy Mother’s Day


This Sunday is Mother’s Day. As far as traditional holidays go, this one is not that old. Anna Jarvis is credited with starting Mother’s Day as we now know it in 1908. A few years later she regretted having started the tradition because its commercialization was so blatant that to her profit seekers had obliterated the intent of Mother’s Day. Anna Jarvis had lost control of the celebration and spent her later years trying to abolish the holiday she created.

We are certain that in addition to rampant commercialization, Anna Jarvis also did not foresee the change in family itself: same sex heads of household, one mother, one father, two mothers or two fathers. A friend told us in jest that the only thing wrong with having two mothers is that on Mother’s Day you have to buy two presents.

Mother’s Day is intended for families to honor their mothers, but for API LGBTs relationships with parents are not that straightforward. Some LGBTs celebrate the day with extra fervor because their mothers supported them and cared for them without reservation. During our Annual Presentation Banquet, where we honor API families who continue to support and honor their children even after they come out, we listen to testimony about mothers who continued to love and work hard for their LGBT children. For some it was not an issue, for others it was at first a struggle. There is testimony of parents who sought help from others, read books, and asked questions. Sometimes it took a long time, but for these mothers final understanding resulted in rediscovered love.

For other API LGBTs Mother’s Day is a sad day because their mothers cannot accept their sexual orientation or identity. Some wonder if they are bad children because they are LGBT children and that that is the cause for the rift between mother and child. It must be difficult for a mother also, torn between love for a child and duty to a cultural norm or religion. We know of a mother who loves her son but is devoutly religious and who desperately wants her son to go to reparative therapy so she and he can get back together. We heard a story of a mother who cannot accept her daughter’s lesbianism, but will not reject her because “where would she go?” The mother feels miserable and hopes that her daughter can change. One person told us that her family emigrated from an Asian country. His parents worked very hard to make sure their children gained the advantages needed to get ahead in their adopted home. When he came out he felt he also had to work very hard to regain their love; he never did.

It is sad that after all the advances we have made, some (or even many) API LGBTs still have to improvise a surrogate family because the one that is naturally theirs refuses to accept them just because of who they are. At the same time, our annual banquet honors families that are living examples of how it should be for API LGBTs.

Regardless of how it is today, we project a future where a contrary sexual orientation or identity won’t matter. So we wish a happy Mother’s Day for all the moms out there.

Belinda and John Dronkers-Laureta are board members of Asian & Pacific Islander Family Pride

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