Growing up was hard—I had an older brother who always overshadowed me. Yet, during my whole life my mother always was my best friend. After I came out to her 10 years ago, she has supported not only me but everything I do to fight for gay rights and to help with the HIV/AIDS cause. Over the last six years, my mother has been suffering from a major car accident which has caused her permanent back pain. Even through all this, my mother always seems to be there for me. Now, I find I have a chance to give back to her and be there for her. She is the best mother one could want.
“The nicest thing about my relationship with Michael is that there’s a climate of mutual understanding,” his mom, Paula, laughs. “If I’m having a bad day, he doesn’t take it personally. He lets me complain, act miserable and conduct a one-woman pity party…to a point. Then he lets me know how obnoxious I am being.”
Although Michael was worried about coming out, Paula handled it with grace and love.
“She asked lots of questions, like any mother would,” he says, “but one thing I remember clearly she said was, ‘No matter what, you will always be my son, and I will always accept you for you.’”
Paula says that she’s proud of Michael for many reasons, but especially for how supportive he’s always been in every way.
“One night, his father was in the hospital and I had a terrible flu. He called me at 11:00 p.m. and heard me hacking away,” Paula says. “The next thing I knew, he had driven two and a half hours and was walking in my door. For the next few days, he visited his father, took care of me and took care of the pets. Also, through my back surgeries and many days of feeling despondent, he buoyed me up and made me feel that things would get better. He kept reminding me there were many people who cared for me and I needed to fight for them.”
Article continues below...
Michael cites her courage and support as two of the many things he admires about his mother.
“She truly is the person that keeps me strong,” he says. “I look up to my mom more than she ever could realize.”
“I’m just his mom and he’s just my son,” she says with a smile, “and both of us continue to be works in progress.”
Thanks to Chokerz4Men.com for sending Justin a free necklace! Visit Chokerz4Men.com for more information.
If you would like to nominate your mom (or dad), send an e-mail to