In the early morning hours of January 18, 2009 Corey tearfully told me a secret.
After a night of celebrating Jordan and Desirae’s wedding reception at Prince of Peace, we arrived home late and tired. The night was full of fun and dancing and while on the dance floor Corey said to me that I really didn’t know him but someday I would. In my own little world all I could think of was he was wrong because I think I know my kids pretty well.
Mark had gone to bed but Corey was still awake. I sat with him on the bed in our guest bedroom as he proceeded to tell me his secret. He said, “I’m gay.” At first I thought he was joking. I’m thinking, ‘How could Corey be gay and I didn’t know this? He is my 24-year-old son and to think I didn’t know something as important as this?’ I think I kept saying to him, “It will be okay. Please don’t worry.” He told me he has known he was gay since he was in junior high. At that point I was so sad for Corey because he had to keep this secret inside of him for so many years thinking he has no one to talk to because no one would understand. What kind of a mother am I that my son cannot tell me? I felt so bad and sad for Corey. Our conversation continued for a while but we were both so mentally and emotionally drained that we went to bed. I got into bed and shared Corey’s secret with Mark. He said, “Really? Corey?” Mark told me it didn’t change anything, he is still our Corey. Mark said he would talk to Corey in the morning after everyone got a good night’s sleep.
The next morning Mark went into Corey’s room and told him he loved him and that everything would be alright. That day Mark and I talked with Corey about how he wanted to handle his news in the future. Corey decided he wanted to be the one to tell the special people in his life personally before the news got out. I think it took Corey a year to tell everyone he wanted to and then he gave us permission to share his secret with our family and friends before they found out through the grapevine.
As my conversations with my family and friends took place I was so amazed by the respect for our beautiful son. This sort of news usually travels fast within a small community in a small town but this time the news didn’t travel fast. I found out that my friend’s kids knew for a year and never told their parents. In other instances, Corey’s best friends never told each other out of respect for him. Everyone I talked to told me they loved Corey and it didn’t change the way they thought of him because he was such a wonderful person.
My heart was broken on the night Corey told me he was gay. How can a kid hide a secret like that for 10 years and not share it with someone? I can’t imagine what Corey lived through during high school and college hearing stupid gay jokes knowing people are joking about him.
Corey is the same person to us that he has always been; kind, loving and our amazing son and we love him so much.