Mother Meets a Gay Person

“Amanda! Why isn’t [Mark’s Lover] married? Why isn’t Mark married?”

Mother asks this all the time. I have been wanting to tell her for some time that they’re partners but Good Man has always worried that she would not understand. But this time, Good Man wasn’t around to stop me.

“Mother, are you sitting down?”

“What do you mean? Of course I am, you can see.”

“Mother, Mark and [Mark’s Lover] love each other. They are gay.”

Mother narrowed her eyes. “Really?”

“Yes. I know I tease you a lot, but I am not kidding. [Good Man] and I met in June 2008, they met in August 2008. And it is illegal for them to get married.”

“Wow. Shocking.” Mother thought for a moment. “How does Mark’s mom feel?”

I smiled. “Mark told his mom a long time ago, in high school. She loves [Mark’s Lover] like he is another son. So she is OK with it. And Mark’s in-laws like him, too.”


“Mother, you really didn’t know? We usually see them together.”

“No,” Mother said, shaking her head, “They didn’t kiss each other at your wedding, how would I know? I have never met a gay person before.”

I decided not to press the point that she has indeed met gay people but just didn’t know it. I patted her hand, “Well, now you have.”

“You know, more and more young Koreans are coming out now. It’s on the news.”

“I know.”

“I wonder how their families feel.”

I thought for a moment before saying, “I hope their families love them.”

“Wow. Gay.”

I had half-expected Mother to say she was going to pray for them, or say that there are no gays in Korea. I was surprised at how understanding she was, and thought her concern for Mark’s mother was sweet. And now she’ll quit asking why they aren’t married… to women, at least. I fully expect her to soon start asking why they don’t marry each other.