An inspirational mom has shared the heartbreaking letter she wrote to her son, apologizing for her reaction when he came out as gay.
Marie Abboud wrote the letter to her son Patrick, an Australian journalist and TV presenter.
In it, she says she initially didn’t understand his sexuality and she ‘got hysterical’.
But now she says she is proud of him and that ‘love is the biggest power of all’.
Patrick grew up in a strict Arab household in Sydney’s western suburbs and didn’t initially understand his sexuality himself.
His mother is Lebanese and his father Palestinian, both countries where homosexuality was illegal.
So Patrick had a girlfriend and even admits to news.com.au that he tried to ‘pray the gay away’.
‘They’re super proud no matter what I do’
But then everything changed when Patrick’s eldest brother died in a horrific accident.
He says: ‘We were so close. He was my best friend and my big brother. Losing him made me feel like if I was going to outlive him, I had to be honest and live my truth.
‘I loved my ex-girlfriend with all my heart and we are still best friends to this day but I just couldn’t live that lie anymore.’
However, when he came out his parents shunned him. His dad would leave a room if he stepped into it. And his mother was ‘wailing hysterically just like when my brother died’.
So Patrick left Australia and lived abroad. However, when he returned home, he started to rebuild his family relationships.
Now, his parents are his biggest supporters and huge fans of his partner.
He said: ‘They’re super proud no matter what I do, and that never seemed possible so you can imagine the elation I feel now being able to talk so freely.
‘It’s hard for us Arabs because family is everything and coming out for many means risking the loss of family.
‘Coming out isn’t an option for everyone, but that’s the stuff I want to help others with now. I want others to know it is possible and my family and I want to help them get there.’
Marie’s letter to PatrickMarie’s letter to Patrick. Supplied
My darling baby boy Pat,
Well not so much a baby anymore, a beautiful grown up man (but as the youngest in our family you’ll always be my baby son).
When you came out and told me that you are gay I got hysterical as at the time I didn’t understand it, and thought it was your choice to be that way, I wasn’t educated about it, people said it was a shame to our Arabic community and society didn’t accept it.
I struggled inside for a very long time but I started searching, learning and talking to professional people about it until I understood the way I needed to, that gay people don’t have a choice to be how they are, they are God’s beautiful creations and there shouldn’t be any discrimination against them.
In fact, I found after meeting your beautiful partner and some of your gay and lesbian friends, that they are more loving and caring for others than most. I love you and your partner and your friends and the way you always look after each other. You are like family and that’s everything to us in our culture.
The government needs to stop with their discrimination. We are all equal and we all deserve to be treated equally no matter what. I will continue to fight for this, for you and your lovely partner and your wonderful friends to be treated with the respect and dignity you all deserve.
I am very proud of you. So proud to see how you have created your path, your self-respect and your compassion for others. You take care of so many others and you are so giving. Everything you do is with such a compassion for others and you really go out of your way to make others lives better. That makes me proud. I’m also so proud of all you continue to achieve. You shine with success in everything you do and you look very handsome on the television!
Son, I will always have my mind and heart open to all the rights that you deserve as a human being. I hope we will continue to work together to keep peace and justice in the world.
I will always support you in any time you need my support and I will always support the LGBT community.
Love is the biggest power of all and no matter what happens, what anyone says, I love you so much. Love is our leader.
Stay strong, keep smiling and keep your head held high.