A woman has recalled the heartbreaking story of her eleven-year-old son who was dumped by his best friend, and it's got a lot of people talking...
Unfortunately, homophobia is still a thing.
And it will continue to be until we start to properly educate people about the LGBTQ+ community.
So when's the best time to start that teaching?
Well, there's no time like the present...
Well, one mom has shown that children as young as eleven-years-old are experiencing homophobia.
After she revealed that her son was dumped by his best friend because he's gay.
Scroll on to find out more...
Of course, the LGBTQ+ community is now stronger than ever...
Since the annual observance of LGBTQ+ History Month began in the U.S. in 1994, the growth and acceptance of this community has been absolutely staggering.
LGBTQ+ identifying people are prouder than ever before...
And, because of the growing numbers of barriers being broken down, more and more people are coming out openly and proudly as LGBTQ+.
But discrimination still lurks...
Despite amazing development, an array of narrow-minded individuals who spread hatred, fear, and disapproval among this community are still in existence.
And those people sometimes have the power to influence their children as well.
As one mom found out...
Lori Duron took to the internet share the heartbreaking story of how her son was dumped by his best friend who claimed "my family doesn't hang out with gay people."
And people online have been quick to send messages of support...
Lori Duron took to Huffpost Personal to explain how her son, C.J., was left devastated after his best friend was unable to accept his sexuality.
As they walked out of school, C.J's best friend Allie had told him: "My family doesn't hang out with gay people, so I'm not going to hang out with you anymore."
A statement that left C.J "in shock and confused" with "the feeling of his heart breaking for the first time."
Duron wrote: "We've known Allie's family casually for 9 years, in the way you know a family when you raise children together in the suburbs. C.J. has gone to school with Allie for half his life. She's always known that he's a gender-creative boy who likes 'girl things'."
"It turns out that while Allie and her family had apparently been (at least somewhat) OK with C.J.'s gender creativity, they aren't OK if he's gay."
Recalling the scenario she went on to write: "'How was school?' I asked C.J. when he got in the car that afternoon.
""Fine," he said. I could tell that nothing in his world was fine.
"We drove for a few minutes in silence until his pain came pouring out. It was too much for me to catch."
In her writing, Duron continued: "She just said it. She said her family doesn't hang out with gay people, so she can't hang out with me. She says I'm the only gay person she knows, and she doesn't want to know me. She says that all of our friends will be her friends now because she is more popular than I am," he sobbed, with his head in hands. Tears dripped out from between his little fingers that were dirty from playing handball on the blacktop."
"At this point in his life, C.J. doesn't talk much about his sexual orientation. He's not yet a romantic or sexual being; he's an 11-year old boy with lots of time to figure out who he is attracted to while having our unconditional love and support. When he does talk about it, sometimes he says he's gay. Sometimes he says he's half gay and half bisexual. Sometimes he says, "I'm just me!""
Duron then explained that C.J has "learned to live life ignoring the stares, snickers and snide comments" that some strangers sadly make.
But that's nothing like hearing hostility from a so called "best friend."
Duron went on to describe her initial reaction: "My gut reaction was the desire to lash out. I wanted to send Allie's mom questioning texts."
"I wanted to point out Allie's flaws to C.J. and return the birthday present she handed him with a smile a few days earlier. I wanted to erase all the play dates they'd had and the crafts they'd made. I wanted to delete the pictures they took with Santa at Christmastime."
But she knew that wasn't the right thing to do.
"I reminded myself of the lesson we teach both of our sons: We can't let hate breed hate."
Duron explained that Allie was the first person her son had told outside of the family that he thinks he may be gay.
She explained that while Allie "was a little uncomfortable" their friendship continued, until the day that her attitude changed.
She wrote: "Either Allie decided she was too uncomfortable with C.J.'s non-heteronormative identity to be friends with him, or her parents made the decision for her, because the next day their friendship was over ― but C.J.'s physical and emotional pain had just begun."
"He climbed onto my lap like a small child. I held him and rocked him while thinking, this is what hate does. This is what the effects of bigotry look like. A mother rocking her fifth-grader because neither one knows what to do to ease the pain."
The pair sat for an hour sharing tears with C.J "inconsolable" at time and "watched him shivering on the couch and struggling to catch his breath between sobs."
"This is one of the reasons why some LGBTQ+ and gender-expansive kids kill themselves. This is why some of them sink into depression, turn to drugs, drop out of school, and participate in unsafe sexual situations. This is why some mothers with children like mine find their arms empty one day," she wrote.
Duron and her husband, Matt tried to help C.J by "telling him that a good soak would soothe him."
And as he did so, "Matt lay on the floor next to the bathtub so that C.J. would feel his presence and protection."
C.J then asked to go to bed and his parents agreed but before he did, they tried to turn the experience into a moment of teaching.
And so they remind C.J "to treat others the way he wants to be treated and that the easiest way to rob haters of their power is to act like their actions don't bother you."
With Duron also telling him: "It won't hurt this bad forever. It's going to get better. I know that's hard to believe right now, but I promise. You have lots of friends. You are amazing, and if people don't see that, they are the ones with the problem, not you. Kids should be lining up to have a unique friend like you."
The following day, it was time for C.J to go to school again.
Duron wrote: "The next morning I drove C.J. to school slowly, in no hurry for him to leave the safety of my car.
"I love you. Have a good day," I said to him, as I do every morning."
"I watched him walk away from my car with his head hung low. It felt like my heart was walking off with him."
"I drove teary-eyed to work, thinking of the parents of rainbows who felt this pain before me and those who will feel it after me. I thought of the LGBTQ and gender-expansive youth who have or will experience C.J.'s pain and rejection without unconditional love and support at home."
"When I arrived at work, I looked in the rear-view mirror and wiped my eyes. I took a deep breath and walked into my office, ready to start the countdown to when I'd find out how C.J.'s day at school went. Who would be friends with C.J.?"
via: Getty Images
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