The mother of an 11-year-old boy has told the heartbreaking tale of how he was “dumped” by his best friend because he is gay.
Writing on HuffPost’s personal, Lori Duron explained how her son, C.J. was left devastated by his best friend’s failure to accept his sexuality.
Allie, C.J’s school best friend, had told him that she wasn’t going to hang out with him anymore because “my family doesn’t hang out with gay people”.
The pair had been friends for nine years, and Allie had always known C.J. to like the “girlies” things.
However, her family decided to put an end to their friendship when they came to realise that the young boy was gay.
Recounting the heartbreak it caused her son, Duron explained that the night it happened C.J. “cried until a restless sleep found him”.
C.J. had told his mother what happened when she picked him up from school.
Crying, he told her: “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.”
Duron explained that her son is obviously “not yet a romantic or sexual being” and that he doesn’t talk about his sexual orientation.
“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 explained.
However, she says that being dropped by his best friend changed her son.
“Whatever his future sexuality, that day, homophobia turned my son into devastation personified,” Duron wrote. “C.J. has learned to live life ignoring the stares, snickers and snide comments of strangers.
“He can brush off invasive questions and critiquing quips from classmates with a certain amount of ease.
“But facing hostility from one of the most important people in his life ― one of his best friends ― was something he’d never had to deal with.
“It put a gash in his heart that may never heal completely.”
The mother 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 the young girl had seemingly taken it well, as the pair shared a crush on the male co-star of Wonder.
However, her attitude seemingly changed after Allie’s parents caught her reading an article by Duron about raiding a child who experiments with gender.
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“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,” the mother explained.
“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.”
Her son became “inconsolable” at times and she “watched him shivering on the couch and struggling to catch his breath between sobs.”
“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.”
Duron feared that C.J. won’t be able to take the “pain and rejection” and that in the years to come at school he will face more discrimination as she pictured Allie and her parents “planting a seed of hate” amongst the suburb families.
However, Duron and her husband, C.J’s father, Matt, decided that rather than dwindle on the negative outcomes they would use it to teach their son an important lesson about treating others the way he wants to be treated
“The easiest way to rob haters of their power is to act like their actions don’t bother you,” Duron explained to her son. “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.”
The following day, Duron drover her son to school and promised him that he would have “lots of friends” but she still drove to work “teary-eyed” as she wondered “who would be friends with C.J.?”