I can empathize to a point. I grew up in the MS Delta in a racist and very conservative family. I eventually joined the Navy, and ten years later, when I brought my Asian wife home to meet them for the first time, the first words out of my mother’s mouth (out of my wife’s earshot) were, “I wish you’d married a black girl instead”.

Thing is, I didn’t take offense because I knew that she was sincerely trying to be polite. She was racist against blacks, but (in her point of view) at least she knew and understood blacks, but she didn’t understand Asians.

The very next day I left with my wife, for my grandmother (who was not nearly as circumspect as my mother) had insulted my wife. I didn’t speak to them for the next six months. But we did begin speaking again. I and my wife and children accepted that my family in Mississippi were racist and strongly conservative, and my family there accepted that I had married a nonwhite, was strongly liberal, and (horror of horrors) supported Obama. So we stayed in contact, and tried to never bring up the issue of race.

I’m glad we did, for within the decade that followed, my entire family there had passed away and were buried in the same small cemetery where the rest of my direct family line was buried all the way back to 1870. It wasn’t easy, but I had stayed in contact with them, and gave them the comfort and respect that any parent needs from a child in their final years.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope you can realize that the bond between mother and child is (almost always) stronger than division caused by politics or sexual preference. What’s more, if you have children, it’s very important that they see that familial love is stronger than those obstacles…because one day they’ll grow up, and they just might be strongly conservative and disapprove of your lifestyle. If they see that you are able to maintain family ties with your mother despite such obstacles, then they will be much more likely to maintain family ties with you if they face such obstacles as well.

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Retired Navy. Inveterate contrarian. If I haven’t done it, I’ve usually done something close.

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