Mom No Longer 'Dumb' About Gay Son | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : Tell Me More

Filed Under:

Mom No Longer 'Dumb' About Gay Son

Play associated audio

OutLoud, a new StoryCorps project, records and amplifies the voices of the LGBTQ community.

Ninety-year-old Rita Fischer remembers the phone call she got when her son Jay Fischer told her he is gay. It was the 1980s, and she says she had no idea.

"When you called and came out, it was quite a shock. I had no inkling--none whatsoever. You tell me you're gay, and I said, 'Listen. Give me a half hour to come to myself, and I'll call you back,'" she tells her son on a visit to StoryCorps in New York City.

She did call him back. She said "this is not a telephone discussion. I think you best come speak with dad and I. But don't worry; we're going to love you the same way."

Her son Jay, now 65, says he thought she knew. "When you talked about not knowing about me being gay, I mean, I consider you a lot of things, but dumb isn't one of them. And I had left so many clues. I had somebody over for three times a week for five years."

"In your house. I had a f*** buddy."

"That's what you call them? F*** buddies?" Rita says. "I don't know what you call them, but I didn't know, and that's all. I would not be so dumb now. I have what they call gaydar."

She says a "very high point" was taking part in Jay and his partner Michael's commitment ceremony. "Dad I and were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. And you suggested that we make it a joint celebration. And when dad and I walked you down that aisle. I was so overwhelmed that I thought I was going to drop dead from a heart attack. It was one of my bursting moments of pride," Rita tells her son.

"I consider you a blessing to both me and Michael. And that's as best as I can put it," Jay says.

"I think straight parents should be involved with their gay children. I told everybody and anybody who would listen to me, that I had a gay son and that I was very proud of my gay son."

Audio produced for Tell Me More by Jud Esty-Kendall.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Rosh Hashana's Sacred Bread Offers Meaning In Many Shapes And Sizes

Making challah for the Jewish New Year lets the baker take a moment to reflect on life's blessings. The bread can be shaped into the traditional round, or a lion or bird to echo Bible verses.
NPR

Rosh Hashana's Sacred Bread Offers Meaning In Many Shapes And Sizes

Making challah for the Jewish New Year lets the baker take a moment to reflect on life's blessings. The bread can be shaped into the traditional round, or a lion or bird to echo Bible verses.
NPR

More Americans Favor Mixing Religion And Politics, Survey Says

The poll by Pew's Religion & Public Life Project also shows that three-quarters of survey participants believe religion's influence on American life is waning.
NPR

Seeking Frugal Tech Solutions For Nairobi's Jammed Traffic

Traffic in major cities in the developing world can be a mind-numbing mess. A team at IBM in Kenya's capitol thinks it's found an answer.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.