This is my beautiful son Chase. He is 24 years old. From the time he was able to color, it was all rainbows and Sailor Moon. As he got older it was designing clothing for Barbie Dolls, painting his nails, and wearing my clothing. As Chase was entering grade school, he felt he was different from other kids, but couldn’t articulate it. While a child may not fully understand what being gay means, a family allowing their son to be whoever he wants to be from such an early age could be monumental in his growing years. If a child is happy, what’s the harm in letting him be who he wants to be? If children are given the space to try on different hats (or dresses), to explore their identities with the love and support of family from the get-go, the years of inner turmoil and self-loathing many LGBTQ people experience could disappear. My husband and I love our children however they want to identify.

As Chase grew older, we didn’t want to let him abstain from what most would call “heterosexual” activities. He tried baseball, tennis, track, and skiing. Although he didn’t love those activities, he wasn’t miserable trying them. He did, however, fully engage in art. Painting, drawing, and sculpting became Chase’s full-time passion, which led him to attend Idyllwild Arts high school. This was one of the best decisions we collaboratively (Chase, my husband, and I) made. Idyllwild Arts is a boarding school providing training of the arts and have a competitive college preparatory. I would recommend it to anyone who has an artsy child. After a year in art, Chase decided to change his craft to musical theatre. We always knew this is where his passion was, but he needed to grow and become secure to finally get there.

After high school, Chase then attended Columbia College in Chicago and also graduated from the Conservatory at Second City. Fast forward to current, Chase now lives in Los Angeles pursuing acting. He has been a part of Groundings Los Angeles, and Second City L.A. emphasizing in improv. Dressing in drag has also become a big part of his life and he loves it. He puts a lot of effort into his makeup, wigs, clothing, and transforming into his characters. Whether for profit or just for fun, Chase is always up for a gig where he can express his freedom. I have four children and they are all so different. I don’t look at my son Chase as being different. To parents who are discovering that their kids may be LGBTQ, please take that first step. Look inside and see what you need so that you can find peace of mind and support your child. You can give your child the unconditional love they deserve, be confident that you are doing the right thing, and bring your family back together. You may be saving your child’s life. And, at the very least, you will be making their life a lot better!

As parents of Chase, we couldn’t be more proud of the man he has become. I could not imagine not accepting my child because of the way he identifies himself. What a stressful way to live, for yourself and your loved one. By the way, Chase still has a passion for art and paints as a hobby.

Chase made this for my husband’s and my birthday. We each got a half. It is a picture of the yummy ramen we ate in Japan