Sarah Bird lives in Texas. Or so she says; I'd like to think she lives in Crazy-Pills Land, permanent residency, where she believes everything is okay and people will accept each other despite their differences. "Why can't my son just be gay?" she asks.
She goes on to lament her son's heterosexuality, but what she's really doing is lamenting her own maternal loneliness. She fears "antiquing alone," and imagines with dread her future of nights watching Will & Grace reruns and eating cupcakes. She seems to think that having a gay son would also entail having a mama's boy, and a best friend. She seems to think gay people care about things like the color of new doorknobs and, like...fucking showtunes.
Now, now, she acknowledges that she's stereotyping. But that's not what bothers me. She is indeed "ignorant," but not because she believes that a gay person would find her mundane suburban life exciting. That's just delusional, and she's probably going through menopause or something, so give her a break.
There are two things I find inherently wrong with the article. The first is what I just mentioned--that she equates a gay son with a BFF, someone to snuggle with her and watch Audrey Hepburn movies. Overjoyed at her son having found a girlfriend--providing her with ample girly-stuff time with her son and his ladyfriend--she assumes that a partner wouldn't have been necessary had her son just come out of the womb queer. What she fails to realize is that, were her son gay and had he found himself a boyfriend, she'd probably see even less of him than she does now. Her son would be too busy sneaking behind the Taco Bell for a quickie and driving two hours to the luxury shopping mall because American Eagle's jeans are far too loose to spend time with Dear Old Mom. Mrs. Bird's ignorance lies in her belief that her son--her gay son--would be content to spend all his time with her. I know she's half-kidding, and she just wants someone in her family who shares her interests. But man, that part where she's bothering him about the fucking doorknobs--it's like, nobody cares, gay or straight. Maybe take up a hobby or find a new friend, but don't try to rope your son into your web of boredom, because it's a place from which he'll only want to escape.
But more importantly--and I'm going to address you directly, Sarah--your view of adolescent homosexuality is rosy at best, and wildly misinformed in truth. You imagine hours spent playing Scrabble (since when are board games gay?) and watching Sweeney Todd, but what you don't predict are the nights your son will spend crying in his room because somebody else in his math class called him a fag; you don't anticipate his ostracism, the loneliness he will feel, the awful feeling--no offense, Sarah--that the only person in the world who understands you is your own mother. Sarah Bird, your son will be miserable. He will not want to go to the theater with you, he will not want to go shopping, he will not want to get tea; in short, like 99% of teenagers on the planet, he will not want to do much of anything with you, because you're his mom, and in high school, that's pretty lame. Your son will not be able to gush to you about the gossip at school because the only people who will talk to him will be the Drama Club kids, and unless your son is also born with stage presence, he'll find no satisfaction there. Your son will be afraid to tell you he's gay, and if he knows you're fine with it then he'll fear Dad's reaction. Your son will be awkward and left out and picked on and a thousand other awful things that no mother should ever wish for her offspring. And you live in Texas; I don't care how much of an urban center it's becoming, it's still Texas, not the Village. Gayness isn't a sitcom plot twist there, just as it wasn't in New Jersey.
So if you want your son to be gay, Sarah, then fine. Let him be gay. But get a box of Kleenex and a good book ready, because it's gonna be a bumpier ride than you can wrap your naive little mind around.