Belinda Carlisle, best known for her ‘80s hit “Heaven is a Place on Earth,” said she has always stood by her 21-year-old openly gay son, but she would be a “passionate” lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocate even if he wasn’t gay.
“When he came out to me, one of the first things that came to mind is, ‘What sort of world is he going to have to live in?’” Carlisle said of her son James Duke Mason. “It’s better for gay people but there is still a lot of homophobia out there. I don’t understand the homophobia and the problem with giving gay people equal rights. I just don’t get it.”
Carlisle admitted she was worried about how her husband, film producer Morgan Mason, would react.
“I ended up carrying that secret around with me for three months,” she said. “I saw my therapist and went through all the things you know aren’t true – is it something I said or did? I knew that wasn’t the case but it’s a normal thing to go through.”
At first, Mason thought his son was going through a phase.
“That lasted about a year but they eventually figured it out between themselves,” she said about her husband and son. “There was a struggle for a while but now we can’t imagine our son being any other way.”
In a HuffPost Gay Voices blog titled My Wonderful Mom, Belinda Carlisle, Mason talked about how Carlisle couldn’t stop crying when he told her he was gay one day in the car.
After three days of camping out in her bedroom, she came down to talk to her son.
“She said she felt bad about her breakdown in the car, because it might have led me to believe that it was a sign of her disapproval, when in fact it was just shock,” he wrote. “She couldn’t hide it, because that’s how she felt, and as I said before, she never, ever holds back.”
Since then, their relationship has been completely healed.
“As in any mother-son relationship, we’ve had our tumultuous moments, and that’s OK, as long as we can come to a place of mutual love and respect in the end,” he wrote. “And there’s no question that I love and respect her, and that she love and respects me.”
Now, Mason is working to create a change because of the advice he got from his parents.
“They told me to never be afraid to pursue my dreams, and that in turn has given me the strength and determination to do what I’m doing today: trying to fight the status quo, create change, and make a difference in this country and in the world.”