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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 268 > Mum’s The Word

Mum’s The Word

The relationship between a mother and her (gay) son is a well known, special bond. She’s usually our greatest protector, the one we confide in, and undoubtedly the most important woman in our lives. Ben Kelly meets three Attitude readers and their mums to chat about growing up, coming out, and staying close.



I’ve never been that close to my dad, but it didn’t really make a difference because Mum was like my mum, dad, auntie and uncle, all rolled into one, so I never felt I missed out on anything. I was at every after school club: drama, gymnastics, swimming. I had a bit of a hippie upbringing. Mum never had us christened, because she said, ‘You might want to marry a Muslim, or a Buddhist,’ which I always admired.

She was very much of the mindset that you can do whatever you want, or be whoever you want. That’s why I went into acting. All my other friends’ parents were worried about it not working out for me, but Mum just said, ‘You can give it up tomorrow, if you want. Just do it for as long as you enjoy it’. She was so encouraging, but I never felt pressured about anything. It was always about doing your best. She would have celebrated if I got a Grade D in something.

When the acting became quite serious, she was working as a nurse, and she took on a second job to send me to drama school, literally scraping together the pennies to send me. Still there was no pressure for me to have to stay – which I think is the reason why I did. She would say, ‘If you want to stop tomorrow, you can’. Other parents would force their kids and bribe them with rewards, but my mum was never pushy. I came out to her when I was about 20, and the only reason I waited until then was because I wanted to be in a serious relationship, which I was then. It was a bit of a big thing for me, but I knew she’d be OK with it.

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About Attitude

Celebrating 30 years in the music industry, as they release their new album Super, the Pet Shop Boys cover the new issue of Attitude. Inside, we have the gay Booker Prize winner Marlon James, hunky teacher/model Pietro Boselli, musical theatre star Ben Forster, and a preview of the BFI Flare film festival. There’s a feature on the history of punk, and gay readers introduce us to their mums (ah!) Elsewhere in this Style issue, get up to date on the best of the high street, and what’s on trend this spring/summer.