In 1992 my family moved from South Africa to Miami Beach. Miami Beach was just coming into is own back then. We recognized the splendor of the place and the real estate opportunities. So in 1992 I/we began anew in this blossoming city that we would call home for more than 20 years. Throughout those early years my Hubby was still traveling the globe: the fireman of the news business. In the meantime my two sons three and six respectfully were entering grade school. I was young, worldly and Progressive. I quickly became a fixture on the Miami Beach Preservation league then in its nascence struggling to prevent demolition of historic art deco hotels, buildings and homes. I had media skills and contacts and there was born my new family – 3 gay men and me. We were the genesis of the show Will and Grace-no matter what others claim and many have..Miami Beach Knows who we were and what we created. In the early 90’s south beach had two very distinct communities: the gays on south beach separated by the wealthy white or Hispanic Jews who lived in the suburbs. North Bay road had never seen what I brought to the hood. My husband away- me a single mom for all intents and purposes – because married couples Do NOT Socialize with a woman’s whose husband travels for a living.
So my gaybo’s and I were inseparable! Yep me and my two sons hung with 3 of the smartest, funniest and most talented and connected of the gay community then and now. But oh boy did I suffer the slings and arrows of straight folks chagrin and disdain. In grocery stores or behind my back and even to my sons faces they would lob their abject Disapproval of my friends and how corrupting I was – given I was raising two young impressionable boys. I brushed it aside as M,H,R became our family. My husband was happy so long as I was happy and our kids safe. MY faith rested in knowing that these men were men and they were dear friends and lifelong influences to my then young sons. Cut to high school graduation: My sons did well despite some hiccups along the way..Miami Beach held many temptations my sons lost their way and found it back. Yet I continued to be the root cause of the evil they saw I rot. While my husband served as bureau chief for 5 long years for an American network in Iraq…I kept my head up going it solo despite warrant less attacks by entities, slander and other intrusions that Americans know full well now but not then. At this point my happy GAY trio had divorced – a sad cooling off period occurred where we all went our separate ways; but I did not become a shut in. No quite the opposite I was invited to events and appeared at all of them Solo. I had a great time and went home happy to be included; even as a married/singleton who kept my dignity while my husband in harms ways always present in my mind. Remembering how my sons complete polar opposites chose extremely divergent colleges to match their personalities: the eldest Parsons school of Design for which my hubby chastised me for encouraging a venture into a career where very few made it. The junior chose an excellent school in North Carolina where upon seeing it I warned him even with your blue eyes and smart mouth will not be considered fully white as I his mother- a Cuban born but American raised- in the good ole USA was not seen as worthy. Indeed he was appalled that this esteemed University that had a white wealthy connected student body used the N word when referring to our newly elected president. G went on to succeed in NYC in so many ways my mind boggles. The younger did well but became in dress and manner a tad too much of the frat boys who became his posse. He wants to make a difference in Politics now, I think he will. We moved reluctantly from the city I most considered home, Miami Beach from my home on the Venetian Islands that sold in a record 8 days in at downturn economy circa 2010 to Florida’s West Coast – talk about alien. The buyers of my home got the best house- on the dry side of the street- walled, gated, large pool Spanish Mediterranean for a bargain 1.2. Today that home and others on the wet side have doubled in value. I couldn’t afford to move back even if I wanted to. But here is the kicker. My parenting skills, my reputation impugned,my sons judged, my marriage called into question have all withstood the test of time. And what has time rot? Today there is news that the son of a mother who called me out for setting a bad example by hanging out with gay men…is celebrating no probably toasting herself in the 305 as her son who came out of the closet upon entering college met a famous gay lead singer of a boy band and it was announced they would be marrying soon. Congrats I say. Likewise to another mother who judged me for the same aforementioned crimes -her son Jewish came out late- just last year- while living in NYC and is living with a wealthy real estate tycoon in NYC gay as gay can be. Moral of the story: don’t judge other mothers when under your very nose your sons Not mine where closeted. I am proud that my 2 sons grew up with positive gay role models who taught them in their fathers absence what it is to be a man. Isn’t it Ironic Alanis sings boy oh boy it sure is!