Blogging for #LGBTFamilies Day: Brendon Bedell

LGBT parenting blog Mombian, which received a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Blog, is taking Monday, June 3rd to show the world for the 8th year in a row that LGBT families are just as loving, supportive and valuable to our communities as straight families.  Mombian is asking LGBT families, straight allies and all other supporters to write and submit to mombian.com, a blog post on any topic relating to LGBT families. 

Brendon Bedell, 28, lives on Long Island. He is a Beer Salesman for Oak Beverages in New York City. 

Last December, just days after the world was set to end according to the Mayan Calendar, I attended a "My Morning Jacket" concert. During the show, the lead singer, Jim James, discussed a conversation he had with a homeless woman in Greenwich Village, NYC and what her thoughts were on the impending apocalypse. The woman went on to explain how the apocalypse wasn't going to be like the movies, but that our generation would see an end to the hatred and violence we've been showing each other while issuing in a new era of acceptance and equality. I could not have been more moved by that small speech as I thought of the peace it would give to the Gay Community…and my little brother Colin. 

While I grew up as the eldest of three children, in a lower middle class family, struggling to remain untainted by an overwhelmingly status obsessed society, I had no clue how to feel comfortable in my own skin. Years later, halfway through my first year of college, with my self-esteem on the rise, my Mother called me to tell me younger brother was gay. I was horrified for him.  Meanwhile, my family was moving out of Long Island to North Carolina where I couldn’t help but imagine that the bulk of his classmates were not going to be open to his lifestyle at all.  What was he going to do? How was he going to face the Bible thumpers? I couldn't even begin to grasp or understand the kind of rejection and criticism that resided in the remaining 2 years of his High School career. I wasn’t surprised to find out that he was bullied when he first arrived, but since Colin was never one to take any negativity of any kind, he successfully turned ignorant beliefs into more open-minded ones.  In North Carolina, he won “Best Hair” and his fellow students elected him to Prom Court in his Senior Year. In 2007, after high school graduation, he moved right back to New York so he could pursue his education in law. This choice confused me. Colin stands at 6’3" and resembles a gentleman you'd see plastered on a black and white billboard in Times Square sporting tight black Calvin Kleins - NOT someone who works for the law offices of BLAH BLAH & MORE BLAH!  

In January 2010, when I was driving him back to school, where he was in his third year of a good for nothing political science degree, I asked him why this path, why the path of law, and his answer wasn't as solid as I had hoped.  Colin explained to me that he felt such a well-respected and high profile career would either distract or make up for the fact that he was gay. As big brother duties go, I could not and would not accept Colin’s answer, because I knew that choice would never make him happy. I encouraged him to do what made HIM happy and feel the most comfortable in his own skin – which was “You need to run around in New York City with your little angel wings on…” If fashion and modeling was his calling, then I encouraged him to realize that that was the road he needed to take regardless of the cost. On that day, Colin took my advice. A year and a half later, I helped Colin move into his New York City residence hall so he could attend a prestigious school, where he studies fashion and writing. Right after the move, I called my Mom and said, “Colin is finally home”. Now Colin spends most of his time hanging out with Victoria’s Secret Models in his little Black Calvins, and everyone around him celebrates the traits and talents he possesses. Especially me. Welcome to the End of the World!  

 

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