“I’m the first gay person to win Big Brother”

8 Nov

Last night my eight-year-old son and I jumped up and down with excitement as a beautiful gay man won Big Brother 2012. My son has loved Benjamin from the beginning. When I asked him why he said, “Because he talks to everyone and because he’s so funny.” The fact that he is gay didn’t come into it…until a little later.

My son attends a Catholic school so raising him to be accepting and progressive was always going to be a challenge.

On the way home from school one day my little man was rather quiet.

“What’s up?”

“Benjamin’s gay mum,” he announced with uncertainty in his voice.

I knew exactly what to say.

“I know, isn’t it great?”

My son looked at me questioningly so I continued. “Being gay means men who want to have a special relationship with men and women who want to have a special relationship with women and it is great. In Australia you can be with who you want to be with.”

“Some of my friends say it’s bad.”

I told him that I was sad they had said that. Then I told him a story about a friend of mine who came out to his family almost twenty years ago when we were just seventeen and was rejected by his family, friends and his church. I watched in horror as this friend moved to a share house on Oxford Street in Sydney because it was the only place he felt he belonged. I was scared for him. He developed some unhealthy habits and made some questionable lifestyle choices. I was so happy years later when he got to move back home and live with his family who eventually decided to support him. I told him being gay was great and that the days of being scared to tell people you were gay were over.

Last night my son and I set up a ‘Big Brother Finale’ party. He was going for Benjamin and I was going for Layla. We had KFC, Tim Tams and chick peas. Benjamin won with a resounding 40% of the vote. Benjamin, left alone in the house, said to himself “I’m the first gay person to win Big Brother.”

My son at this stage was jumping around the lounge room in delight. I watched on in amusement until Benjamin dropped to one knee in front of his partner Ben and proposed. It was then that I joined my son in jumping up and down around the lounge room.

What a brilliant night in Australian television history.

As we squealed and clapped my son said, “I’m not gay mum because I’m in love with *Gemma but I’m glad Benjamin is.”

Then we rewound the show and watched the proposal again.


*Name changed to protect my son’s privacy!

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