Brothers: A story of love, honesty and being true to one’s self

We are very fortunate to have a very close group of friends with whom we’ve raised our children. There are 10 adults and our collective children add up to 10 more. 

Our babies! My Katie & Matt, here with the children of our closest friends. 

When they were all very young, we would get together at our different homes for BBQ’s – us parents would all have our margaritas going and the kids would all run free, playing together. And, when it was time to say goodbye, if at least one kid was crying because they didn’t want to leave, I felt it was a huge success. 

As the years have gone by, we all still get together at Hannukah and Passover, and we’ve all made a commitment to keep this going for all time. So far we are doing pretty well.  


At this stage, some of the kids are in college, and others have started their new lives in different states; but whoever is here and can make it does. I love each of these kids like they are my own, and I am so proud of the people they have become. 

Yesterday I read a piece written by one of our 10 children, and I was so moved. So extremely proud of him. He is such an amazing guy, and that he had to suffer one day makes me sad. But I was so proud of his honesty … of the courage it took to write this. And the beauty with which he did so. I encourage you to take a few minutes and read his story

Each and every one of us on this earth is just trying to make it happen. To find our way in this world … and to live an authentic life.  And we all deserved to be loved … and to love fully, with no shame.  

Our not so babies anymore! The group is pretty grown, but they still love getting together. 

It’s the craziest thing to me that there is judgment about love. That anyone would have to “keep under wraps” who they love, much less who they are. The burden of keeping a secret of that magnitude is unimaginable to me, and I imagine to most of us. 

I am so happy for Jackson that he could take his beautiful talent as a writer and share this story of his journey with us. It certainly takes guts. 

I hope you will open your hearts and minds this holiday season and every day in the New Year – not only to Jackson’s story, but also to all the many colors life has to offer us. Make the commitment to try and understand people who aren’t like you. I know the world would be a better place if we all were more understanding and inclusive. And if we all started from a place of love.


  1. Barbara levy

    Thanks for sharing. My first family member who came out put herself through hell. Her mom was going on a business trip and she told her she would be ‘gone’ when she returned. Luckily, she did ask for help before doing something irreversible. I met them at the mental health facility as she was being admitted. I remember hugging her and telling her how proud I was of her that she asked for help. Fast forward about 3 years and Christmas time. She asked me into her old bedroom because she had something private to tell me.

    I should say we all suspected she was gay but felt it was her story to tell. I don’t know if we did the right thing at the time ( about 15 years ago). As soon as she said the words I gave her a big hug and told her how much I loved her. I asked if we were going to meet someone special for Christmas. When there was someone special we did meet her and it was a good match.
    Love is love and you cannot control how you were born. As a mom I know not everyone is as accepting and that hurts. It hurts to know she will feel pain because other people are narrow minded. Things are changing and I am grateful for the changes….but it is so slow.

    Jackson, thank you for sharing and hopefully it will show others you are a talented young man living his truth.


  2. I left this on IG and realized it’s far too long for IG!

    Wow Mary Beth I LOVED this one and Jackson’s story. First, my three best friends, all of whom I have known for 30+ years, get together as regularly as we can with our children, 8 between us, with only one boy. I think its awesome to give kids a sense of a group they belong to even if, at one time or another, they don’t feel like they belong anywhere else. It’s always a community they can go back to. Aside from the coming out story and the differences between Jackson and Hayden I’m just left with wow. Family relationships are complicated!! In the journey from childhood to adulthood, whether its parents and children or siblings, there is always a bit of a struggle to get to know each other as we grow and change, to take each other for who we are in the present.

    • Georgia L

      How brave! We all deal with personal struggles but the road is certainly harder for some.

      Here in Australia, after a nation wide vote we have finally said YES to legally recognizing same-sex marriage. I hope that my kids can now grow up in a society that is more accepting of all our differences.

      Happy Holidays to all!

  3. That was very moving. Very brave of Jackson and I’m glad he was finally able to overcome his fear. I have a brother and friends who are gay and I saw firsthand the struggle they went thru to come out.

    Thanks Jackson and Mary Beth for sharing with us.

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