Considering the grief many LGBT children receive from their peers and family, it warms our heart to hear how much Andrea Kelly has embraced her 14-year-old child, Jay, who just came out as a transgender boy in June. In an interview with VH1, the Hollywood Exes star opened up about her failed relationship and life as a mother of an LGBT child.
"All I can say about Jay is he makes it so easy to be a proud mom. For parents, we need to realize, [our kids] have their own journey. Parents get it wrong when they don't support their children. They have to go out and fight every day and face this world. The first battle should not be at home," Kelly said. "I think that a lot of children in the LGBT community don't succeed because the one thing they need the most is foundation. I just tell Jay all the time, baby you won the war. You're gonna have a lot of battles but you won the war. Mama accepts and loves you for who you are. Your family does. My dad is a retired military naval officer and all he said was, 'I'm gonna mess up sometimes and [use the feminine pronoun] 'she' but I'm gonna eventually get the 'he' thing. Just give grandpa some time. I'm gonna get it dude.' That was it."
"It's like Jay; you don't understand that you're changing people's lives just by being courageous," she continued. "The kid is so courageous. She has…and see, there I go [using the wrong pronoun]. It's a learning experience. It really is. It's something we smile about. When I make that mistake I'm like, 'Girl, you got a son, honey, get it together. Get it right."
When the reality TV star's and R. Kelly's child decided to come out publicly on his Ask.fm page, the news caught the media's attention and brought in both positive and negative reactions. Still, Kelly maintained a positive and brave outlook about the son she'd just gained.
"You know it took a minute for that to click in my head," she said. "Then I have to stop and come back and say, in the urban community this is like a first. [For my family] this isn't this shocking thing. I need [people], especially in the Black community, to stop burying their heads in the sand. Let's quit playing that game that you just chose to be gay or trans. What we choose every day is what we wear. We need to stop worrying about people's gender and sexuality and think about the choices we're making with our youth, period. That's what we need to focus on in my community."
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(Photo: Andrea Kelly via instagram)