When Zach Gibson made the decision to come out on Facebook, he expected to hear from his mother. What he didn't expect was to hear his mom say "I'm so proud of you."
But that's exactly what Michelle Conway McClain wrote to her son in a letter she left on his bedroom door and later posted on Facebook for the world to see.
And see it they did: After getting shared by the NO H8 Campaign, the letter went on to be liked and shared thousands of times, touching thousands of hearts as it went.
The full letter reads:
Zach, I was surprised by your Facebook post where you came out. I want you to know that I love you unconditionally. I love you with my actions, not just my words. I'm so proud of you. You are the bravest person I know. I'll fight for you always. Your sexual orientation does not define you. You are still the boy who forever won my heart. The only thing that concerns me is the number of empty soda cups and tea bottles in your room. Throw them away before ants come inside. I love you always, Mom.
Unlike other viral letters of support from the parents of openly gay children, in this case both Zach and his mom immediately came forward to prove both they and their sentiments were real.
"I'm Zach, the one this is addressed too (sic)," the teen wrote in the comments section of the NO H8 post. "When I came out last week, I never expected this much support. I knew my mom would be fine with it, but I never expected this letter and I never expected this many people to spread it around. This means so much."
McClain followed up her son's gratitude with a status update of her own.
"This note is not fake," she said, adding that she wrote it after reading her son's Facebook post about coming out. "And I meant every word. I'm so proud of him!"
And as for the "soda cups and tea bottles" comment, McClain sets the record straight: "They were cups from fountain sodas and bottles from bottled tea from the gas station."
Good to know.
[images via Facebook]