Mama’s Boy: Preacher’s Son

Author: Kevin Jennings

Growing up poor in the South, Kevin Jennings learned a lot of things, especially about how to be a real man. When his father, a fundamentalist preacher, dropped dead at his son’s eighth birthday party, Kevin already knew he wasn’t supposed to cry. He also knew there was no salvation for homosexuals, who weren’t “real men”, or Christians for that matter. But, Jennings found his salvation in school, inspired by his mother. Self-taught from Appalachia, her formal education ended in sixth grade, but she was determined that her son would be the first member of their extended family to go to college, even if it meant going North. Kevin, propelled by her dream, found a world beyond poverty by gaining entrance into Harvard and learning that it truly was possible to live openly as a gay man.