MEDFORD, MA— Teresa Russo, 58, is your typical Massachusetts mom: warmly overbearing and lovingly meddlesome. During her son and his boyfriend’s recent visit home for a family gathering, Teresa reportedly got box-wine drunk and told her son’s boyfriend she wishes she had him instead.
Anyone who knows Teresa, knows she would do anything for her son, Jimmy. Ever since he was playing dress up in his mom’s closet, Teresa would encourage and embrace him. “I just had to face reality and kill my hopes and dreams for a boyish son. No, but I love him, I do, really.”
An anonymous family member who attended the gathering says he heard his wife saying to their son’s boyfriend “You’re like the man of the couple, and he’s like the woman, you know? Which is totally fine, but I bet you played sports.”
When Jimmy came out to Teresa at 22, she welcomed him with open arms, she says at parties. Teresa remembers when Jimmy was born, being so excited to have a son. Excited to watch him play football and meet girlfriends. Teresa forces a half smile. “But I’m his mother, and gay is gay. I mean, I personally think gay could also be manly, but who am I to judge?”
Jimmy’s boyfriend, Mike, is a personal trainer from New Jersey. Teresa asked Mike if Jimmy could go to his house for holidays and if Mike could come back to Medford. She said he was much more of a fit. Mike confirmed it was definitely uncomfortable. “She then kept saying I’m joking over and over, but would then like…chugged her wine after each time.”
Jimmy thinks of his mom as his best friend and confidant. “I could always be myself in front of her. I’m not good at sports, or doing makeup, or doing theater, or anything really. I don’t even have opinions” He says defeatedly. “But I am myself, and that’s enough.”
“He said that?” Teresa asked surprisingly. “He definitely is…him.” Teresa finishes her full glass of wine.