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Call Me Back, Please: 10 Voicemails From the Mothers of Our Favorite LGBTQ Icons

Sally Field snatched up the gold medal for parenting at this year’s Winter Olympics after the legendary actress took it upon herself to play matchmaker for her son, Sam Greisman, and professional figure skater Adam Rippon. According to reports, Fields’ plan worked after all when the two men started chatting by way of an apology from Greisman for his mom’s adorably cringe-worthy tweet. This is a rare meddling success story. We don’t know about you, but our mothers’ prying never resulted in America’s Sweetheart sliding into our DMs.

For better or for worse, mothers have a knack for sticking their noses in their kids’ business. Hopefully their actions are always coming from a good place, but just because they gave birth to us doesn’t mean we can’t admit that sometimes they work. our. last. damn. nerve.

When that happens, we suggest having a long talk with mom about healthy, productive boundaries. Then, when she inevitably ignores that conversation, we suggest sending her to voicemail because sometimes you just can’t.

This tactic has worked for centuries, and to prove it, we dipped into the annals (note the double “n”) of queer history to discover messages from mothers of LGBTQ icons who found themselves sent right to voicemail.

Because when it comes to mothers, some things never change.

1. Sappho

Sappho, it’s your mother.

You told me that you didn’t want to be set up anymore after the last girl ended up being a literal harpy, but I met the cutest Athenian potter by the river. She’s sending you a papyrus scroll.

Call me back.


2. Alexander the Great

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Alexander, it’s your mother.

While you were invading Persia I was putting away your laundry and I found my fancy sandals in your drawer. I told you to get your own. They’re all stretched out now, you little jerk!

Call me back.


3. Oscar Wilde

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Oscar, it’s your mother.

Where’s the party tonight, GURLFRAND? Today the doctor treated my hysteria with cocaine lozenges and a vibrator. Mama wants to hit the town!

Call me back.


4. Walt Whitman

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Walt, it’s your mother.

What’re these leaves of grass you keep writing about? Is it drugs? Oh my god, are you on drugs?

Call me back.  


5. Andy Warhol

Andrew, it’s your mother.

I know you go by “Andy” now, but I just can’t get used to it. Listen, your uncle is coming to Thanksgiving. Be nice. I don’t want another debate this year. And bring back my soupcans, I need them for the casserole.  

Call me back.


6. Gertrude Stein

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Gertrude, it’s your mother.

I know you told me to drop it, but what if this art thing doesn’t work out? Why don’t you look into teaching?

Call me back.


7. Audre Lorde

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Audre, it’s your mother.

I forgot your roommate’s name, so I just wrote “To Audre & Audre’s Friend” on the housewarming gift.

Call me back.  


8. James Baldwin

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James, it’s your mother.

Are you coming home this weekend? I guess going out with your friends to jazz clubs is just more interesting. You said you were coming last weekend, but you missed the train. Next time tell me how long the train’s been gone.  

Call me back.


9. Allen Ginsberg

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Allen, it’s your mother.

Your father and I had some very interesting sex the other night. I thought you might like to use it for a poem. You’re not uncomfortable with that, right?

Call me back.


10. Freddie Mercury

Freddie, it’s your mother.

I love you.

Call me back.


Topher Cusumano is a comedy writer, playwright and producer from Brooklyn. His work has been featured on Pink Canoe, Robot Butt, SplitSider and Hornet Stories. His professional goals include becoming the most popular witch in a high school coven. Follow him on twitter @tophcus.