When people discuss their inspirations, parents are often left out of the scenario. One set of parents that truly are inspirational, not only for their own children but for many others both young and old world-wide are Karyn and Tim Colfer. These are the parents of Glee star Chris Colfer. You may have read my post in April where I discussed Chris’ accomplishments and bullying issues as well as his sister Hannah’s rollercoaster ride with epilepsy. This time, I was honoured with interviewing their mum Karyn who is probably the most amazing person I have had the pleasure to converse with, although I have a feeling that she will deny it and say that it is her children who make her who she is! Not only has Karyn raised two humble, loving and fabulous children, she has done this whilst keeping them both grounded through upset and trauma.
Hello Karyn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Can I please start by asking you to tell us a little about yourself?
I just turned 49 in January. I love to cook and find myself entertaining a lot so that I can cook for my friends and family. There’s something very comfortable about watching people enjoy a good meal, a nice glass of wine and I love the conversation and warmth it brings into a room.
I have heard you state that Hannah has 50 epileptic episodes per hour, how have you and Tim managed to help her maintain enthusiasm and strength over the years?
Yes, Hannah does have over 50 seizures every hour of every day. But, it is Hannah who has taught us to maintain enthusiasm and hope. She is such a fighter and she gives us strength to keep fighting for her by watching her.
I know that you are involved with CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy) could you explain to the readers what it is and in which ways you support CURE and they support you?
Cure is an organization that has a panel of Specialists searching for a CURE for epilepsy. It puts 96 cents from every dollar they receive back into research. I support them by hopefully bringing awareness to their cause, by sharing Hannah’s story.
I know Chris has been asked many times about the bullying that he was subjected to at school and I wondered if you could you give an insight into your viewpoint on the bullying Chris underwent, how aware of it you were and if you were able to take action. Also what advice could you give to other parents whose children are dealing with this issue?
Christopher was emotionally bullied, I knew about it. We offered to step in, but he never let us because he felt it would make things worse. Christopher was also much wiser then his years, he was never into the high school drama of things and had the knowledge and strong sense of who he is and he knew he had to just let it go. He did not let it define him. I think as a parent we need to listen and respect what our kids need. If he needed us to be involved; he knew we’d jump in. Communication and making our kids know that the outside world doesn’t make up who they are. It’s what we think about who we are on the inside that counts.
Can I ask yours and Tim’s reactions to finding out that Chris is gay? When did you know? When did he come out? Or was it always just there? Was it something you had to deal with or were you comfortable with it right from the start?
As fans of Chris we just naturally think of him being gay and it is no big deal, something that we have always known is a part of who he is, so it will be interesting to hear a parents thoughts. Again, maybe you could give advice to other parents who may be approaching this subject with their children.
There is no big answer to this question. We love Christopher unconditionally. There was no big moment when he came out, there was no big secret being kept. It is what it is and like any parent we just want Christopher to be happy and to be in a relationship that brings fulfilment and happiness. I have no magical answers to other parents but to say it’s just my job to love him; the rest will take care of itself. We respect his decisions and back him 110%!
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