Family is family, we love you no matter who you are

Posted on October 29, 2011

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Her face was friendly and kind, despite the fact that I had left her waiting for me in an unfamiliar restaurant for over twenty minutes. We were a little strange, a man from one generation and a woman from another, ordering nothing but two sodas and talking earnestly in the dimly lit room.

My parents, when they heard that I was accepting my sexuality, were very disappointed. I wanted to show them what I had learned about the clobber passages’ context, but they said, “If we wanted to hear why that was right, we could just ask our cousin M.”

For those of you who haven’t check out my biographical post, I found out I was gay when I was about 9 or 10, at a family reunion. One of my favorite cousins pointed to M and said that we couldn’t eat with her, or sit at the same table because she was gay. I didn’t know what it meant, but when it was defined, I understood it was me, and that if I wanted to keep all of my friends and family, I would have to hide it.

I got in contact with M the same night that my parents and I talked. We were recently in the same town because of traumatic family events, and we arranged to meet. Because of my parents’ feelings, and because it isn’t the right time for me to come out, we both had to sneak away to meet. I had a few complications and showed up quite late, leaving M waiting for quite some time.

We talked about books, theology, self-discovery, and our family. M is my grandmother’s niece, and came out the family a while ago. Because of her courage, I will be able to come out into an atmosphere that is already somewhat accepting (but not affirming). At this point, I am happy to have that much.

M told me that my favorite aunt, who has given me a love for books, a drive for school, and a passion for my (future) career, is accepting of her and her partner. Right now my aunt is dealing with a terrible loss, and it isn’t the right time for me to spring this on her, but I am excited to have this conversation with her.

I had the conversation with my brother, sister, and both of their spouses tonight. This is how it went down:

When I got home, my grandparents and an uncle were there, and everyone had eaten early (not knowing where I was). My mom awkwardly interrogated me from the opposite end of the table, but quickly stopped and changed subjects when I said I had been meeting with M. My brother, his wife, and my sister were very curious about who M was, because they have never met her.

Apparently my mom tried to brush off the questions in the kitchen, but my sister got the truth out of her, because when I went to get a glass of water, I walked in on, “But Lot offered his daughters….” I’m sure most of us know what that’s all about.

My brother has heard the story about the family reunion before, but I told him that M was the person that my cousin pointed out. I told him about the changes I had made in my opinions. He motioned me toward a dark room, away from everyone else and I was a bit scared. I was envisioning the clobber passages, the disgust, the fear.

He told me that he had been struggling with this too, and that he had decided that it wasn’t for him to judge how other people live their lives.  He said that he was scared for me, but that he loved me, and he gave me a great hug. I love my brother soo much!!!

Later I talked with my sister. She’s studying to be a social worker, and I feel like something has changed. I used to be a bit scared because we were best friends when we were young, and then she seemed so homophobic. Now, she’s not convinced theologically, but she accepts me and still wants me to have the rights that other people have. Her husband is in the same place, and my sister-in-law is very accepting too.

We talked for at least an hour and a half after my parents went to bed, and it was really great for me. I felt very loved, and more comfortable being me than I have ever felt in my life. But now, I’m going to try not to bring it up on purpose, because I want this weekend to be about family, and because I don’t want to fight it out with my parents.

I should probably add that my mom said something really encouraging as well. She said that nothing that I did could make her love me more, or less. I said, “No, that’s not true, because you would like me better if I were straight.” She grabbed me, hugged me and said, “No! I would not love you more if you were straight.” I could tell she meant it and it was really nice, after feeling very hurt by her reaction last month.

Long post!! CbusQueer, signing off!

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Posted in: Coming Out