Archive for the ‘Mother’ tag
“The day my mother asked me if I was gay, she asked me if I was in love with a man or a woman. Oh God. For this woman to make it easier for me… this is really cool.
“But she struggled with it. She went there. She opened that door. That’s a mother’s love. Then she hurt. She said: ‘I love you, my son, I’m so happy for you. Bring it on. I’m right behind you.’
“And then, suddenly, I think she thought ‘Oh my god, it’s Kiki [his family nickname]. It’s his career.’ I’m sure every mother reacts to this in different ways.”
YESTERDAY, as our daughter left to spend 10 days with my sister, she announced to me that she is gay. As we literally only had minutes before she had to go, I hugged her, told her that I loved her, and said we would talk about it when she got home.
She’s due back shortly and I’m scared about how to handle the situation, what to say. She is 15, but has led a very sheltered life. My husband and I were both quite young when she was born, and we fear she is still suffering the consequences of our early immature parenting.
I feel she is too young to make such a radical decision. She doesn’t even know any boys her own age, let alone know that she isn’t attracted to them. Recently, she has been spending a lot of time alone in her room with her computer. I’m worried she has made this decision based on things she has found on the internet.
I would like to tell her that she can make an informed decision when she is older, and that we will support and love her no matter what. But for the next few years, I’d like to say, she should just mix with girls and boys, enjoy life, and not worry about her sexual orientation. Is that a good way to go?
I don’t want my daughter to make a decision now that could rule out things she may decide, too late, that she wants — like a husband and children.
She is a quiet and nervous girl, and very shy with people she doesn’t know. I feel she needs to socialise more. How do I encourage her? She isn’t sporty, has no interest in clothes or shopping. I’m worried.
Wow. I can’t tell you how annoyed I’d be if my mom wrote into the paper with that story.
And I get that she’s having trouble accepting it, and she sounds like her first instincts are good, but “she needs to get out more”? Come on!
I spoke to my mother on the phone two nights ago.
She asked, “So, haven’t heard from you in a while. What’s up?”
I answered, as I do to everyone these days, “Oh, just busy.”
“Busy?” She perked up. “Busy doing what?”
Busy blogging about gay stuff and moving my Big Gay Blog onto a server.
“Oh, you know. Stuff.” I’m 13 again.
The truth is, I can’t face more of the tears, or more religious literature turning up in the post. I can’t face the disappointed, “Oh…” and my name said in a way that implies I’ve just been caught shooting up heroin or robbing a bank.
So I’m still closeted. She knows I’m gay. She knows my wife, and even sends her presents at Christmas and her birthday.
We have a strange arrangement, I guess, where my wife is treated as a member of the family, but certainly not my spouse. It allows us all to get on with life despite my obvious transgression from the path I was brought up to follow.
But I’m still not really out, am I?
I told her once that I went to Pride. She just about lost her mind.
I guess being gay is tolerable as long as you’re not happy about it.
When I was 20, half my life ago, my mother said to me, “I wish we would have known. We would have tried to have another son.” I had just come out to her as we spoke over the phone. I stood behind the counter at the frame shop I managed, anticipating that a customer would suddenly walk in, at once wanting but not wanting an excuse to get off the phone.
The conversation certainly hadn’t started there, but the confrontation had been coming for years. In high school, I felt very close to my mother, even as my classmates pushed their mothers away. I was as honest with her as I was with myself. I didn’t have language to say who I was until after high school, and by then I knew that the sentence “I am gay” was less a declaration than the introduction to a painful conversation. I couldn’t tell her about that. I barely understood what it meant, so how could she?
About a year before I came out to my mother, I shared the revelation for the first time with my friend Karen. In the moment between telling Karen and hearing her response, I feared the worst and assumed I would deserve it, as if such news would justify any horrible result.
But Karen affirmed me. The moment she put her arms around me, I knew she was setting me free and that I’d given her the power to do it. I chose her because somehow I knew she would not reject me. My self-esteem didn’t blossom quickly. I had to remind myself every day that Karen had accepted me and that I was a good person who deserved to be happy. I gave Karen my trust so she could give it back to me, and I repeated that process until her acceptance became ingrained in me. Some days, that mental game took all of my energy. Before I could thrive, I had to survive.
By the time I came out to my mother, I had dropped out of community college and moved in with someone who was a stranger to her, so her impulse was to protect me from him and from myself. She saw me as a pioneer exploring unfamiliar, unhospitable territory. I couldn’t have guessed my mother’s exact words but her response really didn’t surprise me. All my life, Mom had told me that it was my responsibility to pass on the family name. Her lament for unborn sons pointed elsewhere, as if she were throwing a collective, cultural voice. The family name would surely die with me.
Mom grieved for approximately one week, then decided what so many parents of queer children do: to keep me in her life by accepting me, thus giving me a damn good reason to keep her in mine. I had come to realize I wouldn’t accept less than that, especially from my own mother.
j3black publishes the excellent blog, Quota