LGBTQ 30 Day Challenge: Day 7

17 06 2011

Day 7 – How your parents took it or how you think they might take it?

I was 24 before I came out to my mom. My dad is dead, and has been since I was 6 months old, so there was no weirdness there. But I was terrified to tell my mom. Since I can remember, the mere thought of that sent chills down my spine and accelerated my heart rate. Even just as a passing thought.

But it all really got started in May ‘10 while I was on a trip to New Orleans. We had gone down for a close friend’s little sister’s 21st birthday and were having a blast. We went to Oz, one of the best gay clubs I’ve ever been to, stayed in the French Quarter on Rue San Phillipe, and were just surrounded by general gayness. It was great. We took a a trip to see some friends in Baton Rouge, Jonathan and Corey, and that was kinda the icing on the cake. Jonathan and Corey have been together for several years now. I met Jonathan’s parents while I was down there and we had a huge family-style cook out. I had an absolute blast. I talked to both Jonathan and Corey about how they came out, how their parents reacted, etc. Jonathan told me that his parents blamed themselves for a long time, and weren’t too happy about it as they are pretty observant Catholics, but came around.

So, on the ride back to New Orleans, I was sitting in the van we’d rented while everyone else was asleep, save for my friend’s aunt’s husband, who was driving. It’s about an hour drive in the middle of the night through the the swamp and I really had some time to reflect. I thought about telling Mom and damn near had a panic attack. But I decided I had to do it. I couldn’t keep living a lie and dealing with the stress it was causing me. It was all over my face when we got to New Orleans and my friend pulled me aside to talk. I almost lost it. We talked and I set a date.: July 30, 2010. It was a Friday and I knew it wasn’t going to well, so I wanted her to have a whole weekend to kinda deal with and process it before she had to be at work. And, it only left ~ 2 weeks before I had to go back to school, so if she flipped and kicked me out, I could crash with friends until time to go back.

I wrote out everything I wanted to say and told almost everyone. I figured that way I wouldn’t lose my train of thought if she got upset, could word everything the way I wanted, and I thought if everyone knew, I couldn’t back out. So, after a painstaking 3 hour airing of 27 Dresses on FX, I told her I needed to talk to her. It was all over her face before I was done that she knew what it was about. I finished the letter and she broke down crying. I held it together and tried to talk to her until she hesitated on whether she’d rather me be dead or gay and whether or not she still loved me. I got really upset at that point and started crying.

We went to bed and she pretty much spent all day Saturday in bed and ignoring me. Sunday rolled around and it was a little better. Things eventually got a little more normal until the 2nd Tuesday after when she sat me down and said that she still loved me, but that she could never accept it. That was it.

That winter when I went, I accidentally brought it up at dinner when she mentioned reading an old journal of mine. I misinterpreted her comment and we talked a little bit about it. She said she just didn’t understand. I asked her when she decided to like men and that caught her a bit off guard. She said she never “decided,” that’s just how it was. I told her that’s exactly how it was for me. I think that kinda clicked, but wasn’t sure how much.

I think it’s been mentioned a time or two since then, but not really. I’ve only ever had 1 serious relationship, but it started the September after I came out, so I didn’t want her to think I’d been hiding it for a long time, so I didn’t tell her. It ended 7 months later, so I still never mentioned it. I figure I’ll let her in on the next one fairly early, but I’m after I’m certain it’s serious, and we’ll see how it goes. I’m fairly optimistic. As for the rest of my family, I have a couple cousins that know and while not all are approving, they all still love and care about me. My grandparents are the ones I’m worried about telling, but only will if I decide to get married. As for the rest of my family, they can accept it or not. Frankly, I don’t give a damn.

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