This one was a request. And boy, did I love reliving it....
Coming out. Hmm. It came in a lot of different stages. My brother Punk (the oldest one) and my cousin Lovey just asked me out of the blue. Both of them are totally okay with it. Punk also made it clear that if a girl ever hurt me he didn’t care how wrong it was, he’d kick her ass. I told him I appreciated the sentiment but it wouldn’t be necessary.
My Grandmother sat me down, asked me if I thought she was a smart woman. I said yes. Then she asked if I trusted her. I said yes. Then she asked if there was anything I wanted to tell her. I told her I was gay. She hugged me, told me she was happy for me and asked when she could meet my girlfriend. Then she told me not to tell my mom just yet.
I came out to my mom on National Coming Out Day. Gran and I had planned everything out, how I would tell her, when and all that. Gran was ready for damage control. We talked about what I would say and how to answer her questions. It was a bit like a role play. Grandma had a little tip sheet she got somewhere on how to not do it. (i.e. like you are dying, or you are ashamed) This may surprise you, I told her over the phone. Normally this would sound like a terrible idea, I always advocate personal revelations in person. In my mom’s case, it was for the best. She didn’t freak out, per say, as in she didn’t disown me.
First, I got a huge speech about how when she was a young girl, women didn’t get to make choices like that. No one would have supported me when I was growing up in the 70’s if I had decided I didn’t like men. I’d end up old and alone with a million cats.
Then she gave me a speech about how she has never had personal support for any of her personal decisions she has made in her life – be it having children or divorce or not finishing school or whatever. (I tuned out a bit of this part, it went on for quite some time.) No one ever cared about how my mom felt about things, to hear her tell it. No one in the family cared now, either. And you can bet no one asked about her and how she was doing with the guy she was living with. (I refrained from pointing out they weren’t dating.)
Then she launched in to a big hoorah about how she hoped this wasn’t my way of lashing out at The Church for my poor relationship with my Ex Finacee (who was a preacher’s son – looong story for another time) and for my unhappiness about my “faith.” I let go of the fact she was ignoring my alternative faith. She went into a spiel about how she went to a lovely church that would accept my lifestyle and not hate me for it. I should go and talk to her pastor about my afflictions. Thanks, mom.
Then she told me she had no interest in my personal life and did not want to know about it. The details were none of her business, as far as she was concerned. She didn’t want to know about how I did it, or why. And she certainly didn’t want to meet any girlfriends or whatever. Was I hanging out in bars to pick up women?
Then she told me she would do me the favor of “breaking it gently” to my Grandmother, who she was sure would not take it well. I tried to tell her it wasn’t necessary, but she wouldn’t listen. She told me that if I told her she would die of shame, right there, and how would I like to give my Grandmother a heart attack after all she had done for me (I was living with her at the time). Was I having sex under my grandmother’s roof? No, she didn’t want to know, but I better not be! How terrible for poor Grandma… I eventually got off the phone with a “oh, I think I have a call on the other line, mom. Better go now…”
Well, a few days later she tried to break it to Grandma, who I had planned with ahead of time. She let her know she already knew and that my girlfriend at the time was a sweet and lovely girl. She told mom that she had no problem with it, and that she was glad to see me happy and with someone who honestly cared about me and did not treat me poorly. Then she told my mom not to go and upset me by making a scene.
I should interject at this point in the story that when Grandma says “upset” in reference to me she means “piss Alecya off.” I should also point out I am also a very patient person, except when it comes to my mother. She is a “give and inch, take a mile” type person, who I am still learning to handle. She also has a special knack for pushing my buttons.
I am sure you can follow the pattern. She made a scene. Came hollering down the hallway with a load of ‘how dare you tell Grandma first’ and ‘I am your mother, young lady’ and ‘can’t you trust me with the details of your life’ and ‘not fairs’ and ‘you obviously love Grandma more than me’ and ‘…better be glad you aren’t living under my roof’ and all that rubbish that comes with the scenes that my mother makes.
For anyone interested, the answers to those statements are as follows: because she noticed first, I don’t care, no I can’t, I don’t care, yes I do, and yes I am, respectively. Not that I would ever say those things to her.
Instead, I gently pointed out to her that she said she didn’t want to know about my personal life, and Grandma did, so I let her meet my girlfriend. I told her Grandma had figured it out on her own, and that she got to know first because of that. (I lied a bit there, I would have told her first anyway.) She ran storming from the room and went to yell at Grandma for letting me lead such a lifestyle under her roof. I went and interrupted, led her to the door and told her Grandma didn’t need the stress and to come back when she was more calm, and thank you for the visit.
Gradually, she started asking about if I was seeing anyone. Then she started asking questions about why I choose to be gay and all that stuff. I explained and then referred her to PFLAG. She never went. Then she started asking how I had sex and I told her to go get a few different books on the subject, I didn’t want to talk about it.
Finally, she started inviting girlfriends over to family functions. By that time I was with Beloved. Beloved tried hard to like her, she really did. But my mom’s personality is hard to take. Even for me. Mom likes Beloved, I think. But she is always trying to get me to go to church with her. She also has a tendency to imply that my male friends might make good companions. She’s never said it outright, if she did I would tell her off, but I always catch a hint of hopefulness in her eyes when I mention a male friend. I’ve given up on the idea that she will ever accept it is more than a rebellion or a phase. But she has given up on the all out war. Although, I have no idea what she tells the kids….
Well, there you have it…
In other news, it is snowing. We got an inch last night, and it hasn’t stopped. Its just flurries right now, though. Dang, it is cold. They say it won’t even break the teens today. It’s weird, considering two weeks ago it was in the 70’s.