I came from a politically conservative, Christian, “religious right” type of household. At 26, I took my mother out to dinner and finally worked up the courage to tell her as she ate her salad.
“Mom, I’m gay.”
“Look, that’s between you and God, or whatever you believe in. We’re probably going to disagree on some of those things but that’s not my job. My job as your mother is to love you. And that’s that.” She kept eating her salad.
I was blown away. Definitely not the reaction I expected or had steeled myself for.
Two weeks later they invited my boyfriend at the time to a family cookout. I have a photo of him and my dad chatting in front of the grill with beers in their hands. The guy and I broke up some time after that, but the photo still means a lot to me to this day, just for what it represented.
My mom broke the news to my 16yo little sister, whose immediate reaction was to start crying and she said, “I can’t imagine how lonely that’s been for him for so long.”
nervously: I’m gay
mom: girl, you came out of a closet with no door
“Hey Dad… Umm, im Gay”
“Hi Gay, Im Dad, and i Support your choices”
My dad’s “I also like women” has to be my favourite.
My sister: Yay, I always wanted a gay brother!
Me: You realize that you always had one, right? I’m not suddenly going to change my personality and enjoy shopping with you.
I was sitting at the table, surrounded by my uncle, his pastor, my brothers, and the funeral director, arranging my father’s service.
We were collaborating on the obituary. My family is incredibly southern; I did not grow up in contact with my father’s side.
Around the table we go: survived by brother James, sister Phyllis, sons Charles and Matthew, daughter Erin… oh, what was your husband’s name?
Now, my uncle had made a beautiful effort to get to know me as my father got sick and deteriorated. He asked after my family, my kids, my mom. When he made reference to my marriage, I let him make assumptions about gender just to avoid complications.
Everything crystallized in that moment over the obit.
“What’s your husband’s name?”
Pastor didn’t miss a beat, neither did funeral director. My brothers tell me that my uncle’s head shot up in complete shock.
Whatever he worked out for himself between that look and the time I was ready to check for a reaction, I will never know. But when I looked up for myself, he was smiling at me. He looked at me warmly and mouthed, “Not a problem.”
I have a wonderful uncle.
Me to grandma: gramma, you should probably hear from me first before blabbermouth aunt says it for me… I’m gay.
Gramma: Yeah, I figured, but I wanted you to tell me rather than ask… just like that interesting “vase” you keep on your patio which I know obviously isn’t a “vase.” (It was a bong and I lied.) Gramma was the best… I miss you gramma.)
Best- told my best friend. Cried. She stayed the night, we had pizza, drinks and watched a film. She slept in my bed, just like she did before. Nothing changed
Told my mom I was bisexual. Her reaction:
“Honey, you told me you were dating a guy months ago.”
Completely forgot I did that.
Me to my mother: “Ma, I like this girl in school”
Mother: “You remember Theresa? We’re dating”