For those of you who are new readers, I’m gay. I came out to my parents 14 years ago. It did not go well. I remember it as a time when my mother screamed down the phone at me constantly that I was going to become a butch dyke and that I had wrecked my life before hanging up on me. I also had the bad timing to come out a month before Christmas. That year I got a toolbox and 3 flannel shirts for Christmas. It was one of the best gifts I have ever received. Flash forward 14 years and my mother has accepted that even though I’m gay I’m still the same person I always was and we no longer fight about me wearing men’s clothing. She still hates my first girlfriend though. Whilst I have acceptance about my sexuality, there still remains some deep homophobia. My mother has grudgingly accepted that letting gays marry from a legal standpoint might be an okay idea, but she is firmly against gays raising children. Fortunately, I don’t have a desire to have my own biological children, but it still hurts to hear her tell me that I would make an unfit parent simply because of my sexuality.
My extended family has not taken me being gay so well. Growing up I was really close to my Uncle J, Aunt C and their two daughters T & V. We were so close that one time when my mother made some mention of me being an only child T got upset as she considered me her little sister. When I came out, this close relationship became icy. They were still polite to my face, but that closeness was all gone. T & V now have children and V’s youngest son S started dance school a couple of years ago when he was 4. It is S that I now worry about. He is getting so much anti-gay crap at home simply because he loves to dance that if he does end up being gay, I really worry about his emotional well being. When he started dance school, it was told to me by his older brother and his dad that ‘he was not that kind of boy’ and this is the phrase that I hear over and over when we talk about S’s dancing. I can only imagine what he is hearing at home.
I now don’t have any contact with my extended family due to their treatment of me when I visited Australia in September. But V’s daughter C has friended me on Facebook, but I’m seriously considering unfriending her due to some of her homophobic remarks. Part of me thinks I should retain this shred of contact simply for S’s sake. If this little boy does discover he is gay, I can see he is going to need a hell of a lot of support. However, he’s now only 7 so it isn’t going to happen any time soon. Still I feel some obligation as the only gay in the family towards this little kid. I wish I could knock some sense into his family, but that is never going to happen. I want him to know that being gay is nothing to be ashamed of. I want him to have some family that will accept him for who he is and to have someone to talk to if he needs it. However, this kid is going to grow up not really knowing who I am, that’s just the reality of the situation and it hurts.
This crap has been weighing heavily on my mind of late. I just needed to get it out there. Maybe my blogging mojo might come back now. Any suggestions on how to handle homophobic family will be gratefully accepted. Maybe I’m just being ridiculous worrying about this so much.