Coming out to my parents was nothing like what I expected. I didn’t know if my mom and dad would be really angry with me or if they’d be super accepting. Instead, coming out to them has left me in a place where I feel really unsure of everything…
From what I’ve observed, many people come out to their parents very soon after they realize they are gay. I, on the other hand, chose to wait things out for numerous reasons. I think I was always waiting for the “right time” to tell them I liked guys but there never was a “right time” and there never would be.
The “so when are you getting a girlfriend?” questions must have finally gotten old because my parents were starting to discuss the possibility of me being gay at home more often, according to what my sister told me. She went on to explain that if I was ever going to come out to our parents, this weekend was last chance. She said if I didn’t tell them soon, they were going to ask me.
(As you can imagine, knowing that didn’t make me anxious or anything as I traveled home for Easter…)
It was around midnight and my parents and I were sitting around our kitchen table catching up. There were a few moments of silence when I could have blurted out what needed to be said but I didn’t. I couldn’t.
I was too scared.
Around 1AM on Easter, my mom finally couldn’t wait any longer. She asked, “Rock, is there something you need to tell us?”
I stumbled a bit on my words. I really couldn’t say anything. I knew exactly where her question was going and my head was already spinning. I somehow managed to mumble, “Yeah. There is…”
After a small moment of silence, my mom finally bit the bullet and asked, “Look. We need to know. Are you gay?”
And of course, I said yes. Confirming my sexual orientation with them was met with almost no reaction on their end. (Very unsettling in the moment it was happening…) They were quiet and seemed confused. I recovered from my nervousness quickly and began to tell them my whole life story one event at a time. I told them everything from how I was asked to prom by another guy to how I joined a gay fraternity this semester.
I’m sure it was a lot for them to take in but they were hanging in there.
Certain things were said that I found a little frustrating. They posed typical concerns like the whole HIV and AIDS issue and I happily informed them that I’m currently in the process of writing a 15 page research paper on HIV, AIDS, and gay men for my class That’s So Gay.
The hardest thing by far for them to understand was why on Earth I’d want to go to bed at night with another man when I could have a beautiful woman instead. I tried showing them the situation from my perspective but I still think they didn’t get it. And maybe they never will?
They want me to date a girl so I can know for sure. Sorry but that’s not going to happen. :/
They kept saying “it’s not a good choice” and “why would you want to live that lifestyle?” so I had to explain how I firmly believe being gay is not a choice. For me, it definitely wasn’t. And what “lifestyle” am I choosing, exactly?
I like boys. Why can’t it be that simple…?
Above all else, they were concerned about my safety. They said they don’t want to see me get bullied and that once I tell people, “it’s going to spread like wildfire.” Once again, I disagreed. I’m very fortunate to live in both an accepting generation and accepting region. I don’t see my sexuality as something that makes me weak. In fact, I’ve learned to embrace it.
My parents, however, seemed to adopt more of a “it-is-what-it-is” attitude. I hope this doesn’t stay a touchy subject for the rest of my life… If I ever do find a partner, I’d like to think my family will come around and welcome him.
By the time we finished talking, it was 3AM and we were exhausted. I basically got to say Happy Easter and call it a night.
What a day!
I feel much better now that my family knows my full story. There’s nothing left to hide and whatever guilt I once felt is now gone for the most part. To anyone who celebrates, I hope you had a happy Easter and a happy Sunday to all the rest! I know I did! 🙂