You hear a lot of stories of gay people coming out to their families. What you don’t hear a lot of is the people who get told that their loved is gay. The stories are there but I feel they are not as big as coming out ones. Here is a bit of my story of what it was like for me when I was told by two different people in my family that they are gay. At some point I will write another blog about this.
I usually don’t like to go deep into my personal life over the internet but I feel the need to do this. The topic ‘gay’ has been hot for a while and continues. It’s a good thing though; the more we talk about it, the more the issue the world has with it can be dealt with.
My parents split up when I was about 10 years old. I didn’t understand why. When I was around 11 (I think) is when I found out why. He sat me down and told me he was gay. I don’t remember the entire conversation. At the time, rumors were going around that Michael Jackson was gay. I never cared if he was or wasn’t. So when he sat me down, he said “Your mom told me that you don’t care if Michael Jackson is gay.” I told him I didn’t care and something along the lines of because he is still a human being, it’s who he is etc. My parents taught me to treat everyone with respect no matter color, size, religion, rich or poor etc etc. Then he said “…..I’m gay”. I don’t remember the words before it.
I broke down and cried and hugged him. I knew the world didn’t accept people who were gay and I remember hearing stories of people getting beat up or killed just because they were “different”. This scared me. Because of people being so cruel, I didn’t want my dad to be gay, not because I thought there was something wrong with it. I was also being bullied at school (most of my entire elementary school years) so I was also scared that the kids at school would find out and bully me even more. I was scared of what people thought.
At some point I made the decision to tell the friends I did have. I don’t know why but I felt I had to tell them. I was terrified. I thought they would not want to be my friend anymore. If I lost them, I would have no one. I can only imagine that this is what it must be like for someone coming out. Thank God my friends didn’t care. I am very thankful for their support. Their parents didn’t care either.
Since I was 11, I didn’t understand relationships, straight or gay. I knew my dad didn’t chose to be gay. I think I was still confused about things. I didn’t want anyone to know outside of who already did. My dad met a guy. He was one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. He accepted my sister and I. Anytime all of us went anywhere, I would wonder if people knew. Were they judging? What did they think? Would we be kicked out of places? My dad ended up getting married to this guy (I will leave his name out). I didn’t attend because I was living in Colorado. The marriage wasn’t legal at the time. Unfortunately my step-dad passed away before they could marry legally. I never really got to know him they way I wish I could have. I was shy and always concerned about others around me. I think I was uneasy because I knew people around me were. It took me a long time to not give a crap what others think.
My dad told his family except his mom. He grew up in a religious family. His mom probably would have been very upset and maybe not want anything to do with him. She was also old and I think my dad just didn’t want to upset her. I don’t think I truly know why he didn’t tell his mom. Maybe because he wanted to keep her in his life. In order to do so, he hid himself from his mom. She knew his husband but only as a friend. I know this hurt him.
Jump several years into the future. I’m married with two step sons. We’ve always told them that we didn’t care if they were gay, straight, bi etc. We would still love them just as much. My oldest one day sat on the couch and we started talking about different things. Then he just came out and said “I’m bi and I am dating a guy.” All I said was “ok.” We talked a little more and that was it. He said even though we told him we didn’t care, he still had a hard time telling me/us. He still thought we would throw him out.
When I hear of stories of parents disowning their children because they are gay, it pisses me off. I can’t understand how a parent, their flesh and blood, toss their kid out like yesterday’s trash just because they like the same sex. Whatever happened to unconditional love? A parent will never like some of the things their kids do or their choices in life. A parent doesn’t have to like that their child is gay (and even think it’s wrong) but can still keep them in their lives and love them. NOTHING will get me to disown my kids and I didn’t even give birth to them. I just don’t get it.
I still get scared for my dad’s and son’s life sometimes (and for anybody else that I care about that are gay). I don’t go around announcing to everyone they are gay but I don’t hide it either. I am in more of acceptance of where I come from, of who I am. I really hope one day nobody will have to come out. I hope it will no longer matter who someone gets married to or sleeps with. That we can just learn to let people live their own lives and stop the stupid things that go around about people who are gay. I hope there will no longer be labels for people. That everyone everywhere can be treated equally (well in some countries women I think will never be treated equal but I think you get what I mean).
In the end, people are people. It doesn’t matter where one comes from, rich, poor, different colors and religions, gay, straight, bi or transgender. We are still all humans. Even if you think it’s unnatural, disgusting, a sin or what have you, we’re still all human and need to be treated with respect. No one has to like what others do but who’s business is it how someone lives? Who’s business is it if someone “commits a sin”? We should be allowed to live a happy life and the way we want. Would you want someone to judge you? To treat you like crap because of who you are? To beat the crap out of you just because you live a different life than others?
So this is my story of coming out in my family. My thoughts and feelings. I want to thank everyone who has accepted me after knowing about my dad and son. Thank you to my family who have accepted my dad. Without your support, his life would have been hell and lord knows how things would have turned out. My love, heart and positive energy to everyone who has a story like mine, who has struggled or is struggling with themselves. xo