Friday, December 01, 2006

But I Kinda Like It Here!

You know, I said in the last post that I'd post "tomorrow." And of course that turned into four days later. Hey, it's not my fault. I had an Algebra exam to study for, which I took today, and which I'm pretty sure I failed. (Curse you logarithms!) Anyway, I'm done with it now, so I can have a nice, restful weekend before I start stressing out about the Algebra final. ;)

So, the other day I was in the common room and the new season of The Real World came on. It's in Denver this time around, but to tell the truth I haven't really watched the show since the Chicago season (I loved Tonya. I'd hate her in real life, but she made for good TV. I know, that's trashy American media for you. They don't call it a guilty pleasure for nothing). Okay, so back to the point. This season on TRW there is a gay man named Davis. Usually I hate the gay men that have been placed on the show in recent years, because (like most of the cast members) they are petty, selfish, promiscuous, and simply not good role models, yet at the same time claim to be "representing" their community. Hmm. I could do without that kind of representation, to be honest. Then again, I think all young adults could do without the representation that TRW has to offer.

But Davis, for a change, actually seems like a nice, down-to-earth guy. He's a Southern Baptist, and has been through some type of ex-gay counseling before (though he wasn't specific). He's definitely a Side A, but, as far as I can see, he doesn't drink, doesn't go to gay bars, and has a steady boyfriend. He really seems like the nicest person on the show (and the guys at Ex-gay Watch already beat me to the punch about him).

During the first episode, Davis talked with one of the other cast members about his relationship with his mother, which he said went downhill quickly after he told her he was gay. He said she no longer returns his phone calls, said he was "filled with demons," is "in danger of Hell," and cries every time she sees him. Hmm. Can we put those down in a guide entitled "What a Christian Parent Shouldn't Do If Their Child Comes Out?"

This got me thinking about my own relationship with my parents. I've yet to "come out" to any family member other than my brother, and even he and I have only spoken about the issue once (I couldn't really bring myself to tell him about the whole celibacy thing at the time, because I knew he wouldn't agree. I mentioned "spiritual conflict," and that was about as close as I came). He's very accepting, though, and I can't ask for too much more. I'm sure my sister will be too.

Mom and Dad, on the other hand.... Well, the situation's a little more up in the air where they're concerned. I know for a fact that they won't pull something like Davis' mother. That's just not who they are. But other than that, I don't really know how they'll react. I've never really heard definitive views on homosexuality from either of them, though there is a gay man within Mom's circle of friends, and Dad's never hinted that he's anything but fine with it. Then again, there are many things that people are fine with when it's not their family.

I guess I just don't know what to expect when I come out to them. I like the way our relationship is right now, and I don't want it to change (you could say that I'm still in the closet, but I kinda like it there!) It might be a while before I come out, anyway. Mom is going through some stress right now and I don't want to add any more to the heap. I need to wait for the right time, because I'm sure that the conversation will be a very long and interesting one (let's face it; it's a little more awkward because of my somewhat unique views about the whole thing.) Truthfully, I don't know if they haven't already guessed. Rusty admitted to having been suspicious, and it's been a while since Mom or Dad asked "met any pretty girls lately?" ;)

Wherever the conversation goes, I have a pretty good idea of where it might end. Over Thanksgiving break Mom and I were riding back from church (Dad was at an art show). She was silent for a while, before blurting out. "You know what, Jay? You're the nicest person I've ever met." Here's to hoping that opinion doesn't change.

14 comments:

Pomoprophet said...

Ah yes... the dreaded "how will the 'rents respond" question. My hand was sorta forced. I was fired from my church over this issue and so that next weekend I drove up here to Sacramento and had the talk. It was one of the most uncomfortable weekends of my life. We still dont talk about it much. I think they think i've been an exgay posterchild. Which is no where near the case.

I guess I dont think people should have to tell their parents until they are ready. Eventually to grow the relationship that sorta information is good to know. But as you've said in your profile, it doesnt define you. Most parents are fairly supportive. And you being SideB makes it a bit mroe acceptable in our society (i think)

Joe said...

Jay, wait until you have finished your studies before. Mom will be wondering who you are mixing with at college and whether you are harboring a secret crush on someone - but I think those are normal Mom thoughts.

kurt_t said...

I recommend, if you haven't read it yet, Coming Out: An Act of Love, by Rob Eichberg.

Irrational Entity said...

I had the opposite experience with the "met any pretty girls" comment. The topic seemed to come up every time I came back from college until I came out. I think you are right to wait until you feel ready, and hope things turn out well.

Jay said...

Pomoprophet: I'm really sorry to hear that you were fired from your church. That's downright wrong.

Personally, I am ready to let my parents know. I tell them everything else, and I hate having to skirt around this issue with them when I'm open about it with all of my friends. Mainly, I want to wait until I think they're ready.

Plus, being Side B actually might cause more of a problem than not.

Joe S: You could be right. Then again, it's never really been Mom's style to blame her children's actions on their circle of friends. As for the crush, well, she wouldn't be entirely wrong ;)

Kurt T: Sounds interesting. I'll try and check it out sometimes.

Irrational: It was actually rather weird over Thanksgiving. They asked me every other question in the book except that one. I don't know if Rusty let it slip or not. (I'm kinda hoping he did; it would make my life easier to a certain extent ;)

Blessings to all,
Jay

Brady said...

Jay- I agree that you should definitely just wait until you are ready. For me, somehow one night I just got the overwhelming feeling that I had to tell someone or I was going to explode. So, I ended up telling my mom. It went over better than I could expect with her, and our relationship has become closer because of it.

It's a very personal thing, but in my case (even though my dad strongly disagreed with me being gay), it was something that I had to do and I'm glad I did. It's hard to be close to people when you are hiding something so big from them.

Jimmy Gatt said...

Jay,

One thing I loathe is the self-importance of some gay activists who treat not-fully-out gay men as the devil himself. Remember, they have nothing to lose by your coming out, whereas you very well might. I agree fully with the others here. Your coming out is your business, and that is that. Some things are more important than coming out -- namely, the loving relationship you have with your family.

Warmly,
Jimmy Gatt

Jay said...

Thanks, Jimmy. Loving relationships are important, but for such relationships to be truthful, there needs to be honesty, which is why I think I need to come out to my parents.

To be honest, I feel pretty ready right now. My biggest concern is waiting for a time when I think they'll be ready--at least somewhat.

Norm! said...

Jay: "...Mom is going through some stress right now and I don't want to add any more to the heap. I need to wait for the right time, because I'm sure that the conversation will be a very long and interesting one (let's face it; it's a little more awkward because of my somewhat unique views about the whole thing.)..."

I would only caution you to know the difference between waiting for the "right time" versus waiting the "perfect time". Your parents will probably always have some type of stress, so there may never be a perfect time. It's okay to give yourself permission to 'add to the heap' -- because I'm sure they will not view it that way. I have a friend who recently came-out to his parents after ten years of pondering the perfect time. When he did, he discovered their philosophy about SSA was completely different than he assumed.

I should also say that it is confusing to come out as 'ex-gay' ('I'm no longer what I never openly identified myself as'). It took awhile for my mom to understand. Coming out gay was a little easier later -- at least for me.

jerubaal said...

Jay,

Expect your parents to feel hurt when you tell them. They're probably going to feel like they failed you in some way. And pain like that can produce any kind of reaction.

-Jake

Jay said...

Norm!: I'm not waiting for a perfect time, trust me. But now is definitely not the right time, for reasons that I don't feel are proper for me to explain here.

Jerubaal: I don't know if they'll feel hurt. Confused, maybe, but hurt's a strong word. Remember, though I don't know their exact opinions on homosexuality, all signs point to them taking a more liberal view. Like I said, I'm more worried about coming out as celibate than I am about coming out as gay.

Tin Man said...

The right time will present itself soon enough. Just keep your eyes peeled for the right oportunity. In the meantime, I will be praying about it.

em said...

What a cool comment for your mom to make -- I'm pretty convinced she's probably right! ;-)

Most-likely, your parents will be just fine with what you share with them. If I was in their shoes, I'd just be happy to know that I have that kind of open relationship with my child.

M. J. Wise said...

Nice blog.

Let me give a little advice speaking from experience, if I may: it doesn't get any easier to come out as you get older. I didn't come out to my parents until a little less than a year ago (I'm 23), and I think that was far too late, probably. My parents (my mom, especially) are in the Side B camp, so to speak, whereas I admit I am in the Side A camp of things (perhaps you'll have the opposite situation? Maybe we should just trade parents. ;) )

But still, don't wait too long, especially if you have little or no doubt about yourself anymore.