What Your Parents Often Don't Share With You
I am probably older than the twinks who write to you, but I do have something to share about coming out. It's totally my own experience, but I suspect the same type of thing has happened in many homes. I'd appreciate letting your young readers know what often goes on in their parents' heads when the kid finally comes out to them.
When I came out, my parents were calmly accepting and loving about my revelation. Each parent asked me not to tell the other. Since I was 16 years old and weary of the drama, I told both of them but at different times over the course of a weekend. When the "elephant" was out of the living room, my parents and I talked about my sexual orientation. They asked questions. I answered those questions. There were some emotional spells of tears and some humor. Mom and Dad were coping with my identity which was suddenly made known to them. Then it happened!
One week after I came out, I went to bed at about 11 PM and later began to hear my parents speaking to each other in the living room. I heard my name mentioned, and I rushed to the top of the stairs. I had a tape recorder with me so that I wouldn't forget their "conversation."
WHAT I HEARD.............
MOM: "OF COURSE HE'S THAT WAY. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHEN I SAW HIM LIP-SYNCING TO RICKY MARTIN."
DAD: "I JUST READ THAT IT'S ENTIRELY THE FAULT OF THE MOTHER. IF YOU HAD NOT ALLOWED HIM TO USE YOUR HAIR SPRAY WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS CONTROVERSY RIGHT NOW."
MOM: "OH, NO! IT'S ALWAYS THE FATHER'S FAULT. YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN SO CRUDE AND GROSS-- HORRIBLE TABLE MANNERS, BELCHING, FARTING, SCRATCHING YOURSELF AND NEVER PUTTING THE SEAT DOWN ON THE TOILET, PICKING YOUR NOSE, EXPECTORATING OUT THE CAR WINDOW AND YOUR CRUDE JOKES ABOUT THE FEMALE ANATOMY. NEED I GO ON? YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE TYPE OF MAN A SON WOULD NOT EMULATE OR WISH TO BE LIKE."
MOM AGAIN: "LOOK AT THE WAYS HE TRIED TO THROW US OFF THE TRACK. HE PLAYED SOCCER AND BASKETBALL, DATED SEVERAL GIRLS AND HE HAS MANY GIRLS VISIT HERE. WHEN I HAD A SLIGHT SUSPICION, I WENT ON A SEARCH MISSION IN HIS ROOM. REMEMBER? I ACCIDENTLY LOOKED IN THE BOTTOM DRAWER OF HIS DRESSER AND FOUND SEVERAL LITTLE BROWN BOTTLES AND SOME RAINBOW CONDOMS. WHEN I TOOK THEM UPSTAIRS FOR YOU TO TAKE A LOOK, YOU JUST LAUGHED (because you are a moron.)
DAD; "OMG! IT WAS YOUR DECISION TO USE MY HARD EARNED MONEY TO SEND HIM TO THE CATHOLIC ALL BOYS PREP SCHOOL. I NOW UNDERSTAND WHY HE LOVED SCHOOL. IT MUST HAVE BEEN A BUFFET FOR HIM!"
DAD AGAIN: "IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT. YOU ALWAYS WANTED A DAUGHTER SO YOU TREATED HIM LIKE ONE....MAKING HIM ALWAYS DRESS PREPPY, GETTING HIS HAIR STYLED ...NOT JUST CUT, AND TAKING HIM TO PLAYS IN NEW YORK AND LETTING HIM TAKE BALLET LESSONS."
MOM: "I SUPPOSE YOU THINK IT WAS A GOOD IDEA TO STOP GOING TO CHURCH. HE WENT WITH ME WHILE YOU STAYED HOME WATCHING PORN AND SENDING MESSAGES TO RUSSIAN GIRLS WHO JUST WANT COMPANIONSHIP."
COUSIN BUTCHIE, THERE IS MORE OF THEIR BICKERING ON MY TAPE RECORDER, BUT I THINK YOU GET THE IDEA. NONE OF THESE STATEMENTS WERE MADE IN MY PRESENCE, BUT I WANT TO ADDRESS THEM ABOUT THIS FIASCO OF IGNORANCE.
Thank you for sharing this with us at NJGAYLIFE. My feeling is that your parents may be facing other issues in their relationship and your coming out was an opportunity to lash out at each other. I don't think it would be wise for you to bring up what you overheard. Just be yourself and let them gradually adjust. (Leave some PFLAG+++++ literature around where they will see it. [I will be glad to send some literature to anyone requesting it. Please go to www.KippyNJ and tell me how to mail it to you. You may also call the PFLAG Helpline at (908) 300-4227. The Helpline is also (primarily) for parents and LGBT young people. You can vent, ask questions and receive caring answers.
+++++ PFLAG is the shortened name of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians & Gays.
IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY DONE SO, WHY NOT GO ON YOU TUBE AND KEY IN THE "IT GETS BETTER" ENTRIES. YOU WILL GET TO HEAR HOW OTHERS HAVE DEALT WITH COMING OUT. IN MY OPINION, GIVEN A LITTLE TIME, YOU WILL HAVE A MORE OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR PARENTS. ALSO, IN A CALM DSCUSSION, ASK YOUR PARENTS TO LISTEN TO YOU==== KEEP IT POSITIVE AND MAKE ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT YOU LET THEM KNOW THAT IT'S NOT THEIR "FAULT.' IF THEY SEEM TO BE READY TO TALK ABOUT YOUR ORIENTATION, GIVE THEM ALL THE TIME THEY NEED.... AND YOU MIGHT SUGGEST THE HELP OF A THERAPIST.