"This family should get beyond this."

Paladin's picture

Didn't sleep well, again. I came to realise how much work is piling up, which realllly sucks. I was irritated in physics because we didn't continue on with the syllabus, and instead we did some revision. Only me and one other guy asked for us to continue; the rest voted against this. Got our reports at the end of the day. I found out that I got a conditional offer from another university, this one in Scotland. I had a piano lesson, followed by a meeting between me, my parents and the two teachers who know, at my house.

My teachers sat on one side of the table, my parents on the other and I at the end. Snacks were placed on the table, but clearly they did not belong there. There was a box of tissues placed rather conspicuously on the table, as though my parents predicted there was going to be crying. My teachers expressed their (liberal) views on homosexuality. They mentioned how there was no reason to doubt my certainty, and chances are that I wouldn't claim to be certain about something like this unless I was. The chances of me becoming heterosexual are vanishingly slim. Homosexuality is not a disease. Homosexuality does not have any adverse effects in itself, just in the way others behave towards it.

They regularly described my character in a positive light (strong-willed, like an activist), and then proceeded to try and rationalise and justify what I had done. Most of the time I just listened to them discussing this with my parents as I had already expressed my views to my parents on most of the issues they raised. It was interesting for all four to be discussing me in a third person context for over an hour and a half. Occasionally I stated some of my views: marriage is not a property to have been "stolen"; gay people are not idolised in the media, but are stereotyped.

My teachers confronted my parents in a very accepting way, and were quite convincing in what they were saying (in my opinion at least), with logical arguments they put forth more clearly structured than I could ever have come up with myself. Some of the things they said were things I would simply have difficulty saying myself, such as saying that I love and respect my parents, that I told them because I don't want them not to be a part of my life. It's not that these things aren't true, but I find statements like these irritating because they ask me to put my foot in the ground now when I'm really not sure where I stand on these things. I find feelings and motivations for things like these so transient that words would reduce them into irritating platitudes. This will probably make it harder for me to have relationships in future, I know.

My dad was quite insistent on them not saying that it was unlikely I wouldn't change. He seemed to think that unlikely as it may have been, saying it more was going to make it true. My parents have dropped the three year abstainance idea, at last. They complained a lot about the fact that if I were to come out to everyone at school, rumours would spread and they would feel disgraced about it. I felt sympathetic to this argument, since no one should have to suffer homophobia. However, I said that before they make a request like that, they should at least get over their own homophobic attitude towards me, as they were confusing the two.

My teachers brokered a new agreement. I will not tell anyone I'm gay without discussing it first, until I have left for uni, probably somewhere in the New England area (in the USA). In exchange, they will acknowledge what I have said. Some screwed up compromise, but they were quite persuasive in making it seem like because "I love my parents", I would never take away the family's "dignity". As strange as that sounds, I must thank my teachers for spending their own free time to do this. In actual fact, the table was pretty polarised. In terms of ascending order of level of acceptance there was my dad, my mum, my mentor, my counsellor and me. Three people were required to mediate what is essentially a value-conflict between me and my dad.

My mentor left it on a reasonably positive note, saying that given the relative health of my family prior to this, it should be foreseeable that "This family should get beyond this". I don't know if I will ever convince my dad to the point of accepting gay marriage, but a lot of progress was made.

After my teachers left we went out for dinner. I wasn't hungry at first. I was, and still am tired. The food was slow to arrive. When we got back my dad saw my D for effort in English. However, it was a quick discussion, as not only were there more important things on both our minds than this letter on a piece of paper, but I got a 6 (out of a maximum of 7) in English anyway, and the rest of my grades were good. That contrasts with about six months ago, when I got 40 (out of 42) as a total grade for my 6 subjects. Always able to find something to criticise, he had pointed out how the principal said I should be doing more extra-curricular stuff (I have always done A LOT) and told me to follow that advice. He had spent a good while talking about that, and had only praised my grades in one terse sentence.


Dan84's picture

Teachers can be awesome!

I'm glad you've come across some wonderful teachers at your school. Imagine how difficult things would be if all the teachers at your school were homophobic (or closeted), eh? I think it's phenomenal that you have such wonderful teachers.

Anyway, these seem to be steps in the right direction. Your natural strength will serve you well, no matter what the future holds for you!

Hoping things keep going in the direction they're going,