It's Never Too Late To Go To Space Camp

radiosilence95's picture

Easter was going nicely for me. My mom's family gathered at my grandma's house for smoked ham and prayers, as we do every year, and my cousins and I were reconnecting after months of barely speaking. Not out of spite or any disagreements, but they're both...adults now. One's in college with a boyfriend, the other has a job and a girlfriend he plans to marry and I can't keep up. But the boyfriend and girlfriend weren't with us for once, so I had my cousins all to myself for the first time in awhile. So we hung out and it was nice.

Then dinner came. And even though the adults were talking about how Obama has this evil liberal agenda to take everyone's guns, I was still managing to at least kind of enjoy my time there. But then there was talk about new TV shows, and then talk of a new drama with gay characters, and I think we all know where the conversation went from there.

"I won't watch a show if there's gays in it."

"I saw two women holding hands in Wal Mart the other day. Why can't they just keep their hands off each other?"

"I would've given my husband a big sloppy kiss right in front of them just to see if they would've been as disgusted with us as I was with them."

Etc.

Yes, how dare two women hold hands in a public place? How is the sanctity of your heterosexual marriage supposed to remain intact if there are lesbians daring to show affection for each other in Wal Mart?

So I got up and left the table without saying a word. I was so angry I thought I was going to cry (most people throw things or yell when they're pissed off, but I just cry for some reason). So I went outside and sat with my grandma's Australian shepherd, Rusty. Is it pathetic that I felt more loved and accepted by a dog than by my own family? No, I don't think so. That's why I love dogs and cats. They really don't give a shit if you're gay, or if you go to church, or if you read the Bible, they just want a belly rub.

My mom came outside after about five minutes. I've retreated outside before when my family would make homophobic comments, but she's never followed me out before. She wanted to talk to me about it. I expected encouragement. I'm not sure what I really got.

She told me to toughen up. She told me that I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that not everyone supports the LGBT community. She told me that if I came out to everyone, the comments would stop. She told me that she's done some things that have disagreed with their beliefs, like having me out of wedlock, but they've still supported her. She told me to give them a chance, that they might surprise me. And she told me that I need to learn how to deal with people like them.

Of course I can deal with people like them. Those people are strangers. What the fuck do I care? But this is family. And my mom still goes along with their beliefs. She's a straight Christian and her "sin" of having me out of wedlock could be forgiven. But I'm a gay atheist. The polar opposite of everyone in my family. They can't "forgive" me for that. Having a kid before marriage is a one-time whoopsie. Homosexuality and atheism are lifelong things that form chunks of who you are.

And maybe I did overreact. Maybe I do just need to "deal with it." It just really pisses me off when it comes from my own family. I hear homophobic shit all the time and sometimes it does irk me, but usually I just shrug it off. Why can't I bring myself to do the same with my family? None of us are even really that close anyway.

I still really have no clue how much my mom is willing to support me at this point. She's said before that she still loves me but she's not exactly bringing out those "I love my gay daughter" T-shirts you see parents in Pride parades wearing. She's always craved the approval of her family. Supporting me wouldn't earn her that, I know that.

I don't even want to deal with them anymore. A lot of people think that family is the most important thing you've got, but I can't really see that. I just want to go to college away from them and make my own life. Maybe one Christmas I can bring an amazing girlfriend to family dinner with everyone, unannounced. Their reaction would be priceless. But I would never put my girlfriend through that.

I considered maybe typing an anonymous note and getting it to my grandparents somehow, but that's really stupid and cowardly. Something a sixth grader would do. I've just never had a real heart to heart with anyone in my family. Not my aunt, or uncle, or cousins, or grandparents. If I were to come out to them, I would have no idea when, why, or how. Coming out to my sister and mom and dad and friends were a breeze. I know for a fact that that won't be the case with them. There's a big part of me that does want them to know, but an even bigger part of me just doesn't feel like dealing with the reaction.

I was gonna write more, but I've rambled long enough.

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and got shit tons of candy like I did.

Comments

MaddieJoy's picture

i hear you loud and clear!

We're in almost the exact situation (gay, out-of-wedlock, atheist/pantheist). I've decided to leave my grandparents alone (they're old and stuck in their ways). However, it seems to me that with aunts and uncles should be told and cut off if they don't choose to be supportive.
Not that I've been brave enough to follow my own advice, but in theory...

radiosilence95's picture

My aunt and uncle are no

My aunt and uncle are no better than my grandparents. In fact, my aunt has made more openly homophobic remarks than my grandma. She's the one who drove me to leave the table today. My grandma and her are a dynamic duo of judgment and intolerance, equally hateful towards anything they don't agree with or understand. No, my aunt, uncle, and grandparents are all equal in terms of coming out.

I've just developed this "why bother?" attitude towards the whole issue.

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Interesting how anti-gay beliefs are still justified oftentimes through religion, after a meal consisting of ham, condemned in the same section of the Bible.

Leviticus 11:7
"And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be clovenfooted, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you."

Old, outdated nonsense considering today's modern food system...

Leviticus 18:22
"Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable."

Hey, you can't argue with the word of God...

Pick and choose...

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

radiosilence95's picture

People only pay attention to

People only pay attention to the scriptures that they're the most comfortable with. Condemning gay people is a-okay, but let's ignore the fact that the Bible advocates slavery and stoning adulterers to death.

No point in arguing with the religious, though. I'll just shut up and enjoy my sinful ham, thank you.

jeff's picture

Just very convenient...

That the passages of the Bible that are most important to God are the ones that forbid activity you're not interested in...

---
"You don't know you're beautiful." - Harry Styles

Super Duck's picture

Sorry you had to go through

Sorry you had to go through that. I had a similar encounter today. My great-uncle did not appreciate the fact that I reacted negatively when he said, "The most important thing you'll ever do is marry a man." He said I was not allowed to end up with a girl and asked if I was "one of those funny ones." My grandma was there, and I don't want to come out to her without my parents there because she's a bit, well... insane, so I just didn't say anything to him, and he started pestering my 10-year-old sister about the same thing. I made it pretty clear I was done with him after that, but he continued to blabber endlessly anyway.

Getting shit tons of candy really is the best, though. I think I have more candy than I'll ever be able to eat.

radiosilence95's picture

Yeah, it really sucks,

Yeah, it really sucks, doesn't it? It's sad to think that once I go to college and get out on my own, I really won't have much to do with my family anymore. But it's also not sad. It's just something I've come to accept, really. We'll never see eye to eye on some pretty crucial issues and I just don't think I'll ever feel close to them.

Dracofangxxx's picture

I feel the same about my family sometimes

I'm truly sorry for you, though. My family is subtly racist in that way a lot and it makes me very angry, and I cry. Sometimes scream and yell but only if i'm REALLY angry.

/hugs 5evr
-
That's redick!

radiosilence95's picture

My family is really racist

My family is really racist too. Like my grandma takes my cousin out for lunch every week and he actually had to ask her politely to cool it with the comments she would make when they were out.

I don't really think screaming and yelling will resolve much or do anything to change their attitude. Sadly there's not much you CAN do to change fanatical opinions like homophobia and racism...

elph's picture

Yes... Sadly!

Fortunately, I've largely not been acquainted with many who hold truly anti-social views. But if I found myself in that position, I think I'd like to ask them to carry on... be quite specific at what actions they would encourage that'd possibly lead to their being satisfied...

I suspect that as they become more and more specific, and if they're mentally competent, they will recognize how absurd their views actually are...

Just a guess; I haven't tried that particular tack.