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."
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.