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Jim

April 1998

A Note To Parents

Hi everyone. I am writing this month's article for any parents out there who read Oasis, if there are any. The inspiration for this article came to me last week when I was at this local gay bar for karaoke night. I realize that many readers are under 21 but the point of my article has nothing to do with going to bars but with how parents of gay youth treat their children.

I was out the other night at this local watering hole for karaoke night. I don't sing but I do enjoy listening to other gays and lesbians sing. Its usually a fun night out. At an early point in the evening, the MC announced that the next guy to sing was with his parents enjoying a night out at the gay bar. I was surprised because I could not imagine my parents ever embracing my sexuality that much that they would be willing to go to a gay bar or gay anything with me. I could see how much fun the family was having and the parents seemed to be very happy enjoying this part of their son's life. I don't know what it was like for him when he first came out to his parents but I could see the amount of love and affection his parents have for him and this really impressed me.

I came out to my parents last August when I was home on vacation. They still have not accepted it but they are not mad at me either. It helps that I am on my own, pay my own bills and there is nothing they can do to make me change. I just ask that they support me and continue to love me. They don' t support my lifestyle but they do love me which is better than nothing. But I can see and feel that as long as they reject my lifestyle the more we will grow apart. If I can't tell them about nice guys that I go out with or date then I am hiding a very important part of my life. I have two brothers and two sisters. At Christmas everyone came home and brought their husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend except me. I was unable to discuss anything in my personal life. It was all school and work unlike everyone else. Having to hide so much of my life from my family is very frustrating. I came out so that they could ask if I've met any nice guys. They used to ask me about meeting nice girls why not guys?

So parents, when your sons and daughters come out to you, they need more than just tolerance. They need you to embrace their friends, partners, and be able to talk about their personal lives just as much as your straight siblings. Having to be treated so differently than the rest of the family is not only upsetting but serves to destroy your relationship with them. I don't know if I will ever have such an open relationship with my parents but I have dreamed for many years of them fully accepting me and my life. That would truly make me happy. We don't need money, cars, and casual acceptance. We need true love and to be treated as everyone else. Don't treat us like we are different because we are not.

I wish everyone a great April. Take care. If you wish to write to me, my email address is: kiyotei@sprintmail.com.

Peace

James


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