November 1999

Ryan is a 17-year-old bisexual living near Rochester, NY.

The Jesus and Mary Chain

First of all, I should thank all of you who emailed me telling me about how my article affected you. I immensely appreciated even the short letter saying that my article was read and liked. My purpose for writing is so that just one person could be enlightened or find that he or she is not alone. Keep it up guys.

I could write about my love interests, the girl from last month's article, or my social life, but that would probably bore you, so I'll stick to my tactic of discussing an issue.

A few days following the Ides of October, I came out to my mother. The reasons for doing so are obvious. Every day since the beginning of school, I had been plagued by a spectral force that encumbered me. I decided finally, that I couldn't remain inside the closet for long. It was slowly draining me of the self confidence that took years to build up. Day followed by day perpetually being hurt by my parents for not understanding why I can be miserable wasn't an appealing scenario. Coming out to her has been the best thing I've done for myself. It is so hard coming out to a relative. I can make new friends, but mothers are forever. I chose that it's time to end the chapter of hiding from my family. For all of you Greek fans, you could say: O Ryan arikse mavri petra. That looks awful in English letters.

I won't focus on my approach, this won't be about using that intangible skill that few possess called tact. No, this month will try to be exclusively a mother and son bond based on my experience coming out to her.

The hardest thing that I thought of was, "I have values that conflict with my mother's. How can I dare disrupt the relationship, already failing, even more? I can't just say, 'Mom, I find delight in what would have spelled my nonexistence if you agreed.'" She, like most mothers, know her son well. She told me that she had been suspecting for over a year. Over a year? Maybe it's my individual problem, but I find it insulting when people say that. They might as well say, "Gee, Ryan, you are paragon of what I find stereotypically gay." I will not take offense to it, because as a mother, she is permitted the extra speculation. As a final resistance to my plea of grievance, she told me that I shouldn't be so final in my decision about my sexuality. She told me that I'm probably curious, and that's all. If I'm curious about anything, it would be that my attraction to women is not as strong as I once envisioned. I feel confidently bisexual, and in time I expect to be completely out of the proverbial closet, instead of caught with only a leg out. I won't get into my retort to her, because family history is somewhat precious and private. I will include that my mother must have known that heterosexuality was for her as she got married at eighteen.

What I am trying to describe is the bond that every child has with a parent. It would have been hard for me to deal with myself if my parents couldn't accept me as I was. Luckily, this story ends happily. Despite the shock that parents might face, they should be able to confront the truth, accept it, and continue to show their unconditional love. Sometimes poor communication gets in the way of true understanding. For the gay child, he or she needs to understand that the parent may have been expecting marriage, kids, and, well, somebody perfectly straight. However the parent needs to remember that the child hasn't changed any, and he or she shouldn't be viewed upon as if some strange metamorphosis occurred. Also, the child is not trying to complicate things, the son or daughter is trying to make things much simpler. Being able to talk about love, life, and important issues is among the best things in the world. And for that reason, when I child can freely express himself instead of hide himself, mother and son can achieve their "bliss".

I am getting into pretty abstract thinking, and before I make too many more broad sweeping generalizations, I'll quit. Family relationships are a topic that has become very important to me. I am willing to talk about it with anyone that would like to.



I am a student living in a small town in Western New York. I will be in the NY All State Conference Chorus, and also in Area-All State, so if you happen to be as well, give me a message. I like many bands, but the most notable are Tori Amos, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, Luxt (by far the BEST Gothic band out there!), Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Tool, The Cure, They Might Be Giants, etc. The list goes on and on. Feel free to send me your thoughts, your hopes, dreams, fears, and most of all, your questions by this address: cyanide2@juno.com or IM me at SickPuddle on AIM.

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