To the -16 of you who have been diligently hoping for the latest enrapturing events of my life to be recounted here, fear no more, your prayers have been answered.
I’m a little late on this, mostly because much of my week is taken up by either classes, work, or procrastination. BUT among the highlights of the recent holiday, one particular thing occurred that I wasn’t ultimately prepared for.
My mom found out I was gay.
More to the story, she is also 100% supportive.
To recap a few details here if you’re new to the bandwagon of my adventures, I came out this year in March, although a good handful of people were well-aware of my sexual orientation by that time. Even so, I didn’t truly feel “out”. I still felt trapped, like I couldn’t really be myself, and that was a feeling I eventually decided I wasn’t comfortable with, and so I did something about it. My mom and her girlfriend, however, remained woefully uninformed. The reason for this being that I didn’t exactly know what their reaction would be. I consider myself to be a cautious person at times, or at least someone who tries to be aware of scenarios before there’s a chance of them happening. Certainly the last thing on my list was my own mother cutting ties with me…for whatever bizarre reason existed behind that.
During the summer, I would periodically log in to my anon Twitter account on my mom’s phone when mine was running low on battery (yes, my addiction was that bad) and log out after I was finished using it or, typically, when we returned home. Before I left for college, however, I neglected to log out of my account, which, to the extent of my understanding, means that for three months, all the notifications I received to my account showed up on my mom’s phone, and she was fully able to access those messages at her leisure. When I created this blog, she also found that too.
And thus, my glorious coming-out story to my mom is essentially her finding my anon Twitter and connecting the dots. Certainly something to write home about, isn’t it?
Now for the 2 of you who have interacted with me in that timeframe, fear not, for the last thing on my mom’s list of priorities is worrying about the goings-on of social media (that, and being in her mid-50s, her memory isn’t always top-notch). The bulk of my conversations these days happen primarily through texting, of which my mom has no access to. Nevertheless, when she came to pick me up last Tuesday night, I mentioned going to Wendy’s the week before, of which she was already aware…because I had tweeted about it. She mentioned that she read my blog post, which was beautiful, and merely said I should’ve told her sooner.
Then, Thursday night came along. Past Thanksgiving offerings involved a trip to see my grandma some years, other years to see my uncle. This year it was just the three of us: Me, my mom, and her girlfriend. But as is a frequent occurrence in my house, drama had to be stirred up by my mom’s girlfriend. That night’s edition: Why I didn’t come out to my mom sooner, with much of the outrage (pun not intended) coming from my mom’s girlfriend.
At one point I walked into their room after my mom came to the kitchen to grab something, expecting to be verbally ripped and torn to shreds for a surprisingly-growing number of reasons when I had barely done or said anything for much of the day. Yet, the three of us had a wonderful conversation, and I explained why I had waited, which they were at that point understanding of. I got a note of admiration from both, as my mom had come out 4 years ago and her girlfriend, roughly 10 or so.
But it made me realize how, once again, I expected something to go bad when, in this case, it was quite the opposite. The mind is truly powerful, creating various scenarios in your head and, in many cases, making you believe that they will become reality. But absolutely nothing beats reality than actually seeing how something will play out, and I realized, then, how foolish I was, and how I should’ve come out to my mom sooner, despite my intentions of wanting to wait for the right moment. Suffice it to say I planned for something a little better than her finding out on her own without me telling her directly.
Now, however, I feel a sense of relief. Everyone in my personal life is now fully aware of my sexual orientation and, best of all, is 100% accepting and supportive, and I could not be more thankful. I’m sure this will only do nothing but good for the relationship I have with my mom too, but that alone will just be more of a gradual process, as in most things I’ve experienced. Yes, I wanted a better story, but at the end of the day, she knows, and she still accepts me, and that’s what matters.
There are, however, a few exceptions. Two of the other pivotal people in my life, my dad and my sister, are unaware of my coming-out, and my dad being a far greater concern in some ways than my sister.
And yet, although they are my family by blood, I know I still have the choice of whether to truly consider them as part of my family, which may sound horrible to say, but even so, I haven’t been particularly close to my dad for my entire life, so I’m not exactly stressed out over telling him at this point, when and even if that ends up happening.
The whole concept of a self-made family is something I’ve been thinking of for a while. One of the best people I’ve met through Twitter, @Teenagecloseted, gave me this to ponder during one of our conversations last week or so, that although you may be born into your family, they are not the only ones up for consideration. Your family truly is who you decide to consider as such. It’s a morally difficult thing to even grapple with the thought that the very people who gave birth to you are not always your biggest champions as much as they should be, even going so far as to disown you or to put you through conversion therapy in an attempt to change a fundamental part of who you are.
I truly believe that people who don’t accept you, support you, and love you are people you have no need for. The very top of that list should ideally be your parents, but even then, that’s not always the case. At the least, however, every single person needs a support system, wherever that system comes from. It could be from a few dozen strangers over the Internet. It could be the occasional FaceTime call at 3am. It could even be a snapchat video.
I know the coming-out process can be riddled with difficulties, and everyone’s situation is different. But I can definitely say that the people who do care about you the most will also care about it the least, in the sense that it’s not going to signal an asteroid heading straight for Earth or there being an unexpected shortage of coffee or something like that. You should always be comfortable in who you are and who you’re around, and most of all, who you come out to. Things get incredibly easier once you take that step, but it is most definitely a process. There’s no rush to anything at all, only the never-ending quest for happiness and how you choose to get there.
Most of all, your family is what you make it to be, and who you decide to include. If there are people, family members especially, who will do nothing but tear you down and refuse to support you emotionally, physically, socially, and so on, then they are not truly worth considering as your family, much less people you should associate with. My dad has never been a truly bad person, but after all of my missed band concerts, my high school graduation, and various other events growing up, it’s sadly safe to assume his interest in me as a son is not quite as high as it perhaps should be.
But I’m okay with that, because, both physically and virtually, I’m surrounded by people who do love me, none of which (save for one) are related to me by blood, but all of which I am profoundly grateful for, and they, I’m very happy to say, are most definitely my family.