Thursday, August 14, 2008

Putting it Out on the Table

I wasn't completely truthful with my mother when I came out to her just a couple of days ago. She asked if Mike was my boyfriend, and I said no. That was bothering me, as I feel like I'm in a position where I need to tell her the truth.

She came home from another 16-hour shift, tired, as usual. I asked her if I could talk to her, to talk about me. I shouldn't have asked; her work has drained a lot of energy from her, and I think the last thing she wanted to hear was my gay lifestyle.

"Ay! I don't know; I'm tired." I understood. I went to bed. After a long day of work, she always sits on the couch in the living room with her rosary, praying. I know she prays for the best for her family, especially when it comes to monetary terms. After coming out to her, I knew she added an extra prayer to her list of "good intentions."

Several minutes later while I tried to go to sleep, she walked into my room, making sure that I gargled with warm water and salt (I've had a sore throat for the past few days). She kissed me, and I said I loved her.

"What do you want to talk about?" she asked.

"I just felt like I've lied to you."

"Put on your t-shirt." She walked into the living room, and I followed her as I put on my shirt. She asked what I was lying about. I told her that I'm not doing anything wrong; that I'm doing really well in life, like getting good grades in school and keeping myself busy with work. I worked to make her proud, but most of all happy, knowing that she has a son that she can talk to her co-workers about.

I let everything out on the table, confessing that Mike was my boyfriend, but not anymore, and that I'm seeing someone from another state. She knew that I had a boyfriend, yet she still prayed that I'd be straight (I knew she was in denial, though I convinced myself that she was that naive). My mom brought up how much she wanted to be "macho," and the times that I've made fun of my gay uncle; it was hard for her to grasp the fact that I'm gay and that I can throw a football without breaking a nail. I told her that my sexual orientation is not my personality. I made sure that she heard this: "Other than my sexual life, mom, I'm doing so well. Aren't I? Aren't I making you proud? Aren't I the one that's doing well in school? Aren't I the son that's making you proud?" She nodded her head, saying of course, but she still wanted me to be straight. She hated the idea that people she knew would talk about me. I reassured her that many already know, and she didn't like that idea either. And, again, I reassured her that other peoples' opinion about me being her gay son doesn't matter and doesn't affect my life or hers.

She cried. She asked what she did wrong. My mother did nothing wrong, and I told her that. I told her that I learned from my mother, the strongest and hardest working woman I know, and that I'm here to make her proud and happy; that I'm nothing like my older brothers when they were my age; and that me being gay is not going to change who I am. Yet she cries, still, hoping that I'll be straight. I won't force her into believing that I won't change, and in time she'll have to accept that.

It was a rougher talk than last time, but at the end, only one thing mattered:

She still loves me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Out! Who's Next?

During the time I realized I was (still am, thank goodness) gay, I felt like I was living a double life. I was deep in a closet, not letting anyone know my secret. I remember coming out on blogger on my previous blog, and I built up the courage to tell my fabulous trait to everyone, including acquaintances, childhood friends, teachers, and other gay men. Yet I still didn't have the cajones to tell my direct family members.

I've mentioned before that it's easier to tell anyone new everything about yourself, because if he/she doesn't like you, why care(?), because they don't know you and you don't know them. It was harder, though, to tell friends you've known for a while, as you've built a history without them knowing you're a 'mo; there's a threat of your "friend" invalidating the comraderie you two have shaped. Thankfully, I've only had one experience of that happening, and, consequently, I lost one...out of the many. It does sound easy to delete someone from your life after that person suddenly looks at you in a different way, but I was, nonetheless, hurt. But what kept my head straight (hah, "straight") was realizing that my life doesn't revolve another person's opinion, knowing that I don't have to prove to some asshole that I'm still going to be the same person that everyone has known, whether I like boys' naughty parts or not.

And with that mentality, I've finally built up the courage to tell my mom today. They say that there is no such thing as perfect timing when it comes to coming out, and this situation was just that. As I sat on my computer chair, my momma asked for a nail-cutter. I gave it to her. She stood in the doorway, clipping her red fingernails, not even catching the nail clippings that dropped to the wooden floor and my green rug: Perfect opportunity to tell her I'm gay. So, I sat her down on my bed, telling her that I had something important to say. She asked me if anything was wrong, and I assured her nothing really is wrong. I asked if she loved me no matter what, and she says of course. I looked straight (hah, "straight") into her deep, loving, brown eyes; they told me, "I loved you as a baby and that has not changed." I told her: "I'm gay." I still locked my eyes on hers and anticipated tears -- but there were none.

"Ohh...well, I hope that changes," she said weakly. A bit frustrated, already, I ask her why would she would want me to change. She replied: "I want grandchildren from you." For a second I thought about adopting or having a surrogate child, just for her. But I reassured her that she already has a grandchild, and that she'll receive more from my two older brothers. "But I want grandchildren from you."

In the end, though, I hugged and kissed her, and asked her numerous times if she still loves me, and numerous times she assured me that she still does...

"I still want grandchildren from you."