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.


Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Telling the complete truth is really the only way to become close with a parent. It is why I will never be close to my own mother eventhough I have been "out" to her for many years and she loves my partner. She is too old and too judgemental to handle much of the detail of my life. Besides, I have no desire to confide in her. You should value and protect the relationship you have with your mother.

On another note, did I miss something? Not only do you have "Mike", but you also are seeing someone in another state? How very, um, energetic of you.

D said...

Whupsie. I should've emphasized the word "was."

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Sue said...

I know that your mom really loves you Doug and you know it too. Good for you for coming out to her. She will not stop loving you because you are gay I just know it!. Give her some time though to adjust to the idea. Now most of all you must have faith in her. She is a very strong person but she knows nothing about gay people and she relies on you to educate her. You must be patient. She'll come 'round.

The Milkman said...

Great post... placing value on honesty and personal integrity is the mark of a well-raised adult. Your mother has much for which to be proud and grateful. With time, she may become more relaxed about all this... and she may also realize that you might yet provide a grandchild or two. There is more than one door into that room.

Tempe said...

SO very heartfelt, kiddo.
Your mom is lucky to have you. In time she will accept what she hope to be untrue.

I love your relationship with her and I set you apart from other overseas Fil kids I've encountered in the internet, who lets the ups and downs mess them up. I like the way you describe your mom and I have no doubts that you make it known to her how much you appreciate all her sacrifices.

big hugs, Dougg, you're a good kid.