Wednesday my brother and his girlfriend came to my house to drop off their weeks old son for my mother to babysit. The baby has had some digestive problems, which is causing some weight-gain problems. They’ve switched formulas from a “normal” one to a “less lactose” one with worsening results. My mother suggested trying soy formula. My brother then proceeded to rant that he would never give his son soy formula because it “turns babies gay”.
He went on to say that even the doctor said that was true. His girlfriend backed him up, siting the higher concentration of estrogen in soy formula. She actually looked at me in hopes I would agree with her. Instead, I called my brother and the doctor ignorant morons and left the room.
After they left I went to my mother, crying, asking why she let them talk like that in my home, why she defended their homophobic hate speech. She told me I was overreacting. That I was looking for something to be upset about. And what did it matter to me what they thought?
“Because I’m gay, Mom!”
I suppose there are worse ways to come out to your family, but I must admit my timing could have been better.
I stared at her shocked face for a moment, then left the room. A few minutes later she came to me and asked me what I meant.
“I like girls and boys.”
“My whole life.”
“That’s a lie.”
“No, it’s not. All my life I’ve been too ashamed to admit it because I knew this is how you would react. I only admitted it to myself a few years ago.”
“Why would you do this to me?”
She left the room in a flush of hurt and anger.
She thinks I said it in the heat of an argument, a lie to get a rise out of her, to win the argument. A friend said “So much for unconditional parental love, eh?” And he’s right. And this hurts like hell. Not coming out, no, that feels like a weight lifted from my chest. No, what hurts is knowing concretely what I’ve always suspected – that all the time I’ve spent trying to gain my mother’s affection and attention was wasted energy. She’ll never love me, especially now that I’m “a gay”.
It’s hard to be “out and proud” when you’re hurt and sad, but I’ll be damned if I let anyone spout homophobic rant in my home.
Comments are open and discussion is welcome, but know that hate speech will not be tolerated.