Evidently, my family would disown me if I was gay.
I went to a presentation today called “LGBT Citizenship, Marriage Equality, and the Constitution”. It raised a number of interesting points. I wish it would have been longer than an hour! The discussion got me thinking about what my parents thought about gay marriage. So, I asked. It went like this.
Mimi: Mom, do you think gay marriage should be legal?
Mimi: Why not?
Mom: I knew that would be your next question! Because I don’t believe in it.
Mimi: That is not an answer! You don’t believe in gay people? They’re not like fairies or Santa Claus…
Mom: I just think it’s gross.
Mimi: But why? What would you do if B (my younger brother) or I were gay?
Mom: Don’t even go there!
Mimi: No, seriously. I think this is really important for you to think about.
And then she stopped responding. So I moved on to Dad.
Mimi: Dad, do you think gay marriage should be legal?
Dad: Hell no!
Mimi: Why not?
Dad: I’ve got to get you out of Philadelphia!
I cracked up at that. Then I called him to reassure him that I am not gay and that living in Philadelphia has not changed the values and beliefs that I already had, at least with regard to gay marriage. He rushed me off the phone when I started arguing with him about allowing for equality.
Then I called my brother to ask his thoughts and relate the story of my dad temporarily thinking I was a lesbian. My brother was equally insistent that gay people are disgusting, go against nature, and should not be allowed to get married. He even went so far as to say that gay people are not born gay, but become gay because of “some psychology stuff [he doesn’t] understand”. I finally had to just end the conversation because the things that were being said were so ludicrous.
I’m not gay. But still. It kinda hurt my feelings. This doesn’t say much about their sense of family or their love for me. So many gay and trans people have a similar experience with their families when they come out.
Would (or does) your family accept you as you are? If so, please take a moment to think about how lucky you are to have that privilege.