I hope to see you a lot of you guys at the meetings. I'm so incredibly excited about this! If you have any questions, feel free to email me at email@example.com.
Now, on to the real post...
I've been out to my mom for about 4 years now, however, it's not something we talk about. At least, not in casual terms. Whenever the topic of my sexuality comes up, it's in hushed tones that weigh heavy in the air making it incapable for me to catch my breath from the immense weight that I feel on my shoulders from those hushed tones. The conversation always references God, hell, sin, and, worst of all, choice. So, when I decided to tell my mom about my boyfriend, I knew that I'd be in for the same thing but was hoping that it would be a little better.
I wanted to wait until probably the day before I left to come back to Duke to tell my mom about my boyfriend. I was hoping for a decent reaction but preparing for the worst. However, fate did not let it happen that way. We were having a conversation about Facebook and privacy when she just asked me: "Do you have a boyfriend?".
I was so shocked that she asked that I didn't know what to say. I never expected my mom to ask me. I was supposed to tell her. The role reversal had my mind spinning. What did this mean? Was she asking because she was genuinely interested or does she believe that me having a boyfriend is a reason for all of the changes she's seen in me (My mom believes that Duke and being gay has changed me from the son she once knew to this new person. Blog post on that coming soon. Stay tuned folks!)? It could mean that she wants to know more about my life and wants to be involved or she could use this knowledge as a weapon against me.
"...Yes, I do have a boyfriend..."- Me
"Ok, tell me about him."- Mom
We began to talk about him and she could sense my hesitancy and how uncomfortable I was talking about him. She didn't understand why I didn't feel comfortable talking to her about my sexuality. I began to cry as I explained to her how hearing I'm a sinner, a pervert, suffering from some sickness or disease every Sunday makes it difficult for me to talk to her about my life. When her life centers so much around church and religion, I just can't casually stroll into the house and talk about my boyfriend.
"Well, yes. I think that you choosing to like men is wrong but it's your life. You know what the Bible says about that. You can choose to do whatever you want. I don't have to agree with it or like it, but it's your life."
Hearing her say that hurt me so much and caused me so much pain that I felt my heart turn to stone. At that instant, I knew that we would never have a great relationship again. I didn't want to have the argument with her about how my sexuality is NOT a choice. I didn't want to ask her about the teachings of love and acceptance in the Bible. I didn't want to discuss it with her ever again. She wasn't going to change her mind or even try to hear my side of things. When my mom makes up her mind, it's done and no one can tell her any differently. I knew that I lost the argument before it even started.
"But, you know, at the root of it all, I just want you to be happy. I've learned that people should be happy in life. As long as you are happy, that's all that matters. Are you happy?"
"Good. That's all that matters."
UUUMMMMMMMMMM ok? To say I was thrown for a loop is an understatement. So she doesn't accept or agree with who I am but it's ok because I'm happy? Eventually, I understood what she meant. She wants me to make the choices that make me happy and if one of those "choices" is being gay, then so be it. My heart turned from stone to wood. I knew that she didn't hate me and wanted me to be happy but wishes that I found happiness in a different way.
And therein lies the rub. If I could change what makes me happy, everything would be fine but I can't do that. She keeps saying I haven't found the right girl and that it's just a phase but it's not. It's just not. There is no right girl for me. But I can't make her see that. And I've realized that now. We have fundamentally different views and we're not going to agree on them. It's sad but it's the reality of the matter.