February 11, 2012

Oh, Mother...

It's a few days before Valentine's Day (yay/boo depending on how you view it. I have mixed feelings...)! But it's gotten me thinking about love and relationships and the whole hookup culture. As I was pondering over this subject, the conversation with my mother about my then boyfriend replayed in my head. So, I guess this is sort of a companion post to that post.

"Wait, so you actually wanted to be in a relationship?"- my mother

"Yeah. I prefer it over just hooking up with someone randomly. It makes me happier"- me

"Oh! I'm so happy to hear that! I thought you were just like all the rest of them and had sex with everybody and anybody! You don't know how relieved that makes me!"- my mother

"-____-"- me

Basically, my mother thought that I, along with the rest of the LGBTQ population, was just a sex hungry dog. She took my being in a relationship as a sign that I was not out walking the streets every night looking for new prey to lure to my "bed of lust and sin" (actual quote from a different conversation). I had no idea how to handle that.

"Yeah mom! I'm not that promiscuous!"
"Thanks mom for thinking that your son gets around more than the fabled milk man..."

I mostly ended up feeling hurt. It's one thing to know that your parents don't agree with your "choice of life" (another great quote) but it's another thing entirely to realize that your mother thinks you're going home with a different guy every night of the week. I take my sexual activities very seriously and do not want that label forced upon me. I've never wanted to be known as "THAT guy that sleeps around." I've always wanted to be a more relationship-oriented man. Have I had hookups before? You bet I have! And most of them were great and harmless. But they're not what I want for my life. They're not something that I personally value as being such a great thing. I'd much rather have one steady person in my life rather than bringing back Tom on Thursday, Frank on Friday, and Sam, Steve, and Shawn on Saturday.

I told my mom about how awful I felt when I had hookups with guys that I thought were going to go somewhere beyond a one-night stand. I told her about how I thought we had made some kind of connection that would last longer than the next 2 hours, but I was proved wrong. The hookup would happen and I'd never hear from them again. My mother said that it was because I was being used as an experiment. These guys weren't actually gay. They just didn't know what they wanted. They would probably end up being straight, which is why I never heard back from them.

First, I was a gentleman of the night. Now, I'm some kind of experiment. I was really beginning to feel like a million bucks with this conversation. Despite me telling my mother that I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that these guys were in fact gay and I was not the first, or last, man they hooked up with, she stuck to her guns and said I was just a test and that I'd see later on. She was right and I was wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. In fact, I, too, am only investigating and will one day finally "come to [my] senses" and be with a woman.

So, yeah. Labels are never fun. Especially, when they're ones forced on you from the people you love most.

Oh, mother. Whatever will I do with you?


  1. I’m an ally in my late forties, and I’m so glad that I grew up with a mother who told me frequently that she didn’t think being gay is a choice. I was lucky to have a mother with a gay cousin and a liberal mind. I’m shocked at some of the things people my age still say and believe. These people probably grew up with parents feeding them all kinds of bull$--t. If you’ve ever watched Mad Men, think of the character Sal – that’s really how it was while children of the 50s and 60s were growing up. The only way to change a mind deeply etched in childhood is to educate, educate, educate. I’m sure that this is very hard, though, having to do this when the issue is so personal, and when the things being said are so hurtful. I hope you won’t give up on your mom, though. Instead of “__________”, next time, maybe you could try to find the strength to say what you really think, what you really feel, and to try and help her change her long-standing misperceptions. I know – easier said than done, huh? It shouldn’t be your job to educate her. But it is now - like it or not.

    Though I think of myself as being quite the hip parent and quite liberal, I also have things that were engrained in me during childhood. I’ve been very disillusioned with today’s youth, in general. I was taught during childhood that sex is something from the soul, the heart, and the spirit - not just of the body. I hear about today’s “hook up culture”, and I don’t know how some people keep their souls and spirits intact, loaning their bodies to each other for an hour or so, without any thoughts of more. I’m glad to hear that there are still people like you, who realize that the “more” is really the great prize. Keep on hoping for that. Keep on believing. It will happen, and I think you’re going to have a pretty awesome life.

  2. Oh AJ, this whole thing with your mother is just tearing at my heartstrings...I wish that she would just be open to being educated or that maybe she knew just how deep her dismissive comments were cutting you...<3