This was not the blog post I started working on last week in the MCon hotel, freshly inspired by Dr. Charlie Glickman’s Queer is a Verb session. This is something different. Something more urgent, and something a lot more scary.
This has been coming a while, tipped by Team Triad’s reminder that we need to act when the costs of silence start to outweigh the benefits.
I have to come out to my parents.
And I’m not feeling good about that right now.
My relationship with my parents was not a close one growing up. I don’t really recall what, if anything, specifically started the distance, but it started sometime after 4, and grew to a period in my life where I wasn’t welcome in my home. In my early twenties a pretty serious (and thankfully misdiagnosed) health scare went a long way to restoring my relationship with my mother… though not completely fixing it. So I’m scared about what coming out to my parents could do to the relationship we’ve come to as adults. I know that part of the reason I can be some shame free about most of my life is because I don’t care what the average person thinks, because the average person is not a part of my life. If they don’t like me? I’m pretty indifferent; they likely won’t be around me for long. My parents on the other hand… a very different story.
But I also know that at this point in my life there is so much I can’t say, because I’m not out, I’m driving a wedge between us. I call and visit less because I don’t know what to say anymore and I’m pretty silent when we do talk because I can’t share what’s important in my life.
The cost of silence has started outweighing the benefits of not having a scary and unpredictable conversation.
I’ve talked to a various people about this in various ways over the past six years. Some have been pro coming out, some have been anti. I’m working hard at taking in their perspectives without allowing them to feed in fears, or paint an unrealistically rosy picture.
Today I actually brought it up with my Andrew. [Can I once again praise him and say how important I think it is to have people in your life who can help you sort your shit?]. We talked out why I want to have this conversation, why I don’t want to have this conversation, planed some different openings, planned some different exist strategies (from ideal to RED – FUCK – ABORT!!), and discussed what I do and don’t want to come out about.
Tthere are still things I won’t be coming out about. Specifically, I’ll be coming out as bisexual and a sexuality educator – ironically not actually labels I wear, but labels I think will help them understand what I need them to, and without turning into a conversation about what I do into a conversation about my sexual habits.
I still see no reason to discuss the specifics of my sexual practices with my family – cousin R being a noted exception; the man’s list of kinks rivals my own.
So. Here goes this.