On Friday I met up with a couple of my cousins. This was the first time I’d seen any family since I came out to them a year ago, although we are friends on Facebook and are in quite close touch. It was therefore something of a seminal moment for me!
My cousins are of course lovely, and great fun. My cousins’ mothers and mine are good friends and there was always some friendly rivalry between them about who would be first provided grandchildren first; oops!!
One of the main topics of conversation that evening was my relationship with my mother in the light of my status as the cheerful fairy. Over the last year things have become strained; indeed, my mother and I have not spoken in 2009 at all.
This is something of great disappointment – if not surprise – to me as after coming out to my mother in March last year I felt things would be OK. Admittedly it was not easy; I did a lot of research and really had to work on doing it in the right way. But I thought it went OK. Sadly, however, it seems her initial reaction that my homosexuality, whilst tolerable, remains somehow a failure on her part is still with her.
Our relationship founders because of her refusal since then to discuss it further or acknowledge it in any way. So for the last year I have not been able to talk about my life or what’s happening to me, and instead have had to sit through drivel about my cousin’s cat and daffodils and what particular thing is wrong with the car this time etc. It’s not sustainable: so instead we just don’t talk any more.
What was particularly interesting was to hear my cousin’s view of my mother’s reaction. She lives in the flat above hers and as such her side of things is as close as it gets to me actually being there. It would seem my mother did in fact react that number one son being a pooftah was… well, quite shameful. Something bad and wrong.
One of the things I’ve found about coming out is that it has rarely been a black and white thing. I was, for example, confidently expecting either “it’s fine” or “I have no son”; instead there is this middle ground. As it was with those friends who were fine with me being gay but saddened by my dishonesty about it for all those years.
I must confess I am at something of a loss on how to progress from here; if at all. I don’t perceive a route to take to address things. I don’t know how to – or , in fact, whether I should - tackle the situation. I suppose I'd better bite the bullet and make another difficult phone call.
...As before, any comments or suggestions would be gratefully received...