My Father and My Coming Out

July 25, 2011

Since I told my father about a year ago (in comparison, most of my friends have known for 4-5 years), I’m mentally noting every phrase that marks his moving forward in acceptance of my homosexuality.

I was so, so scared to tell him. He’s pretty conservative in regard to homosexuality in general, thinks it’s a choice and a disorder of sorts. I think since I was 15 or so, I started having brief conversations with my parents along the lines of, “well, Jim Morrison was gay, does that change your opinion of him?” “what if my friends were gay, would you not invite them to dinner?” etc. They now love their realtor even though he’s gay, don’t comment negatively on gay people, and in general I think they’ve moved toward seeing gay people as just part of the normal world.

However, it’s easy to be theoretically fine with it…. much harder to put it into practice when your daughter tells you she’s gay. I haven’t told my mother because I anticipate the reaction will be extremely negative.

When I told him, he asked me if I was sure. Then he was silent for a while. Then he said, “as long as you are happy”.

We didn’t talk about it for some time. But, when talking of the future, he moved from referring to ‘your future husband’ to ‘your future partner’ to ‘whoever you’re with’. Although, once he said something along the lines of, “when you find a man who you are sexually attracted to….”

It’s been sinking in, slowly. We’ve talked about the importance of being out, and gay pride parades, and even briefly touched on the subject of whether it’s a choice (maybe he’s starting to realize it isn’t).

I can see he’s worried about what he sees in his mind as a difficult choice that I’m making. But, he’s very careful about the subject, and he is really trying hard to understand and not to offend me. That means a lot.

Today, we were chatting about my plans for the next couple of years.

Me: “…And then I want to get married and have children and all that. But in 3 – 5 years.”

My father: “So it’s in your plans to get married? Those are good news.”

Me: “Well yeah, everyone wants to have a family. I will be nicer to you than you were to your mom and actually invite you to the wedding. Will you come to my wedding?”

My father: “When are you planning for that? In 3 years? That’s good, I’m glad I have some time to think about it. I don’t want to figure this out right now, I have plenty of plans for the next 3 years.

All of that was said in a bit of a joking manner and it sounded like he was really happy with the idea of me having a family, even though he seems to be a bit uneasy with idea of me marrying a woman. The good thing is that he is working on understanding, he doesn’t freak out, and overall is more supportive than I could have hoped for.

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3 Responses to “My Father and My Coming Out”

  1. pamelane said

    Nice story! Reminds me of conversations with my mom as she did the same thing! She said “as long as you are happy” and so I thought I was good, but then a month later she tells me she still wanted me to get married to a man and have a family. I said if you’re expecting me to find a man I’d want have a family with, you’ll be waitin forever!

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