Monday, July 31, 2006

Out games

Spouse and I were talking last night and the conversation turned to new territory for us - coming out to our fathers. It's interesting to me (but admittedly perhaps not so for you) that after 13 years of togetherness, we still have uncovered conversation material.

Serge was about 18 and he and his brother went to visit Dad. Dad lived apart from Mom as they had divorced several years prior. Brother, being a rather hyper problem child, tended to dominate all family conversations. Brother had eyes on a new car and was very excited about it but didn't want to boast outright and, because they had just talked about the car on the way over, prodded Serge, "Tell him. You know, go ahead, tell him."

So Serge turned to his father and said, "Okay, papa. I have to tell you I'm gay."

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! NOT THAT!" shrieked brother, additionally incensed that the focus of the conversation had loosed itself from his power. (Incidentally, I was cracking up laughing when he told this part. I don't think his brother was ever really "down" with the homo thing, so it's even more deliciously ironic that he caused the conversation in the first place.)

Father and Serge agreed to discuss it further later, and in the end, father didn't have any trouble adapting to the news.

In my case, I had waited longer to tell my father, largely because it had gone so poorly with my mother. It was quite the surprise for me when he called me up one day and asked point blank, "So how was the pride parade?" (He was fishing with an educated guess here.)

The previous day, I had gone to the gay pride parade in Los Angeles with friends, and immediately understanding the implications of my answer, stammered "Uh, um. It was really fun, actually."

The bag having loosed its feline contents, I learned that father was more wounded over the fact that I had kept it secret from him than the actual news itself. I was so relieved at how "no big deal" it was.

32 comments:

CoffeeDog said...

See I think parents have gaydar when it comes to their kids. Parental gaydar. My mom knew and when I came out it was no suprise. My dad was disappointed that I was gay, only from the standpoint that he knew my life wouldl be difficult in some situations. He wasn't rejecting me in any sense.... I think he always knew too, just tried to deny it in his head.

brian said...

Love it!Brother: "But enough about me,what do you think about me?" You guys should be proud of your dads.Loving and accepting.

Normlr said...

My conversation with my mother:

Me: You know I'm gay, right?

Mom: Yes.

Pretty much end of story. It wasn't so much a "Yes, but that doesn't matter and I still love you and it's all wonderful." It was more like a "Yes, this is uncomfortable and I don't want to talk about it anymore." I've never had the conversation with my father, but things were pretty clear when Psycho and I moved into a one bedroom apartment together.

It's nothing that's openly discussed in my family, but they've always treated Q very well and quickly accepted him as part of the family. In fact we stayed over at their house one weekend while they were away, and my mother had set out two bath towels on the bed for us to use. Every parent has their way.

Lemuel said...

As an outsider, I found it amusing that Serge's brother car campaign got sideswiped by Serge's coming out to his Dad. Always glad to hear when coming out (yours to your Dad) goes better than expected. It gives me hope and encouragement when that day will come for me.

As for finding something new to talk about after 13 years, I think it is an indicator of the richness, depth, continuing growth of your relationship. It is alive and well.

Rebekah said...

Love love love the way Serge ended up telling his father. So classic.

So glad your dad was cool with it.

Knottyboy said...

Feline contents. Who doesn't like the airing out of said furry little monsters? It's such a bother to keep them penned up anyway. Better to have them curled around your feet. Or coughing up hairballs on the rug.
kb

St. Dickeybird said...

Glad the Dads were good.
My own story incites laughter everytime I think of my father taking me to a rugby game (after he'd been told) to "make me a man again."
I showed up with pink hair and makeup, and held up my pint with the toast "Cheers, dad, 20 muscley men in shorts. Thanks!"
By the time they were totally comfortable with me dating men, and loved the only guy they'd met, I announced that I was dating Wifezilla!"

GayProf said...

So, did Brother get the car?

Timmy said...

my dad was the same way:

"I have known since you were 8 years old, what took you so long in figuring it out?"

too funny!

Steven said...

That's exactly like Lance Bass.

No, wait...

He decided to do an interview for People magazine (for an undisclosed sum) after "everyone" knew he was gay.

Same shit, different pile.

dawn said...

I heart your dad.

Spider said...

You are so lucky - both of my parents know and they STILL ask when they are going to have grandchildren... That pink elephant takes up SO MUCH ROOM in the middle of the living room...

Ed said...

My dad doesn't have a clue he lives in his on little sports world, my mom does have a clue and prays to Jesus every day that I turn straight. So far her prayers seem to have gone unanswered, but she's not one to give up any time soon. At least she has given up on finding me a wife. (for now)

ink said...

Great stories.

I *love* how Serge out-manouvered his brother! And your father sounds like a lovely man ... just like his little boy. :)

Just too bad it doesn't work out so well for everyone.

Sunshine said...

You were very lucky. At least they didn't want you to see a psychiatrist to fix you like mine still do. *sigh*

JoeL said...

I told my dad two months before moving in with BF #1.

He said he knew, his pager went off and we never discust it again.

After dumping BF #1 he asked me if my best, girl, friend was seeing anybody.

I don't talk to him anymore.

S. said...

IT was bad for me but is good now. BTW< happy belated birthday.

Snooze said...

It's nice to hear positive stories of coming out. Especially during the Out Games.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

The bag having loosed its feline contents-I love that phrase.

Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Your coming-out story was much better than Ellen's.

Signalite said...

Sigh. Even though it's been over a year now my dad is the only one that doesn't ever talk about it. Although I'm sure he still thinks I will come to my senses. I wish he would say something one way or the other. Funny how sometimes the ones who you want to hear from the most, never say a word.

Freak Magnet said...

There was a question going around to my friends of "What would be harder for you - your daughter telling you she's gay or your son?" Most of the women picked daughters and most of the men picked sons. It was quite interesting.

madamerouge said...

happy belated 41st

nongirlfriend said...

You're lucky for it to have gone so well. I'm sure others have fared worse times.

I'm sorry, but the story of your brother's NOOOOOOOOOOO is too funny. He was all about the car. Well, and himself!

The Lone Rangers said...

It't great that he was so understanding, must have a good relationship with him then.

Donna said...

13 years! I'm impressed, guess I just didn't notice the time flying by.

Just be glad you're not a girl. When blood starting pouring down my leg and I ran crying to Mom she said "use these", and tossed me a box of pads. Three weeks later she wanted to know why I was so depressed. Turns out I had been wearing the pads every day because I thought I had to wear them all the time for the rest of my life. How sad. 35 years later our communication is not much better. Kudos to you, SPOUSE and your family for your continued high level of verbal communication!

Perplexio said...

When I worked at Cedar Point, one of my roommates shared a similar tale. He said when he came out that he and his father actually grew closer but his mother had serious issues with it. Is that the norm? Is it that maternal wish to become a grandparent? Or is it more that the mother's tend to be the ones to bring the kids to church and instill morality and with Judeo-Christian religions essentially being stuck in the dark ages, homosexuality is still seen as a giant taboo for most of them?

David said...

My mom treated it like a very serious revelation, but never judged me and now is very anxious that I still haven't found the right guy. My dad was totally non-plussed. He didn't miss a beat; acknowledged my being gay as fine and then started discussing car insurance.

D e s i g n Girl said...

My brother still has not "come out" to my parents even though they've known for years. I always find it interesting to hear other people's stories.

Crashdummie said...

I guess some folks try to live blissfully in ignorance - even though they suspect they act like children, closing their eyes and chanting what I don't see doesn't exist...

Yeah, good luck with that!

Anyway, glad that things worked out for you & your partner! Just wish that more ppl were as open & tolerant regarding other ppls choices...

Cheers!

Patricia said...

oh i love when new topics come up between longtime people. it helps me to remember not to box in the people i love and automatically assume that i know everything about them. it's kind of like that exciting phase of dating. but when it happens with someone you've woke up to every day for 10 years, it sparks that same feeling.

anabel said...

hey, I came out completely to my parents last Sunday. They know about the whole three thing. Couldn't have gone better if I had planned it. I'm writing the post which should be up tomorrow.

Didn't realize the huge weight this was until I let it go. Hugely happy!