My mom first told my brother and I that she was gay when I was in second grade. She had gotten in a fight with her girlfriend and came home hysterically crying without providing an explanation. After hours of yelling and screaming, my mom called my brother and I into her room so we could have a family “powwow.” She was in sheer hysteria and after a few minutes of eerie silence abruptly yelled out “I’m gay.” I don’t remember much after that other than my brother sobbing and my utter confusion about her admission.
I remember a few days later being in line at Costco when my brother asked my dad if my mom had left him to be with another woman, his response, “That’s a question for your mother, not me.” For years to follow my dad never invited my mom to large family events as to hide to his friends and family who she had “become.” When asked if my mom had started dating, my dad always lied and said “no” – unfortunately as I got older I started to do the same.
Throughout my middle and high school years I never acknowledged my mom’s sexuality to others. I was aware that several of my close friends knew given that all the parents were close but I never addressed it. My mom’s girlfriend would come to school functions and I would ignore both her and my mom because of my embarrassment. At my high school graduation I didn’t take a single photo with my mom because she brought her girlfriend to the reception. When my friends asked about taking mother-daughter photos I scolded them and walked away. I had made a career out of hating my mom because she loved another woman.
The summer after senior year I started to spend a lot of time with a friend of mine who had recently come out as bisexual. Ironically, I was completely unfazed by her sexuality despite my qualms with my moms. Midway through the summer I started to explore my own sexuality as I saw a few of my friends starting to do the same. The new urges and feelings made me incredibly uncomfortable; I began to hate myself for entering the sphere I had been fighting against for so long.
I spent the first few months of college having sex with men trying to suppress my desire to be with women. Even though I had never contemplated being with another woman in high school, suddenly it was all I could think about. I would sleep with men and be superficially satisfied but never completely satiated. By the end of freshman year I accepted the fact that I was indeed gay.
During the last two years I have spent a lot of time wondering the connection between my disdain for my mom’s lifestyle and my own sexuality. Beyond the “nature v. nurture” debate, I have pondered the possibility that because my sole female figure was homosexual, I was potentially more prone towards being with women. It is now apparent that my anger towards her directly correlated with an internal struggle to understand my own sexuality.
Two years have passed and it was only a month ago that I finally gained the courage to come out to my mom. After shunning her from my life for so many years I felt incredibly guilty asking for her forgiveness and acceptance. Fortunately, she was proud of me for being honest and my ability to embrace both of our sexualities respectively. “One thing to always remember: Everyone isn’t going to be supportive of your lifestyle but that doesn’t mean you’ll be loved any less.” I sheepishly chuckled and nodded my head in agreement.