I love her, but she quietly goads me about being gay.
I live with her because of the PTSD thing, and I was on the phone with my best friend last night, and we were joking about how gay I was.
“No, Pride is in June. What’s wrong with you? I’m gayer than you are.”
“I know that the Pride Center holds our Pride not in June but in August. That makes me super gay!”
This comes from my mom.
She’s teasing me, but it hurts.
“That was mom. She’s saying Im’ not gay.”
I wish my best friend had said, “I’m sorry hunny.” She knows my mom, and loves her probably about as much as I love her, in her own way. We’re her second family and she goes on vacations with us.
And mom? I wish I could tell her (again) that that’s hurtful.
When I was coming out I, it was hard. At one point my family in Redding was making fun of me – the guys, one guy in particular who didn’t know how to accept my obviously dykey layered haircut – and I went for a run to clear my head.
But it was Redding and at night, which means that thieves and rapists were apparently out looking for girls to rob and rape, not to mention kill.
Plus, I was queer. Queer bait.
Which means that the fam had a minor meltdown after I snuck out the front door. I just didn’t want to cry in front of them.
After I thought I had cleared my head and come up with some choice comebacks to my cousin who had been making fun of me, I came in, melted down, and was surrounded by my two girl cousins who gave me lots of love.
My younger cousin showed me her wedding pics. Or tried to. The computer wouldn’t turn on.
My older one said, “I wish I were gay. Guys are buttholes! My husband Mike was so mean to me. So mean!”
I remembered all of the torture I had gone through from girls in high school but didn’t say anything to counter it. Because, you know, she was right in her own way. Mike had been an asshole. From what I gathered from my fam in Stockton, he had called her stupid (this for a self-made entrepreneur who owned two stores. Stupid indeed!), and spent most of his free time in the the garage playing with his toys.
Yes, I’m being sarcastic here. He deserves it.
Anyway, I after I blurted out I’m gay, which had a metallic twang to it even then, I said that mom didn’t accept it.
She had cried and cried. And thought it was a choice. She couldn’t see that I was happy (and still am, to a degree. There’s nothing like living as, or close to, your authentic self).
Rachel, my older cousin’s, response was, shrugging her shoulders in an exaggerated way, “Who cares?” Big smile.
I laughed and smiled through my tears. It was true. I was happy and most people loved and accepted me.
But it’s like, now, rejection. Family rejection when she “teases” me that I’m not gay.
I guess the answer to this is to go into my happy place, which *is* filled with rainbows, unicorns, and a k.d. lang soundtrack.
That’s what I did whenever somebody said stuff to me in the first years coming out – counter with all of myself. Quote Allen Ginsberg (“You want me to be a saint. There must be some other way of settling this argument.”) Force the gay out in the front and make them take it.
I need to treat my mom the same way I treated the guy who said, “We don’t let *fat* people into the country,” and my response was, “Oh, but you let in gays (he was gay) and minorities?”
Maybe you had to be there.
Anyway, stand up to mom. In your own, comic funny way.
It’s hard because I have filial piety. My parents raised me Chinese. It’s not okay to talk back to your older relatives, particularly your mother. It feels weird to even think about sending a comeback at her.
But then again, I did come out.
That put her through enough, but she can take it.
And at some point, I need to call my mom on the disrespect that she’s showing me. In a similarly comical but deep way.
That will at least remind you of the goodness of who you are.
afternote: I’ve spent so much time lately blabbing about trans* this and trans* that, she’s more comfortable talking about trans* stuff generally than about me being gay, or genderqueer