Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Closet

To this point in my life, I've considered myself rather discreet ... I know, shocking. But really, I don't wear my sexuality on my sleeve and have only denied it when asked about it at work. I just don't feel the need to talk about it at work. So, I guess my closet has been of the comfy type, like decorating the hell out of a double-wide and feeling like I'm in a mansion. It really hasn't been an issue for me - I have a support system of people who know my proclivities and they mean the world to me.

The reality is that I'm not really all up under my parents (haven't been for quite some time) and the notion of "having" to come out to them really seems ridiculous to me. At this point in my life, I'm divorced, have two kids, a career and I live some 700-plus miles away from them. So, in spacial, geographical terms ... it really isn't necessary.

I was thinking about New Year's Resolutions the other day and although I'm not the type to really make them (they never work out for me) ... it occurred to me that we would be entering a whole new decade. That really made me think of the 2000's as whole ... not just of 2009 as a year by itself.

We lost the twin towers of the WTC. More than 3,000 lost their lives. Millions lived in panic at the mercy of government's need to create a common, formidable enemy (an entirely different topic, I know).

Hundreds of thousands lost their lives as the oceans reached miles past their shores, tsunamis triggered by a massive earthquake.

Earthquakes are increasing in number (I'll leave out the biblical implications), having taken the homes and lives of millions in the past 10 years.

Then I considered my own life over the past decade:

  • Married in 2000
  • Bought a house in 2001
  • Baby Girl was born in 2002
  • My baby boy born in 2003
  • Separated in 2004
  • Divorced in 2005
  • Court battle 2006
  • Ridiculous at work daily in 2007
  • Laid off in 2008
  • Commute to and from Chicago through 2009
  • Still single heading into 2010
That's not to say that there weren't any good things - but in light of the frailty of life, I thought about how hectic my life has been ... I thought about who I really am and want to be int he next decade ... and it occurred to me that my parents don't really know me.

That part bothered me. I considered my having not really told them about my sexuality (although they suspect) and the issue isn't really about whether or not I'm obligated to come out to them ... it's about whether or not I allow them to really know me.

And I think I really want to tell them.

I don't want to wait until I'm in a relationship and add strain to my partner because he's the thing that's giving me the strength to tell them ... because that's not fair. I should really be affording a man a whole lot better than that. And that comes as a result of a whole lotta nonsense I've been through with dating, much of which I've documented in this blog. Surely if I can articulate how DL men don't offer me much, and can name examples of why I am convinced that's true ... how could I really expect to offer much to someone when my own parents don't know the real me?

I'm not sure how things will pan out - or even if I'll go through with it immediately but I'm determined to make the next decade much better than the one I'm leaving. Because, honey ... I really, REALLY want to leave it .. far, far behind me.


.::.~*Dovie*Lee*~.::. said...

With all that you've accomplished and been through, I dont see why not. Go ahead....they will eventually ask or take it to their graves knowing and not bothering to dabble in it if they cant handle speaking about it. After all whether you have been stuck under them or not, They are your parents. Why not create something better or renewed with them? You only got 1 mother and Father.....will be too late when their gone and not having known how they really felt about you.......they may want to talk and may not know how to even go about it so they dont say anything.

Ty said...

That is a bold step. You have actually inspired me to do the same. I'm kind of in the same boat. I know that my dad knows that I have had "experiences" but he actually hasn't heard me say the words. I've been considering it for some time but think that it is time.

JACK said...

Dovie - I really don't anticipate my mother taking it well. My cousin said she thinks mom will, but I still have my doubts. I think my dad will be cool, though. It'll happen soon, I'm sure.

Ty - I'm touched that you're inspired by this post. It's really been weighing on me and if nothing else, it's totally worth it now. Let me know how it pans out for you.

Charlie said...

Well Jack..I am actually using my pen name since anonymous is kinda silly- (I still ain’t slick …yes I know)
This post resonated with me cos being from a place where homosexuality is still considered a crime and parents who are fairly religious I had resigned myself to taking my wonderful knowledge of my gayness to the grave. It took years of patented responses and fa├žade creations to be able convince myself I could do that. And I thoroughly did. In fact I mentally justified it by saying it was for the betterment of everyone including myself. One of my great productions of internal deceit was that I was able to convince myself was that I did not want kids.. so that way if I never got married (which as a gay man wasn’t going to happen), that could be a reason why [it didn’t]. For full disclosure - I never said they were smart just convincing to myself.
However one fateful day, with some gay character on the television, my mother asked me if I was gay. Looking back at this, it’s not a natural leap. And I am convince all mothers always know…I had my usual answer at the ready complete with joke and divergent humor to boot, but today I was exhausted; physically from travel and emotionally from lying and I said very calmly and without wimper or whimsy “Yes”.
I think other continents heard my mom’s crying, tears and pearl clutching tales of what did she do wrong. Im sure my neighbors heard me hyper ventilating in the bathroom, realizing that unlike my vivid imagination, this was real, had happened and there was no reset button. To make mattes more interesting, the 7500 mile flight my dad took the next day for an intervention did not help. And in pseudo negro waspy fashion, we have NEVER talked about it since. That was 2006.
The thing is..it is not a story book ending. I am almost sure (but can dream/hope) that when (not if) I meet the man I want to spend the rest of my life with.. they will NOT be there at whatever ceremony I am allowed to have. They may opt to recognize (or not) any kids I will have (cos now I know I am open to the possibility of it since coming out). Thanksgivings and Christmases will not mirror the ones I had growing up. The sweet irony is my family IS like the Huxtables when we were growing up. Rare from where I am from but was my reality. Family caucuses to discuss pets, all the kids ganging up on dad over fun stuff, bouts of glee when we all eat dinner together which was almost every night, mom and dad loving each other in a way that sometimes made you think “gosh these two teenagers are weird”. I never for one day considered that it would be different. I guess the only difference is Theo was never gay!
I will say this. Even though I am sure the future I once dreamed with my family as a whole is different, I feel good that even though they may opt not to know who are am going to be, presently they know who I am.