the elephant in the room’s out of the bag now

 I recently read and commented encouragingly on meraterrhapakistan’s post about coming out to her family. I’ve known that I wanted to come out for at least the past year and a half, but I didn’t think I would any time soon. If I’m honest, I was too scared, there was no ‘good’ reason to, I didn’t want to rock the boat, it would be entirely too easy to keep putting it off from moment to moment, keep squashing down the insane impulse to blurt it all out in the most inappropriate situations. I was even composing a post for here about my own hypocrisy and whether I’d ever get up the courage to.  Except that I did, last night.

So, here we are, my mother and me. We both cried all night, and then got up and washed our faces and went to work like normal during the day. We are polite to each other. We pass the butter and ask if we can take a look at the crossword.  We both snapped the heads off innocent bystanders this morning. We can’t look each other in the eyes. We are both tiptoeing around each other with the concentrated, careful, taut indifference of two strange cats in a new room.  

She said she already knew. I said I suspected she already knew.  

I hoped (how naively, I don’t know, but very badly) that she would say something like she understood, that she didn’t have anything personal against it, that she only worried about the consequences for me. She didn’t say anything like that. She said that she would never visit me if I were living with a partner, and that my family would not be welcome in her house.  Even if you met her and liked her? Even if we had kids? Yes, even then. It’s a matter of principle; I will not compromise.

That hurt.  

I think she hoped, (again, how naively, how badly, who knows?) that I would say I plan not to do anything about it; I won’t get married to a man, but I won’t do anything else. I said that I hope to eventually figure myself out as a lesbian, that I can’t and won’t live a closeted life, maybe that will mean moving far away again, living alone and separately. Regardless of what your family wants you to do?  Yes, regardless.

Again, too many principles, not enough compromises. Too much pain.

 I don’t really know what to say about it. It was not any sort of liberating, spiritual, bonding, freeing, insert-bullshit-here experience. It wasn’t a melodramatic disinheritance scene from a bad Victorian farrago either. I don’t feel glad to have done it after all. I don’t feel angry or scared or upset. I just feel dreary.   

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~ by mortarandpestle on October 15, 2007.

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