So, at the beginning of this year I was talking to a therapist about coming out to my family as genderqueer, and we discussed how to do it and whatnot, and eventually it got to the point where I needed the topic to just naturally arise with my parents because otherwise anything would feel weird. Like a setup. My mom (and I assume my dad) knew I was on the LGBT spectrum, but none of the details.
So despite the fact that I work for an LGBT publisher, most of my friends are on the LGBT spectrum, and I’ve taught my mom things about the LGBT community and identity, I’ve never been out to my parents.
Part of this is because I feel that coming out shouldn’t be a thing I have to do. No one should. We shouldn’t assume anything about anybody. Not really. Part of my not coming out was worry about how my father would take it. And part of it is just the flexibility that my identity encompasses. Coming out seems like trying to put my identity in a picture frame, when it reality it’s more like a lava lamp.
But on Mothers’ Day, my mom and I were chatting and she asked, “Are you gay?”
And I answered, “Yes. Sorta. It’s complicated. But yes, I’m on the LGBT spectrum.”
Because explaining that currently I’m probably identifying as gray-asexual, panromantic, genderqueer is complicated.
We talked a little about why she suspected and she asked if I was okay with it. (She’s a guidance counselor and knows depression can be a problem among LGBT youths. I explained that since I had my own financial support and great friends, I was okay. Plus, my brother would totally side with me if my parents had disowned me.) I didn’t stress that my depression had nothing to do with being LGBT.
And then she asked why I didn’t tell her. And I asked if my brother had come out to her as straight. No, of course not. And I asked why it was any different. Just because it’s not the ‘norm’ doesn’t mean I should have to announce it. Do I have to come out about liking that Finnish band I dig? That’s not common either. Or hating scrapple and growing up Pennsylvania Dutch. That’s outside the norm.
If we stop making assumptions about people, then we can find out when the time is right. Because otherwise in college I would have told them I’m bisexual. And then tweaked that description. And then again. Because I’m still finding myself.
Also, until it is involved in their lives, I’m not sure why it really matters. I don’t tell them about kink stuff, do I?
Yeah, pretty sure they don’t want to hear that. 😀
So my mom (and I assume she told my dad) know I’m on the LGBT spectrum.
And ten minutes later she asked why I don’t shave my legs. I replied, “Why doesn’t Dad shave his legs?”
I’m not sure she’s quite caught on. But it’s a step.