There are so many things I could say here to excuse my being closeted but, at the end of the day, that’s what they’ll still be. Excuses. What’s perhaps the most honest thing to write here is that I just don’t feel a need to stir shit up at home when I know others around me won’t be comfortable.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m keeping quiet to spare the feelings of others, I could care less what everyone thinks. The truth is that as long as I’m at home helping take care of my mom (she has been fighting cancers off and on for the past ten years now, the more recent ones being a little more difficult), and as long as our entire family is closely connected to her, I need to watch my step and take a minute to think about how my mom is doing. I’m sparing her from the stress my family can and undoubtedly will bring.
You see, I’m more than certain my coming out will come with a bit of a backlash. There will be plenty of anger, denial and an urge to want to “take care of the problem.” The last thing my mom needs is to be surrounded by the negative energy from everyone else and the people they will want to bring in to help deal with “the problem.” This is something I have power over for now.
I’m more than willing to put myself and my priorities aside as there is a bigger picture to look at right now, something far bigger and way beyond me and the fact that I, a man, love men.
One family member comes to mind, she is one of the few of my blood-kin that works at the LA archdiocese, let’s call her “Auntie Muriel.” She declared, angrily (and emphasized the point by smacking a table with both hands with each word she yelled), that “there will NEVER be a homosexual in our family.” (Uhmm, hi…)
Getting Auntie Muriel to understand is impossible. She thinks our family is pure and immaculate, despite the fact that her own father started having kids at the age of 16 and had (an estimated) 7 kids before he even met my Auntie Muriel’s mother (where he had about 9 more kids). Or the fact that one of her full-blooded brothers (allegedly) raped and fathered a child with one of the family’s (then) 15 year-old servants.
Oh yes, my family history reads like an over-dramatic soap opera, make no mistake!
Our dirty laundry aside, my family is still heavily influenced and blinded by religion (Catholics and evangelists top the list), and the last thing my mom needs is to be smothered by the issues everyone takes with my “choice.”
I’m certain my mom and step-dad would handle my coming out fine, in fact I’m pretty sure they both already know (it’s just one of those things that isn’t discussed), it’s the crap she will have to deal with that I’m most worried about and, ultimately, why I’m just not ready to come out yet.
I fully understand living with a secret like this isn’t healthy and I’ve been told many times (some from those of you I’ve friended through this blog) that once I come out things will get better. I really and truly hope they do once I am, but, really, I don’t know that I can completely believe that. Not when you’ve got personalities like those in my family who will pray and try to find a way to cure me. I’m almost 100% certain Auntie Muriel will be the first to tell me to pray the gay away.
It’s because my mom is sick that I think my own priorities can go ahead and take a backseat for now. I don’t like it, but I think it may be the best way to go about this.