Growing up in a household where the preferred method for dealing with family issues, was to ignore them and remain in silence, taught me at an early age that personal issue
When I came out to my parents and brother almost 18 years go, I had imagined at the time that they would accept and love me unconditionally, despite these traditions. I was naive, and didn't understand that the culture and traditions of my people were instilled so deeply in my parents.. I didn't realise that my parents had invested in me their dreams of a future. Dreams quite different from mine own, and my telling them that I was gay, would smash those dreams on the rocks of reality.
In all of this, I discovered that these cultural ideas of respect and honour were also instilled in me. I knew that I would bring shame on my family if I spoke about being gay, so I kept my mouth shut and went back into the closet for 4 more years, all the while becoming more curious about experimenting and living my life truly as the person I was.
I was young and confused. Tortured and lost. In addition to the Cultural responsibility, I was also raised in a Catholic home, went to an all-boys Catholic school, and my grandfather was an evangelical reverend. I had more than my share of baggage and realised very quickly that my being gay was not going to be easy. The 80’s had just passed, and being gay was still looked upon with derision. The AIDs epidemic fueled the stigma of gays as a disease on society and I was only too aware of it. My parents and family though liberal in many ways, were traditionalist
However, as the years passed the hope that I would be embraced with family approval and love began to fade and I psychologically acceded that my parents and family would never want anything to do with my "gay' lifestyle. The idea that your family is not supportive of you in any endeavour is hard enough. Believing that they want nothing to do with your partner and future family is even harder. It was particularly hard attending family events and holiday get togethers, watching everyone interact with each others husband, wife, daughter or son, all the while unable to talk about yours. I alway
However, everything comes full circle. This past Saturday, my brother Woozy celebrated his 35th Birthday and he and hi
All anybody in thi
So, I arrived at my brothers place mid-afternoon and prepared the BBQ withmy sister-in-law. RB was still working so he didn’t arrive till after all my brothers friends, and in-laws had arrived. Upon RB’s arrival, my brother and sister-in-law greeted him warmly and introduced him to the family and friends. It was an amazing experience for me, because for the first time I felt a bond and connection to my family that I hadn’t experienced before. My brother, wife and all her siblings and their partner
So, I am very thankful. I am thankful that people do change for the better and that I was proven wrong. I am thankful that a new stage in my life has opened up, and that I no longer need to feel ashamed of anything. And I am most thankful for my brother and his wife for looking at me straight in the eyes, and acknowledging RB and I for who we are. Partners and Lovers, No different than they.
What’s more, I left knowing that I no longer had any dirty laundry.