I love my mother. If it hasn’t come through on this blog already, today I say it plainly. There is no woman I think is more fabulous, more fun, funnier, more beautiful than she is. When we talk on the phone, it’s rarely ever less than an hour, often closer to two. When I actually go home, we spend whole days talking and hanging out. No conversation ends without me saying “Love you mum!”. It’s a good thing I’m gay because no woman would ever be able to compete with her (no, seriously). There are very few weeks that pass without me receiving such picture messages as this one from her:
I walking to a meeting a few days ago when I received a text message. It was from my mum and I hurriedly opened it to get an unexpected surprise. It was a forwarded message supporting the anti-gay bill in Nigeria and urging all recipients to support this bill and not bow down to western or other influences which seek to quash the bill. It ended by suggesting all recipients should send the message to others to show their support for the bill.
I felt like I had just been stabbed.
I took a minute to gather myself and continue to my destination. I tried to put it out of my mind but couldn’t. During my break, I sent her a message asking if she really supported the anti-gay bill to which she replied yes. She then asked what my thoughts were on it. I said I did not support it. She again informed me that she (strongly) supported it then proceeded to ask about more mundane things, effectively changing the topic.
All along I have considered the possibility that I could lose my family should I choose to come out but now I begin to understand what it would mean to be without them. The alternative would be to not to tell them but begin to distance myself. However that option doesn’t seem right: if I’m going to avoid people who mean so much to me, they should know why. Even though she doesn’t know I’m gay, by sending me that message, it felt like she was rejecting me. It’s said that mothers always know and I wonder if she really does know or suspect, especially going by the way she changed the topic instead of probing further which is her modus operandi. In any case, I have told her that I’m not at all anti-gay and possibly planted the thought in her mind that I may be gay.
Yesterday I dreamed that I was running from someone/something and found myself in the middle of an airport that was a bridge at the same time (you know how dreams are). There I met my mother and she asked me why I had been running away from her and avoiding her. I woke up very sad and unable to go back to sleep. It was 3.35am. After lying down for another hour without any sleep, I woke and got ready for my day.
Life continues, always.
January 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm
It’s tough. Some parents rethink their positions once they discover they have a gay child- others don’t. Some evolve slowly. By the time my mother decided she wasn’t anti-gay, it was me who had decided I didn’t need them or want them in my life…
January 28, 2014 at 9:26 pm
Thanks. And now they are still not part of your life?
The thought that one day we may no longer be close is just something I hadn’t really thought about until now.I guess time will tell.
January 28, 2014 at 9:30 pm
No, they’re not a part of my life. They try to be, they want to be- but I moved on. And that was nearly 15 years ago.
January 28, 2014 at 9:34 pm
Hmmm dilemma…To tell or not to tell….. Might be a great oppurtunity to lay it all out……Lets face it, conversations with her from now on, will not be the same
January 28, 2014 at 9:48 pm
You may just be right.
January 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm
After reading your post, I’m almost embarrassed to say that I have full support from both my parents, yet I can imagine, what that must feel like to you, because I’ve been rejected, by whom I thought were close friends, for being gay, and certainly not as close as a mother/son relationship, but pain, sorrow, and confusion can come from many situations similar to yours. So, I hope your coming days do get better D.C..
January 29, 2014 at 7:36 am
Thanks. It’s a wonderful thing when your parents know and are okay with it 🙂
January 28, 2014 at 10:10 pm
what a beautiful, hard story. if you hide this part of yourself, are you having the kind of relationship you want to have with your mum? i am not saying that you should reveal yourself to them, but it seems as though you are thinking at least about the nature of your relationship with her. thoughts and prayers to you.
January 29, 2014 at 7:37 am
January 30, 2014 at 1:23 am
A wonderfully honest and painful post, my friend. Perhaps, as you wrote, your mother suspects and is using the situation to initiate the conversation. Just a thought. If it’s any consolation, my oldest brother is gay and by the time my twin brother and I came out to our parents, he had already opened that door. However, our Mother’s reaction with Twin and I was the same as it was for our older sibling: she just couldn’t accept it and took almost a full year to “adjust.”
Best wishes as you resolve this predicament. For whatever it is worth, much love and naked hugs! 🙂
BTW: how’s your first winter in London?
January 30, 2014 at 10:09 am
I imagine it would have taken here awhile to adjust. It’s not easy to deal with one gay son let alone three!!
London is good, weather isn’t bad at all, no cold waves or polar vortices expected 🙂
February 2, 2014 at 9:06 pm
As a mom myself, I wish I could say that all mothers are as accepting as I am, but sadly, I know this is not true. My heart breaks for you. You are close to her (and other family members) and yet you cannot share a significant part of who you are for fear of rejection. I am sorry for you and for them. Much love, Rainey
February 2, 2014 at 10:44 pm
Thank you Rainey.