Bo Shuff

Coming Out to Family...

Filed By Bo Shuff | October 13, 2008 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: coming out of the closet, fruit fly, moms

The journey - part 3.

I find that life is mostly about reality meeting your expectations. Events ,for example, are great,no matter what size if they meet or exceed what you think is going to happen.

So sometimes reactions to news aren't bad because of some sort of Inherent bias or negativity toward the news, just that it wasn't what someone thought they would hear.

My mother is awesome. I know, many people say that, but I'll go out on a limb and put it in writing.

As a candidate for Congress, for example, she marched in a Pride parade before I was even out of the closet. She's always been very progressive and would probably proudly even wear the "Liberal" label that progressive has become code for.

So you might wonder, why would I be so worried about coming out to her. Truth is- I have no idea.

So one weekend I decided I would go home to Minnesota to tell her the news and at least start the process of coming out to family. I cajoled my roomie at the time, and good friend, to go with me as moral support.

Error number 1- Never bring your fruit fly with you to come out.

This is the same roomie from the previous chapter and the legend of the spring form pan. Keep in mind that all my mom ever heard about was the fact that we were living in the same house, spent TONS of time together, etc.

So, we get to Minnesota, bum around the town for awhile with mom shopping. Then I suggest we go get some food and drink at a nicer establishment because I wanted to talk about something.

Error number 2- Never build expectations up for something unless you know what is in other person's head.

We sit down, order some drinks, and wait for appetizers. I am obviously nervous as all hell, as is my mother. My roomie/friend/fly is sitting right next to me, so my mother's vision is of the two of us sitting close with big news to tell her.

Yeah, you can see where this is headed.

So Mom, I have to tell you something important. You see, I'm gay.

She lets out an audible noise of glee, because I honestly think in her head she had already heard, "Mom we are getting married."

There was a pregnant pause that felt like 15 minutes long.

"Wait, what?"

I repeated it.

"Oh, ok, are you sure? Wait, no, that's not what I mean. But I'm confused, you dated XXX in High School"

I cocked my head and just looked at her.

"Oh yeah, I guess that might not mean much."

"Um, well, ok. Not exactly what I thought you were going to tell me, but I guess if you are happy I am happy."

In my mind I had no idea what she was thinking. I mean what else could she have been thinking.

Mom told us of how excited she had been all week, how she just knew what was coming, etc. I feel badly for "letting her down," but really it just was a misunderstanding of expectations.

Dinner was great, we all laughed a ton, and then tried to figure out how I was going to tell Dad...


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At least you now have two bits of advice you can share with gaybies. :)