How My Parents Took It…

Oh yes. This.

(Content Warning – Frank discussion of problems with my parents, mention of mental health problems)

The thing is I’m 41 and I still find people with entirely open and honest relationships with their parents to be something of an oddity. If there is one thing that growing up in the eighties and nineties liking the same sex did for me it’s my instinct to lie to protect myself. Do I need to or do I not? Doesn’t matter, there’s a question that my hindbrain perceived as a threat quick and say something innocuous. How can you tell if I’m lying? The more ordinary and normal it sounds the less likely it’s true, it’s the weird shit truth that this is about hiding. It doesn’t happen much anymore, I have to be pretty damned stressed out, but usually it’s pertaining to where I’ve been and who I’ve been with and it’s about obscuring my true self from the other person. Taxi drivers and check out ladies generally got it, with their desire to chat and I am suddenly having the most boring life I can imagine for them. In my twenties just about every grocery trip or taxi ride was a cornucopia of the ordinary fantastical.

My relationship with my Mum is still entirely dependent upon me not telling her things, and to be honest I think that’s why I blog, put all my private business up where anyone can see it because the things she’s asked me not to tell her I don’t. The first time I tried to tell her I said I’d had a secret holiday romance with a boy that she’d never noticed. She didn’t believe me, I mean she was right, the holiday romance had been with a girl.

I was fourteen I think and learning not to rock the boat too hard, or rather only rock it in acceptably rebellious directions I guess. Sapphic directions were not acceptable.

Of course one of those things I got to tell her anyway. The thing about liking girls, couldn’t tell her that in my teens because I was to keep quiet about it. I take perhaps a little too much pleasure these days in using the word lesbian to refer to myself. I always did love The Jellicle being obviously yet indefinably queer at my family, but I have to admit I liked having to explain her transition to them even more.

If I could have told my teenage self that I would be able to show my Dad pictures of me at Pride I would never have believed it. But oh it was great. I guess when it comes to the actual question, how did my parents take it?

Not well. I tried to come out to them for about seven years or so, eventually I gave up but I was pretty sad about it.

Then The Jellicle transitioned and it was one of the best times ever as far as being able to have some degree of honest and open relationships with my parents was concerned. I loved it.

I even get to call myself a lesbian in front of my Mum these days. She doesn’t wince anymore at least.

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