ü Self acceptance
ü Spiritual teacher consulted
ü Old friend /political pal
ü Close friends
I was now ready for the next step. Having THE discussion with the family. Rev. Steve was of two thoughts – I must not while I still lived at home and I must because he knows my parents better than I do. Bob Freeman was concerned also but more for my emotional state. Friends / co-workers offered me a place to live if things did not go well but they were pretty certain things would turn out just fine.
This next full disclosure conversations would take place in two rounds; sister and brother in law one week and parents the following Sunday, my brother who is 6 years my junior would wait until later.
I made an appointment with my sister and after a few stammers and false starts and a little small talk – I said “I have something to tell you” “I’m Gay”. After the usual questions of are you sure, are you OK and the like we decided on the plan of action for telling my parents. The conversation was calm and relaxed and not all that intense. Even my idiotic brother-in-law was shockingly supportive and cogent in his thoughts. My sister thankfully shed him many years ago and he was later replaced by a saint and one of the smartest people I will ever know. My sister would snatch up my brother after church and I would tell my parents as soon as we got home.
I notified all my friends and put both Rev. Steve and current pastor on noticed. Our pastor at the time was John Thomas a very thoughtful and liberal Yankee, we became good friends. John would later on assume the burden as President / General Minister of The United Church of Christ. A job only little less difficult than Sec. of State or Director of the CIA. Everyone was on standby for Sunday and they put their lives on hold to be ready for me and or my parents. Then my mother’s favorite uncle died. Uncle Tom was a wicked funny, naughty little leprechaun of a man and a beloved figure to us all. The big reveal was put on hold for one week.
The next ten days were nerve wracking but the extra time fortified me and gave me more time to rehearse. After church my sister swooped up Chris and I rode home with the folks. Before we all had a chance to change out of our Sunday best I asked my parents to sit down in the living room, I wanted to discuss something with them. The looked at each other and my dad bit his lower lip and my mom fiddled with something.
“Mom Dad I want to tell you that I am gay” “I am sure of it and I accept it and I hope you can find a way too as well”
Mom “So do you have a friend?”
Me “What do you mean?”
Mom “Well, you just came back from visiting Donn in DC and well we thought since you two have been inseparable since you were little we just figured he was your err um friend”
We had some more discussion; they never asked me if I was sure.
I then asked what she meant by “We just figured?” “Have you discussed this?”
Mom “Well, after the finding the books under your bed last year we just waited for you to tell us” “Why did you lie to me then?”
Me “I wasn’t ready”
I told them that Donn was not my um err friend.
Mom “Well when you get one make sure you bring him around”
My mother and I had done all the talking; Dad just sort of sat there trying not to look stricken or hurt. He said that the only thing that really bothered him was that I was afraid that they would reject me or no longer love me. “Of course we still love you, you are our child.” “Parents either love their children or they don’t, we do”
They told me that they were worried for my future and that a lot of people may reject me and things may not always be easy but they were not disappointed. Their only hurt was that I was not following their dreams for me but in the end only my dreams mattered. My sister had a child so the issue of grandchildren was not an issue.
The conversation ran its course and after an hour or so it ended. I told them that I had my friends on call so I was going to spend the rest of the day drinking on college hill, they chuckled.
I told them that I had the ministers sitting by the phone ready to discuss whatever concerns they may have or to just listen if need be. They assured me that was not necessary. I found out a short time later it was very much necessary but the many conversations my parents had with these two spiritual leaders and friends were always very positive and they were more concerned about me then they were themselves.
I went upstairs to change out of my church clothes; I called all active parties and went about my day.
I have brought um err friends home; one they were fond of and another they fell in love with.