When I was 16, I decided to tell my parents I was gay. After school when I got home I uttered those dreaded words that all parents fear, “we need to talk.” Unfortunately for me, her soap opera was on so I was told that it could wait for later. I was slightly relieved but mostly hurt that I was put off for a TV show. I’d never asked my parents to talk before, how could it be so unimportant? So I went to get ready for work before it was too late to back out.
While leaving for work she called me but I didn’t have time to talk now; I had tacos to make and fries to burn. I told her it could wait but curiosity wasn’t going to let it go, and she’d bombarded me with guesses at what I wanted to say. “Are you failing school? Are you on drugs? Did you get a girl pregnant?” Maybe it was only a few guesses but it felt like a hundred, and I started to realize that she asked in the order of her preference. When she ran out of guesses she threw her last dart, “are you gay?” Was this the last thing she wanted to hear? I could only think to myself, how is being a 16 year-old father better than being gay? So I just replied with, “yes.”
She looked at me like I was a stranger. I assured her that I’m still the same old me but I suppose she thought being gay was like being bit by a werewolf, because she was concerned about what ‘I would become.’ I told her I was fine and left for work.
The next day didn’t go any better and it didn’t help that my father avoided me for nearly a month, but if he didn’t want to talk to me I didn’t talk to him. When we finally sat down together, I heard everything I expected: “being gay is sinful and I’d burn in hell,” and how “they could never attend my wedding.” But the most important thing was that I knew it wasn’t their fault, “We did everything right.”
I knew it was all reactionary, so I didn’t let it affect me. Even if they believed all the things they said they couldn’t hurt me, because I was fine and I still am, no eternal flames here. I have a job, a home, a Netflix account, a student ID and I’m in love. I still think the green Power Ranger is hot and I still let my cereal get soggy, because I’m still just me and that’s a promise I made to myself that I intend to keep.
The only thing wrong is I have to lock myself up in the basement every full moon.