So i sorta just fell out the closet with mom. She now knows that her girl ain’t no heterosexual.
i don’t know how i thought it would go, when it happened… truth be told, i thought she would die not knowing. Here’s what i didn’t want to have happen… i didn’t want to open the floodgates of all things gay and just douse her… rainbow roman showers… um… no…
my mother isn’t fond of lesbians. She has a knee-jerk reaction to “the gays” much of the time and there was this conversation… years and years ago… when she spoke of her brother (gay) and how he died (AIDS). She stood in front of me… enraged… disgusted… and said this:
“If you ever (emphasis on EVER) tell me you have been with a woman, you will be no child of mine.”
So, i think there was a part of me that was pretty sure that if she found out – on this side of the Jordan River – she’d pretty much lose her goddamn mind.
But, she didn’t.
It had happened so quickly, the coming out. She had opened a door (did she do so purposely? or accidentally? i cannot say) but it was open just a sliver and i knew in that moment that it was now or never.
i could wait until she was dead
i could hope she never found out
i could just be out with it
i dove… headfirst out of the closet… or cave… smirk… and there it was.
She did not freak
She did pace… like a duck in one of those shooting games at boardwalk carnivals… not looking angry… not looking sad… just looking like she was afraid to perch anywhere. She practically wore a little path in the linoleum twixt her sink and fridge… just slowly back and forth as if she was forgetting something.
i waited for a long time… letting her process with her legs and feet… until it was driving me and her dog crazy… the pacing. i had to ask her – to tell her – to stop.
And then i felt like Master must feel when i am fidgeting and looking away… when He asks me, “What are you doing with your paws, bat?”
“Mom, Look at me… i need to know that you understand…”
It seemed important to me that she understand – really own – the reason why she was last to know. It felt important that i not be apologetic for the secret was never kept for me… except inasmuch as the only way i could have a mom was to have the secret… or so she led me to believe for decades.
“People change” she said… twice… or was it three times?
i wish she would have let me know when she changed… but i suppose it is better late than never? i am glad that i told her in the living years… to be sure.
Now? there is a relief that pronouns can be dropped without fear and that my child doesn’t feel she needs to hide things from her grams… but there is also a very sad nugget where my heart should be simply beating and i cannot figure it out, exactly.
Regret, perhaps over wasted energy and years of silence?
Resentment at being forced into a closet i should have refused?
Anger… yes a bit of it is the sharp edges of anger at a woman who is – on one hand a ROCK in my life – and on the other hand a childlike creature that i’ve been asked to mother since i was a child myself.
i hope this sets a new course. i hope the rest of our time on this earth… on this path together… is less fettered by stories
i hope this makes you smile
i hope you’re happy with my life
At peace with every choice i made
How i’ve changed along the way”
Mama (Il Divo)
Mama (Il Divo)