Thursday, November 09, 2006
Healing the Past
Only now have I begun to understand a little about what I learned from an event that happened 12 years ago.
When I came out to my parents at age 28, my mother asked my younger brother if I had ever molested him. She was so certain in her beliefs about what gay people were like that she didn’t pause to think, “Well, if Dennis is gay, then I must not understand what it means to be gay.” Instead, she held to her beliefs concerning homosexuality and questioned whether or not she knew me, her son.
I’ve had no conversation with my parents in the 12 years since that incident that suggests they’ve ever been willing to question the validity of their beliefs about what it means to be gay: emotionally, physically, logically or spiritually. They hold to the belief that I am wrong, that I am created straight and must be choosing to be, or at least am deceived into thinking that I am, gay. They say that they love me, but it feels like they love their belief system even more.
That’s what it is like to come out to friends and family when they hold to their beliefs about what it means to be gay and question their beliefs about you. It makes it difficult to accept their statements that you are still loved. If they really did love you, would they not perhaps examine their beliefs about homosexuality against what they know to be true about you, rather than the other way around?