(Source – Slate)
So what had happened was…
I get a call on Sunday from my aunt, who hasn’t talked to me in years, spilling every feeling she has about my wedding; where is it? When is it? Excitement! Oh and also come fly to LA to talk to your mom because she’s sad.
Why is she sad?
Because I’ve locked her out of my life. I owe them all a “conversation.”
Being gay means that the people you love accuse you of doing things out of malice that you did out of necessity. My mom and my aunt were anti-gay all my life, but now in their elder age (and on the eve of my big gay ass wedding) they’ve forgotten. They made peace with who they were without telling with me. Meanwhile, I made the independent decision to shut them out of my personal life for fear of losing them totally.
If I had let them in at the time, and if I had heard their homophobia in real time, and regarding me, I think I might have cut them loose forever. I didn’t want that.
Being gay means the entire world gaslights you, not just one person. The gaslighting is for your own good, and for the good of the family. No one has malice in their hearts, but they all question why you responded so cruelly to your gas-lighting (as if it was good for you). My aunt characterized my her and my mother’s views as “old fashioned” but they are both single mothers who had children out of wedlock, and here I am getting married and in a monogamous relationship.
I don’t mean to bring that out to call-out my aunt, or to score points, or to win. I say that in hopes of expressing plainly the psychological torment it takes to hold two opposing thoughts at once:
1) That I love my family, always
2) That they are wrong.
Being gay means you carry all of the above with you on Monday morning when you hear that a person won an Academy Award for writing a movie about a famous gay man that involved stripping him of his sexuality, the very reason he was persecuted. This means you hold these thoughts while Azalea Banks, Antonin Scalia, and others talk and talk about your type, and you desperately hold on to your temper with the steel focus of a Vulcan.
This means that I find it difficult–sometimes–to feel when I am deficient in character as opposed to when I am strong. This is the root of the problem with life as a gay person. The noise in your head, the one that involves moral leanings and rightness, is deafened with static. I can be castigated and honored in one breath. My moral failings can be pitted against my survival tactics and the result can be overseen by a judge who could never know what my life was like.
Sounds like a lot? It’s nothing. Just one point in my life along with every single thing every other normal person is worried about: A future. Kids. Money. It’s just a gay ole time.