Last week on Nobody Scissors: My sister had a hard time coping with me being gay, but it turns out it was mostly because she was in the closet herself. Life is funny like that.
I dated Shmashley all of senior year, and then got to make the decision of whether to continue our relationship long distance. For college I was going to a state school in Texas whereas Shmashley was going 1700 miles away to a school in the middle of a state not worth mentioning to swim collegiately. Seriously there’s nothing else in that state, not a thing. Well lots of pretty lakes and mountains, but besides that…. No-THING.
So like I said, we had to decide if we were going to continue our baby dyke relationship as we jumped into the deep end that was college. *Cue montage of late night skype dates and many many nights spent binge-watching the L word on Netflix* I lived vicariously through the L word in terms of socializing until I ended up joining my college’s rugby team which means I really jumped into the deep end of lesbian college experiences; it was like heaven (if you believe in such a thing) but like gay heaven which is the only heaven worth even considering, in my opinion. That rugby team became my safe haven, full of friendships and kinda-relationships and lots of messy hook-ups. Yeah, it resulted in a lot of stories during my time in college, you’ll see.
*Theme music and opening credits play*
It was only a few weeks into my first college semester when I decided it was probably time to come out to my mother as a lesbian. I went home for the weekend and remember sitting outside on her balcony while she chain-smoked cigarettes and I hyperventilated trying to work up the courage to tell her I had been dating Shmashley for over a year. I’m not really sure why coming out was so traumatic, it was a long time coming–everyone knew I was gay, my mom had been asking since my Avril phase, I had never had a boyfriend (well, real boyfriend, sorry Shmarc), and I had perfectly mastered the lesbian smirk which is a tell-all sign of being gay. I guess that’s the nature of coming out though, something in the cosmos determined that coming out had to be a painful and complex process a long time ago and the queer community is at the mercy of those unwritten laws.
“Mom, I have to tell you something.” I blurted out.
“Oh my god, you’re pregnant.” She slapped her hand over her mouth. I literally snorted out loud.
“No, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Actually that would be totally impossible. Unless this is the second coming of Christ in which case that’s a hell of a joke!” My mom looked at me through narrowed eyes while I laughed nervously. “I’m gay.” I said abruptly.
“But… penises…” My mother said with such pain in her voice that I almost felt like I was missing out on a phallic life experience but then I realized that fleshy meat swords couldn’t be the true meaning of life. Right?
“This isn’t about penises or vaginas, mom, I mean don’t get me wrong vaginas are the greatest thing ever, seriously. But this is about me being confident and being myself and being happy.” I was now crying, which is pretty hilarious considering how many times I said the word vagina in those last few sentences.
“I can’t believe I’ll never be at your wedding.” My mom was now in tears and I could tell that this conversation was far from over.
“I still want to get married one day.” I rolled my eyes.
“But who will be the….. boy?” Every lesbian’s favorite question to be asked, though one that never bothered me much (not surprising considering that I would come out as trans several years later).
“I guess that would be me, if put simply.” I was checking out of this conversation as my mother lit up another smoke and imagined my future sans penises.
“What about Courtney?” She asked, and although I knew the answer to that I replied, “You should ask her about that, it’s not my business to tell.”
My mom likes to paint herself as a liberal. A “child of the 70’s” in her own words. She is fun-loving and caring, she is strong and passionate. And, my god, did she teach us to be sex positive and confident… but in all actuality she has some beliefs drilled into her head that she tends to regurgitate (often after a bottle of wine or two) that will let you know where she really stands in regards to certain topics. To this day even though she supports the relationships Courtney and I have with our partners there is always a “but…” tacked onto the end of every supportive sentence. It’s hard to be okay with, though I know that we were raised in very different time periods and socialized like totally different species, you’d think all a parent would truly care about is the absolute happiness of their child.
This was the first of many very similar conversations that we would have over the years and while they could be pretty disheartening at times, I resigned myself to a “live and let live” mentality. If I can accept my mother as the “I’m a cool mom” mom, if I could learn to deal with people hitting on her and asking if she was my sister, if I could see her nipples in public as many times as I have and not die of embarrassment, she could learn to accept my “lifestyle” dammit.
*Tune in next time for my first college party experience as an out and proud gay*