Sunday, April 19, 2009

Talking With My Parents After Coming Out

I'm out to my parents as gay; I'm accepted to grad school in NYC; and I lose my job, health insurance, and apartment in 2 days...and I think I'm ok with it all.

My parents came down from Montana the other weekend so that we could have time to talk and reaffirm the facts that we're family, we love each other no matter what, and that they're proud of me as their son. I'm so very fortunate that my parents have received this news so well. They have their concerns and they had a little counsel for me, but they were all ears for the feelings and awakenings I shared with them. Over the weekend, we had about 4 hours of quality conversation about homosexuality and faith and virtue.

My father is the bishop of the LDS congregation in our little Montana town, and consistent with what you would expect from him, the counsel was to remain faithful to the commandments of God as we have them through Church leaders and the scriptures. What I didn't expect from him was so much listening. My father has always been a leader and he's perceptive, wise...and quite conservative. He shared his feelings and thoughts as fitted the conversation; but along with his input, I recognized that he was intently and thoughtfully listening to my sharing of experiences and my lessons I learned over the past year. Not only did he listen, but he responded to these experiences and lessons in a manner that was original in comparison to his past. What I mean to say is that his responses weren't derived from the religious conservative standard that is often his platform; rather, his responses were clearly coming from dialectic thought and true-life experiences.

Since she read the letter, my mother has expressed nothing but care, concern, and a desire to help and love and support. She's expressed her belief in Church teachings and her faith in God and His involvement in our lives, but she also made clear that no matter what happens in the future, I'll always be her son. Over the last weekend, my mother was continuously open to and engaged in understanding the experiences and ideas I was sharing. She, along with my father, agreed that there is so much that we don't know and that some of what we think we know for certain is, in reality, only assumed. I can feel how hard my mother is trying to understand what is happening. She is also so very desirous to be involved in the experiences and changes along my path.

It is very clear that I'm fortunate. I don't think that I could have scripted this better than it happened. I'm so grateful that my parents are so open to understanding the changes that I'm going through.

I recently was accepted to graduate school in NYC at Long Island University. I'm headed to AZ in two days for work. I've got an indescribably rare friend and confidant in Hillary. I've got such a wonderful family that is so open to me. I've got good health and great opportunities to bike, run, and swim. I'm free to write my story as each day dawns. Sometimes, I feel quite intimidated with all the stuff that I (and everybody else) face...but, with all these things, how can a person not feel an electric anticipation and excitement for the future - whatever it brings. Yeah?