Indirectly & Involunarily Coming Out to Someone Close to You

A few months ago something happened that was not under my own control: I came out as bisexual to my dad.

My dad has always been supportive (to my knowledge) of the LGBT+ community. (Also sorry about not including the rest of the acronym, but I swear it just keeps getting longer every time I see it mentioned in a post) His philosophy was “if it doesn’t hurt anyone or involve me directly in any way, I don’t care about it”. Keep in mind that I live in the South, and things can get pretty homophobic down here. So when I heard his opinions on it, I wasn’t all that worried about telling him.

I worked up the nerve over the process of about a year of visits to speak my opinions about the LGBT community. From time to time I would bring it up, according to news reports and the like.By doing this I actually grew closer to my dad and Julia, his fiancee.

When victory at the Supreme Court came around, I had already come out to Julia. It was on that day exactly that she told my father that I’m “gay”. In her own retelling of the event, she and my dad were sitting in the living room watching the news report on it. My dad remarked “I don’t see what the big deal is. I mean, they’re just getting married. *Insert comment reflecting his own views about marriage thanks to his failed ones*” This is when my stepmom replies, “Well, it wouldn’t hurt for you to be more supportive.” My dad proceeds to go have a smoke break, then comes back in and asks her “Is Hannah gay?” And she replies, “Yes”.

I can’t express to you how much that bothers me because of how untrue it is. I’m bisexual. If I was gay, I would have come out to the 15+ people in my life as that. However, I am not.

She told me all of what happened around 2 weeks after it occurred because that was the next time I was to come over. She was so excited, and didn’t want me to freak out about it. But I was anything except ecstatic. I wasn’t ready to come out to my dad, and I gave her specific instructions not to tell him because I wanted to tell him myself. She even went outside with me to see how it all would play out. Looking back, I know I didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but I should have told her that I just wanted it to be him and me. She already had the stolen honor of telling him the first time, why should she be there again?

When I finally go outside and meet my dad, all the while choking on my tongue and having an anxiety attack inside, I give him the longest hug I probably ever have given to him, and I correct her crucial mistake. I tell him that I am, in fact, bisexual and like girls and boys. “That’s fine,” he says. He goes on to say how he always sort of knew. I don’t recall what else he said because I blacked out like I’ve done in the past in coming out to people close to me.

I think the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard my dad comment about my sexuality was uttered that day: “Besides, aren’t those Converse high tops lesbian shoes?”

Skipping forward to last Friday, mid-Bible class:

My Bible teacher gave us the simple assignment of thanking someone who has raised us. I sent messages to my mom, grandma, Julia, my other grandparents, and my dad. My message to my dad and Julia is as follows:

“Thank y’all so much for loving me and accepting all of me. It means the world to me that y’all support me, and it keeps me going when things are tough. Everything is fine, but I just wanted to let y’all know that. I love y’all so much. Have an awesome day 🙂 <3”

My dad’s response left me in a puddle of tears in my school’s bathroom:

“Thank you, baby. That made my day. I’m so proud of you and always will be, and nothing will ever change that. I LOVE YOU.”

With the lack of confidence I have in my mom accepting my coming out, It’s incredible to hear that my dad does. My advice to people coming out is this: create a support group of people who love you regardless, then work your way up to the challenging ones. I can’t tell you anything about facing the hard ones, though, because I still have my own lions to tame.

I still can’t say I’m completely convinced that my dad believes in my bisexuality as much as he does my false homosexuality. All I’m saying is, if I come home with a guy for him to meet, it’ll be his own fault if he’s shocked half to death.

An Unappreciated Death: The Passing of Someone Taken for Granted of

Before I even begin writing the whole of this post, I want to warn readers that this has extreme triggers about death. If you’d like to read a more light-hearted subject read my last blog post about my asking a ghost to prom here: https://somethingstoremember.wordpress.com/2015/09/19/im-taking-a-ghost-to-prom/

For as long as I can remember, my neighbor was always supportive of me. You could say that she was the neighborhood “Queen of the Grandmothers” because she expressed that sentiment toward everyone. I never knew her as anything other than “Big Mama”. She wasn’t heavy-set, and she certainly was never part of a Tyler Perry movie. She was one of the kindest, most beautiful-hearted women I’ve ever had the privelage to know. She supported my studies, and gave whatever she could for my schooling. Every year she would give my grandmother lunch money for me. She was the first person ever to want to buy a cake from me to “headstart” my culinary career.

Big Mama called all the time to tell us she was praying for us, or just to check on all of us. She could make you laugh with how long her voice messages ran. Most of the time they wouldn’t fit on the machine. The saddest part of that, though, is we never really picked up the phone when she called. We all simply ignored it because ‘she talks too much’ or ‘I’ll never be able to get off the phone with her’. Over the period of 17 years, I can count on both hands how many times I called her to talk to her, and how many times I came to visit her. Big Mama was one of the people who get swept under the rug; Like a duplicate Christmas present that you forgot to return within the 30 day period. With her, you always forgot to reciprocate the kindess and time spent.

I can’t say I don’t regret doing more for her because I ultimately do regret it. I wish I would have baked her favorite cake for her before she passed. I know I should have called her long before she was admitted into the hospital. I should have brought her the heartfelt warmth that she constantly radiated to others. I feel terrible that I never sent her a birthday card or even thought about her more. Even when I heard that she was in the hospital from breathing problems and (surprisingly) dementia, I made a mental note to visit her. Obviously, though, the plan never materialised. If I could have her back now without the realization of all this, I don’t know if I would do anything differently.

Somehow Big Mama slipped through the cracks of a busy lifestyle, and nobody in the world, especially her, deserves that. Love and appreciate those around you. Sometimes you don’t realize how much of an impact they have made on your life until it’s too late. Please don’t take them for granted.

R.I.P. Big Mama

-9/18/15

What’s Cooking? My Sexuality

I baked cinnamon rolls, and a lemon pound cake for my actual dad for father’s day today. They turned out well. Now to the actual blog post: my sexuality and how I’m having to deal with ignorance every single day of my closeted life. As I was baking the said pound cake, I was wondering how my dad will react when I come out to him, because I will come out to him. I hope he’ll take it well whenever I tell him. In a way, I think Julia may already kind of know. Considering that she has told me in the past that they’ll support me no matter what. I’ve explained my opinions of the LGBTQA community to them in the past, just because it was something to talk about (as in, something to criticize my mom and stepdad about). They seem to have the same basic opinions as I do. I don’t want to come out to them yet though because I’m not out of the house yet. I mean, if I could drive, I would tell them (just in case I’d need to leave, although it’s pretty unlikely).

As for my mom and stepdad’s opinions on the LGBTQA community, homophobia seems to run strong in their veins. While we were watching one of those baking championships on TV, one of the men revealed that he was gay. This was relevant because he was talking about how he was making a cheesecake in honor of his partner (that was the first thing he’d ever made him). Not only that, but he’s also from Oxford, MS. That means that he’s probably been through more prejudice and hypocrisy than I’ve ever imagined. Maybe I’m just underexaggerating, though. Immediately after he stated he was gay, my mom and stepdad acted as if he didn’t even deserve to be there. It’s as if any respect for him even as just a person disappeared. I guess you could say that bigotry is magic in that sense.

It’s not so much as my mom who I’m afraid of. I know that she wouldn’t yell at me, or I hope she wouldn’t. She’d possibly cry and claim she did a terrible job of raising me or something, and try to ship me off to some kind of conversion therapy camp. A big concern I have with all of my family is that they won’t believe bisexuality is actually a thing. It’s actually real, regardless of opinion. I hate when people say that bisexual people have a choice, too. I’m sorry, but I didn’t choose to be attracted to this person or that person. Whoever I fall in love with isn’t my choice. I didn’t choose to fall for Abby, but that certainly doesn’t make me a lesbian. I just don’t understand the way people think. It’s not my place to know, I guess.

My main worry is how my stepdad will react because I know that he will indefinitely kick me out of the house. It’s “his” house, and he’s already kicked out Sharon’s daughter in the past for being a lesbian. Why would I be any different? I won’t get too much into what I’m about to say, but I’ve been trying to convince my mom to let me create a Facebook so that I could sell the things I bake or furniture I redo. Needless to say, I heard them talking last night (because he doesn’t know how to keep his voice down), and he claimed that he didn’t “want that trash in his house”. Well, he certainly won’t want me here. I wonder how he’d feel if he knew I watched porn in his house?

On a semi-lighter note, he got all riled up about gluten-free stuff again. For some reason, he doesn’t think people in need of a gluten free diet exist. I just have no words. I assure you that this guy actually exists, trust me, I forcibly live with him everyday. If there’s one thing my dad and I bond over, it’s how much we both hate my stepdad. It’s a good thing I’m getting away from this madness for the weekend. Just one and a half more days, then I’ll be with people who accept me as I am (or at least I hope they will).