I read a powerful post last week from the ever-insightful Vikki of Up Popped a Fox on the criticism over Jodi Foster’s acknowledgement of her sexuality at the Golden Globes. My children are sitting atop the rock I live under, watching Nick Jr 24/7, so I had no idea of the controversy.
I have a very close family member who is gay. I remember the day he told me and how excited I was. Not that I was happy he had spent years struggling over his identity and debating on his level of comfort in his own skin, but that he was finally in a place of sharing his life with the people who love him most.
At the same time I was overwhelmingly sad because he shouldn’t have to tell me at all.
Growing up a straight female I don’t remember a single moment of anguish over when I would tell my parents I liked boys. The only thing about homecoming that made me nervous was whether or not I would have a date and I didn’t think twice about introducing my soon-to-be husband to my family at a soccer game on a sunny Spring day.
There were no sit down conversations causing me to gulp back nerves in order to announce I was straight. I’ve never defended my want to have children or be married or hold hands with my partner.
Is it too much to hope that one of these days, the “coming out” part of being gay isn’t necessary?
I’m so glad one of the people I love most was ready to tell me more about his life those many years ago, but as the words were coming out of his mouth I was wishing them away. Not because I didn’t want to hear them, but because he shouldn’t have to say them. I wanted to wave my hand past his words and tell him they were not needed. He doesn’t owe me, or the rest of the world, an explanation for who he is on the inside.
All of this thinking back has left me thinking forward.
One day I hope to snuggle up with my grandkids and explain to them about when I was growing up and people actually were worried about who other people loved. And I will tell them some even worried about whether two people in love should be allowed to have children, can you believe that? My grandchildren will shake their heads at the injustice people in my generation grew up with and we will turn back to the Golden Globes and talk about what everyone is wearing…
because no one will care who the nominees kiss before they head on stage to accept their awards.
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