A few months ago, Ginger emailed Auntie SparkNotes with a question about coming out to her parents. We thought the email was so funny, interesting, and well-written that we asked Ginger to blog about her life as she gets ready for college.
Auntie answered Ginger's question recently, and now Ginger has an update on the coming out conversation. We think she's a brave, hilarious girl, and we're pretty sure she'll be editing our posts in a few years. —Sparkitors
Thank you, Sparklers, for all the supportive comments, and thank you Auntie for the wonderful advice (even if I didn't get the chance to use it).
Here's what happened when I came out.
Setting: Living room, around 11:00 pm (primetime for irrational freakouts).
Characters: Mom—a pleasant, middle-aged pastor's wife who is desperate for her daughter's friendship, honesty, and innermost secrets.
Ginger—An insecure teenager, going off to college in the fall, who is still working out the minute details of her sexuality. (I said "gay" in the letter to Auntie in order to keep it simple.)
Conflict: Man vs. Man, Self, Circumstance, Society
My family finishes the movie, and everyone goes to bed except for my mom and me, who are getting a snack.
Mom: I think we should talk about your sexuality.
Me: …. WHAT? I don't think I want to. I promised you an email, didn't I?
Mom: Yes, you did. But I wanna talk about it NOW. *Pouts* You love me, don't you? So why don't you want to talk to me?
Mom: So are you questioning yourself?
Me: In a manner of speaking...
Mom: I knew it! God says you're going to hell. He loves you, and your Dad and I love you, but we all say that you're going to hell.
Me: How does that even wor—
Mom: Are you saying that you aren't Christian? Are you?
Me: I REALLY didn't want to go there, but yes.
Mom cries. I cry.
Mom: You're going to DOUBLE hell now.
Out of nowhere, I whip out a fantastic argument, definitively proving that I'm not going to hell.
Mom: You have just stunned me with your unfaltering logic. But you're still going to hell. Let's pray together for your eternal soul.
She prays, I listen.
Mom: We are going to have to have a talk about your faith with your father soon.
Me: Can I go to bed now?
All right, before the ineviteble battle between liberal and conservative Sparklers ensues and all hell (giggle) breaks loose, may I say one thing? This article is not supposed to be an opportunity for you guys to rip out each other's jugulars like Edward and Jacob should have. No matter how much fun it may be. This is just my story. The moral? I'm not sure. I don't exactly feel like a great weight has lifted off my shoulders, or like I was trapped in a fishbowl and now I'm free, or like I never used to be able to think of similies and now I can. Maybe it IS like I was trapped in a fishbowl, but now my plastic castle has been taken away, leaving me nowhere to hide. And now I can be honest about myself with my parents. That's a horrible simile.
Anyway, I would encourage any more Narnians (people who are in the closet!) to try to come out when you are absolutely sure that you are ready. That way, you can say everything you need to, and on your terms. Of course, if you get cornered by your mother, you'll just have to wing it. It saves you the pain of bringing the topic up, but chances are pretty good that your conversation won't go exactly as you imagined. I, for one, was convinced that it would end with unicorns and sunshine. I was sorely disappointed.
P.S. For all those who read the letter to Auntie (I don't expect everyone to, but this post might make a little more sense if you do), my dad hasn't even said anything to me about it yet, even though my mom gave him all the horrible details. I think he doesn't want to acknowledge it yet. For being a Man of God, he's not that scary. He's like a 6'6” teddy bear.
Ginger's Song of the Week: Ani DiFranco is the only artist who I listen to for the lyrics. Plus, she's bisexual! And this song is kindasorta about a fishbowl! It's too perfect.
Related post: Auntie SparkNotes: Coming Out With Confidence
Are you gay/bi and coming out/thinking of coming out to your parents? Leave your thoughts, advice, encouraging words, and supportive sentiments in the comments!