Okay fine I’ll tell you.
Scroll past if you don’t care, really. I won’t be surprised if no one says anything, because my posts that I think are going to get a lot of notes never do (case in point, my affirmations on Sunday). Anyway.
So I went to lunch with my dad today. He told me about how he played poker with a few of his brothers over the weekend and how they kicked his ass because he sucks at gambling and blah blah blah. Then he told me that afterward, a couple of them came up to him and said, “Hey, I saw Ali’s Facebook and her new picture and…is she gay?”
HAHAHAHA. Perfect. Good job, fambam. I’ve been waiting for people to react in such a way, and somehow I knew it would be my family who would. Okay this sounds like it’s resentful, but I actually found it hilarious.
My dad’s response: “I don’t know, why don’t you ask her?”
And so I replied, “Yeah, they could just ask. I know who I am.”
*Now, I came out as bisexual to my dad over the summer by way of 2 bottles of wine. Although I don’t necessarily identify as bi anymore - I feel that pansexual is a more accurate term for me - I wasn’t planning on ever broaching the subject with him again. I knew he had never said anything to my mom, and he reacted pretty neutrally to it (despite the follow-up question of “So do you think that bisexuality actually exists, then?”). It just didn’t seem like something we’d need to talk about again until something major happened - as in I actually had a significant other for once in my life (ha!). Okay, back to the story*
“Ummm…I dunno…I like who I like, and most recently it happened to be _________…”
Now I’m getting shy. I don’t know how he’s feeling about this. I can’t tell how he’s going to react, and he’s been on the fence between conservative and liberal my entire life. So instead I shift the focus to how I’m terrified to tell my mom and how it’s hard not being able to talk to her about things, and then I started crying because I was thinking about Rachel and how she just sat there dumbfounded when I told her and how that made it very clear that I could never talk to her about it again.
Then he asked me if I’m scared to tell my mom because I have a problem with it. “No,” I said, “I like who I am and am proud to be the person I am.”
He then proceeds to tell me that I really have nothing to be concerned about with my mom. She’s saved teachers from losing their jobs for being gay, or even being rumored to be gay. She’s always been open-minded, ever since he met her in college. In fact, she might even have a feeling about it already.
Then he tells me that’s the reason she doesn’t like my haircut - because she has a feeling she isn’t fully in the loop, and she’s a very type-A personality and very much enjoys being in control of every situation. “She’ll probably be scared that things are going to be hard for you, or at least harder than they are. But I can’t imagine her reacting negatively.”
She’ll come around. “It takes time,” my dad reassures me. “Even people like Rachel will come around with enough time. She’ll see that nothing’s changed about you, and she’ll change her mind eventually.”
We talk about some other things like school and Ativan and speeding tickets and Cass’s Stages of Identity and how he’s been realizing how very liberal he really is, especially in comparison to his coworkers. I drop him off back at the house, and just before I leave to drive back to Omaha, he stands in between me and the door and says:
“I like who you are, too. And so does your mom. And we will always love you and support you no matter what.” And while he was saying that, he hugged me tighter and longer than I can ever remember him doing. I nearly started crying then and there with my face buried into his shoulder, but I held it together until I got outside.
I could hardly see by the time I got in my car. I sat there for at least a full five minutes, sobbing happily in disbelief. It was the perfect parent reaction to coming out I’ve ever heard, and it was mine. Waves of joy hit me every time I calmed down, and it just started all over again.
And then T&S came on the radio (Closer, of course) and I knew that was when it was time to dry my eyes and rock the fuck out on my drive back to Omaha.
(oh and I came out to my psychiatrist this morning too, in a similar way: “I like who I like and that’s that.” so that was cool and made me feel much more like a person than a patient.)
So yeah. I really love my dad. Sorry for taking up so much room on your dashboards - I promise I’ll never do it again!