My niece’s birthday is next month, and my brother texted to tell me his girlfriend will be there. This will be her first time meeting the family (not counting his kids, of course). He has not officially told my parents about her, but his kids have (naturally). So when I was talking on the phone with my mom, I mentioned to her that she’ll get to meet the girlfriend soon. The excitement in her voice was palpable. And it erased any desire of mine to mention my own girlfriend, to suggest that perhaps she may be at the party, as well.
Because all I could think about is how my mom’s reaction to my own news would not be one of excitement, but, rather, the exact opposite.
And it brings to mind that there is still a part of me that feels if it were possible, I would wish to be straight. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but there it is. If I were straight, my parents would not be in denial over who I am. If I were straight, I wouldn’t have lost most of my friends when I came out. If I were straight, I could live anywhere I liked in the U.S. without concern. If I were straight… well, I wouldn’t be me. But I would fit into other’s expectations for my life much better.
I am happy with who I am. I love my girlfriend. I love that I finally know what it’s like to be happy and comfortable with who I am. But there is just the tiniest bit of internal homophobia that crops up at times, and I hate it. I want to know how to cross over into being 100% happy that I’m gay. But maybe there will always be that small part of me that is aware of how disappointed my parents are in me, that I will not be able to make them proud or happy.
I hope not.