Being officially gay was still new to me, a strange feeling that I hadn’t given much thought to before, a closeness to another human that I never knew existed and I was hooked. To feel the touch of his hands on my bare skin and his kisses down my spine, the intensity in his blue eyes as they burned into mine, at 17 I didn’t know what drugs felt like, but I guessed this feeling was close. This love was different. Passionate love.
Only a close few knew about my new acceptance of my sexuality and that didn’t include my family, I was staying the weekend at his when I received a text from my dad’s new wife,
‘Look, don’t think I don’t know about you, you should tell your dad’
I replied telling her that I would tell him when I was comfortable and ready to, she proceeded to tell me that if I swore never to bring a ‘friend’ over to the house again she wouldn’t tell my dad that I was gay, I didn’t reply to her last message because it was my home, I grew up there, my whole life was there and her blackmailing me was absurd so with that she told him.
My dad sent me a text soon after,
‘I don’t want to speak to you’
My heart began to race, and face began to burn, I didn’t want to go home.
I remember it being late when I did return home, I opened the door and my dad was sat in the dark with the TV on, all he did was look at me, no words, nothing. I walked past him and stood in the kitchen for a while in the dark, my mind racing and my mouth dry then went up to my room, not that I got much sleep that night, I was woken in the morning by him coming into my room, a stern look on his face,
“Look, if this is how you want to be then that’s fine, but life isn’t going to be easy for you”
I was instantly angry, it was almost as if he thought that this was new for me, like I had only just ‘decided’ to be gay and didn’t know the world. I told him that I’d been bullied and called names for years and that it didn’t bother me then nor would I let it bother me in the future, I told him that I hadn’t decided to be anything, that it was just who I was. He said “ok then” and then left my room.
You see, his love for me made him want to protect me, make my life easier and for him that meant warning me about the cruel nature of the world. He was afraid for me because he loved me. Tough love.
My mum was the polar opposite to my dad, granted I think things would have been different if I had been given a choice in telling him myself. She called after I’d left her house and after she had read the letter, she called me silly and said I could have just told her and that she already knew, she was the one buying the dolls on my Christmas lists growing up after all. Her love was warm, a relief, a comfort blanket in a new world of openness. Motherly love.
My granddad already knew too or so he told my mum when she called to tell him, I remember him taking me to an audition and I took my boyfriend along for company, I told my granddad he was my friend and I tried as hard as I could to play it cool and just be ‘friends’ for the day, he wasn’t stupid, he knew I was dating him and he said it made him smile watching me try to cover it up. All he said was this,
“as long as you are happy that’s all I care about”
My granddad didn’t see me as his gay grandson, he saw me as the grandson he loved. Unconditional love.
All of a sudden the whirlwind was over, i had done it, i was out, free.
I could finally live my life openly.