Friday, June 15, 2007

Should I Come Out To Mom? Comments on my Favorite MGG Post

The stories of gay people are quite similar regardless of nationality or culture. I'm about to share a post from Migs' blog on coming out to one's mother- the post has generated quite a buzz and there were a lot of interesting responses. I was about to leave a comment on MGG but my browser always encounters a problem when I'm trying to submit, so I decided to write it here instead.
Note: The original post is in blue font, the selected comments in red.

So Gibbs texted me one day, inviting me to join a dinner date with 2 other bloggers. One was Anthony, a closeted gay guy (majority of his blog readers do not know he’s as fairy as the Fairy Godmother), and the other was Mira, a fine lady of regal bearing, and belonging to the senior citizenry. At first I thought it was such an awkward mix, but boy was I wrong!
Like a diesel engine, the dinner conversation started cold and for the first several minutes, I was just listening to the three bloggers talk about many varied things. Until I felt the need to spruce the conversation up a bit. I focused on Mira, and asked, “Since you’re from a different generation, I am very interested to hear your thoughts on gay people.”
Then she most carefully said, “One of my sons is gay.”I knew from then on that the conversation just shifted to high emotional gear. And it was not just for her, but for me as well.
After an almost apologetic confession about her feeling of disappointment when she learned that his son was gay, she followed it up with the explanation that the source of such disappointment was her motherly concern for his well-being. She said that the world, however liberated it has become, is still cruel to gay people. She cited one concrete incident where her son was discriminated on in the university where he studied. It became a formal discrimination case in the university; fortunately, Mira and her sonĂ¢€™s side won. “I really worry for his happiness.”
Not without excited prodding from Gibbs and myself, Mira continued to share how she learned that her son was gay. “When he was in high school, I asked him point-blank, ‘Anak, are you gay?’ to which he replied, ‘I don’t know, Ma.’ Had he denied it, I would have been more suspicious; but his ‘I don’t know’ gave me some hope that maybe it was really just a phase.”
But was it? “During his college years, he introduced me to a friend of his. They were very close, too close in my opinion. Then I saw among his things a letter from this friend — too sweet for being ‘just friends’ so I thought that it may not be just a phase after all.”
“Since he was young, I would repeatedly tell him, ‘Anak, you are my best product.’ So when he finally came out to me, confirming my long-time suspicion, he asked me: ‘Ma, am I still your best product?’”
This is where I, after listening very intently to Mira, finally was not able to hold back my tears. I remembered my mom whom I love so very dearly. She, like Mira to his son, told me since I was young, that I was her best product. I get embarrassed whenever she tells everyone, relatives and her friends, how I took on from her my natural smarts, confident bearing, and amiable attitude. As Mira continued talking, I saw my Mom in her person, and thought to myself, she may be going through the same internal struggles and unnecessary worry. (I am not out to Mommy and to the rest of our family, but I am sure they know.) I emphatically told Mira, as I would imagine telling my mom, she shouldn’t be worrying too much. Mom’s done a hell of a great job in raising me up as a good and able person — that I am confident I can hack whatever discrimination or cruelty comes my way. What is important to me is to relieve my mom of her unnecessary worry.
And as the evening of insightful conversation with my fellow bloggers came to a close, it left me with a lingering question. Should I come out to Mommy? Would it actually help in relieving her of her worries about me?

eponine Says:
My mom has been through a lot. My eldest straight brother is into drugs; my second closeted brother has come out to me and my sister. Now this puts on a lot of pressure to me not to come out. The last thing I want to do in this world is to break Mama’s heart (only the cruelest man will do that). I know she has sensed it in me. But I have decided not to come out to her. I don’t want her thinking where she’d gone wrong, because she is a very great mom.

my yellow shirt mended Says:
I wish I could say something positive. I came out but its all about tolerance with my mom and I.
Yes she knows.
but you know what? It was my dad and still my dad that plays my heart when I told him, ” Nakipag sex na ako.”
“Babae ba?”
” Ok sana yun, pero di eh.”
” anak ingat ka. Marami dyan pera lang ang habol sa mga katulad mo.”
” Opo dad. Di kayo galit?”
” Di eh, kasi mahal kita.”
And until now, even if things are bad all over. I remember, my dad loves me.
What I have to say:
I love my Mom. She has been more like a ka-barkada to me (we talk about her hair, shoes, interior design, cooking, etc.), I've always been independent and made my own decisions and she has always stood by me. I remember the time after college when I "ran away" from home (long story), my father was quite stern and he cut off his financial support. I was, of course, stubborn and I was determined to get a job and make it on my own. My Mom gently persuaded me to go home to Tacloban but I told her firmly that I had to do this to prove something to myself. I never would have been coerced anyway, but I did appreciate my Mom's respecting my decision. Months later, I did get decent employment; I fixed things up with my old man and proudly told my Mom about my new job, much to her delight.
I can totally understand eponine's (1st comment) sentiments. Not that my siblings had issues or anything, but I just don't want to add anymore worries or problems for her. Whatever difficulties or struggles I go through, I think I can handle them on my own. I prefer to leave things the way they are.. Like Mira, I bet she would be burdened with worry- whether I'd be happy or if someone will be with me when I grow old.. I do not have the answers to these questions, but I certainly would not want her to spend her time searching the answers for me.
What my yellow mended shirt's dad said was touching: .."Di eh, kasi mahal kita." I doubt if this is what my dad would say- he'd probably kick my ass or something. Being the eldest son, I bet he had high expectations, and it's going to take a looong time before he accepts this. I never bothered to come clean- it would just bring trouble. I still continue to hope though, that one day, I see it in his eyes- a look that says "I know, and it's ok."



For me, I don't see the need to come out to my mom. I think she already knows anyway even without me expressly admitting it. But if she asks me directly, I'll tell her the truth.

Phoenix said...

It's a similar thing for me. I'll just give a straight answer if she asks.. Perhaps I might not be able to experience the joy of having my mom accept this side of me- but I guess I'm ok with it na

Anonymous said...

coming out? i dont really think there is a need. I'm d only bachelor among my brood and i'm second to d eldest. we have r own lives already. Pero alam ko parang na tanong na ako point blank already... while watching one of those coming out episode of, i think, maala-ala mo kaya (there were only d 2 of us watching)... i think i just froze do death...yikes :( (Errr? Y d H--l was i asked dat??? I'm just w/ no date


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