Tag Archives: Coming Out

Families – Given and Chosen Ones

30 Mar

My family is pretty small, it consists of my Gran, uncle, aunt, their two kids and me. As this weekend celebrates Easter, they came to visit their families. I love them, I really do, but at the same time I feel weird around my uncle and his family especially without my grandma who’s in the hospital. I tend to get along better with his wife than with him even though he is my blood relative. The fact that he even managed to find a decent wife is beyond me because while I like him, he is a nerd of the worst kind and I couldn’t stand being married to him.

It probably has something to do with the fact that he and I are two opposites of the same coin. We’re both know-it-alls, science geeks and so on. He is Microsoft all the way while I swing both ways. I prefer having a Windows desktop PC and a Macbook to carry around with me. I have an iPhone, he has some unnaturally big Android phone-almost tablet. And there starts one of my biggest problems with him. He constantly has to bash my Apple products. I never bring it up but he always finds a way to tell me that his Samsung products are so much better than my Apple ones. I don’t even care, man! I know all the arguments against Apple products but come on, can’t you just let it go for once? We don’t have to have the same conversation every time we meet. I try not to let it get to me but in a way it does.

The repetitiveness is so annoying. I’m not telling him what I think about his kids. Especially my oldest cousin is the laziest person I know which says a lot coming from me, self-proclamied queen of procrastination. Both kids had so many electronic gadgets growing up, I think they overdone it. I keep comparing my cousins to myself. Well, the 90s were a tad different but I saw my mom struggle, there are things I would have liked to have had but I would also never have asked for them because I didn’t want Mom to spend too much money. After all, she was supporting my stupid father. These kids haven’t seen the things I had when I was their age (and my life wasn’t even close to bad as a kid, just not as spoiled) which is probably a good thing but it also taught me modesty in a way. I may be an only child but I’m not that spoiled aside from when it comes to my peculiar eating habits.

The thing is, I constantly feel judged around them. They and especially my uncle, always ask about my thesis and what/where I want to apply for a job after graduation. Like, OMG, I’ve had this conversation so many times now. I get how you’re showing interest in my life but it doesn’t feel right with me. My answers are usually pretty simple. I have some ideas of what I want to do after leaving the university but I won’t tell them because I don’t want my ideas bashed and judged like my choice in computers and smartphones. I have my own process. I figure things out differently than he might does, like writing a blog. My way is not always the fastest but it’s mine and I have to take it. I can’t walk someone else’s road in life. It needs to be my own. I’m my own person.

Like when I told them of my travel plans for the summer it felt like my uncle wanted to say: “Yeah kid, you should just get a job. And oh, that sounds expensive. Are you sure about this? And what do you mean, you will only start looking for a job once your thesis is finished?” He didn’t say any of this but that’s the vibe I got from him. So sorry uncle that my life plan looks so much different from yours. I hate confrontations which is why this post is happening. Ugh, this is me venting in a stupid ass way.

It’s different with my Granny who is more like a second mother to me. We understand each other without words. I may never be told everything but I feel trusted with her. If it weren’t for me, she would have given up on life a while ago. Her words, not mine. Not quite sure if it’s more humbling or scary because I can never live up to be the amazing person I want to be to make her and Mom proud. I’m still trying.

I’ve grown up enough to understand though that there is more than one kind of family. It doesn’t just have to be the one you were born into. You can make your own family, not only by choosing someone to spend your life with but also through surrounding yourself with friends you care about. For example, when I meet up with bestfriendboy’s mother I don’t feel judged. I can talk more openly to her than to my uncle or his wife. She understands like no other what kind of strength last year cost me. I feel understood and valued for who I am and not judged because I happen to have different views on a lot of things.

Then there are the theatre folks. I may not have a lot of contact with any of them outside of theatre but we’re still some sort of family. A big, loud and messy one.

And then there are the true friends you have; the ones who listen to you complaining for hours or can watch FRIENDS with for the 1.5468th time; the ones you can sit in silence with without it getting uncomfortable. They are my real family, not because I was forced on them but because we chose to be in each other’s lives.

I know Granny won’t care that I’m gay even though I still haven’t told her. Never felt like a good time which is a cowards excuse, I know. With my uncle though…not saying he would hate me for it, but it’s something I feel uncomfortable telling him because I’m afraid he would find some way to stomp on my heart for it. Not necessarily with words but in the way I can sense his disapproval of my travel plans. Also, I never get how religious he and his wife truly are and what views they have on homosexuality. I know that I should have told them by now. I need to do it for my own sake because then I can stop thinking about it. Only, how do you steer a conversation there without being like: “Can you pass me the potatoes and btw I like women not men!”? He stopped asking if I had a boyfriend some years ago after I got angry with him for his nosiness so that is not an option for opening this conversation.

I’m not even expecting much from coming out to them. I just want them to know without making a big thing out of it which seems to be irreconcilable to me. Why can’t I just write them an e-mail? I feel so much better in writing than speaking, probably why I’m a blogger.

Look at the time and word count. I’ve rambled on for over 1200 words now and so much for getting to sleep early, maybe reading one or two chapters and then fall into blissful sleep. Good job, way to go me!

Basically, what I was trying to say is, I can love my relatives without being in synch with them I guess. We’re just too similar in some ways and too opposite in others. I just have to make it through 2 meals this weekend without loosing my shit while hopefully finding an opening to come out. And then I can go and have fun with my real family. Thanks for listening to me internet. You’re a true pal.

30 Days of Books – Day 01

1 Nov

Best Book you read last year

Kicking off my 30 Days of Books I’m supposed to name the best book I read last year. For this, I’m going with ‘Love, Ellen’ by Betty DeGeneres.

This is not a novel but a memoir of Ellen’s Mom in which she talks about her life but most importantly she explains her road to acceptance of her daughter’s homosexuality. But it’s also so much more.

Betty takes us on the journey of her surprisingly eventful life. She raised two kids partly as a single parent, married three times, divorced three times and became an advocate for the Human Rights Campaign concerning the National Coming Out Project. At the age where most people think about retiring, she only ever got started.

At first I thought this book was only about a daughter (granted a VERY famous one) who comes out to her mother in the 70s. But Betty tells us so much more about her own life, beginning long before she even had kids so we could fully understand where she was coming from. It was a shock when she found out that Ellen was gay and it took her quite some time to accept it but when she did, she DID! It’s fascinating to read why it was so difficult to accept Ellen even though she loved her so much. It’s that everything she ever wanted for her daughter suddenly seemed to have vanished and what was a woman supposed to be without a husband? Luckily though, she learns to understand that marrying a man is not every woman’s goal in life and that homosexuality is not a choice.

What makes this book the best one I read in the last 12 months? – It is heartwarming and surprisingly well written. It is honest and interesting. And I learned quite some things about Ellen that I didn’t know.

Next: A Book that you’ve read more than 3 times

Mixed Signals from Granny

21 Oct

My granny is the person I love most in the world, I hate to see her hurting or not doing well. She is like a parent to me. Now that Mom is no longer with us, Granny and I have sunday lunch together because it’s nice and it would be stupid for both of us to sit at home alone and eat in solitude.

For as long as I can remember she has told me stories of her life, how it was growing up during WW2, what Grandpa was like, how their life together was and what it meant to build their own business. I don’t really remember Grandpa because he died 20 years ago and was sick a long time. But through these stories I know what kind of person he was and I’m glad for it because he made Granny happy. It breaks my heart that she has to spent so much time without him.

Some of the stories I heard multiple times while others are new to me. Only recently her stories subtly changed their message or so I perceive them. They are about marital life and how a woman should treat her husband, that there are other ways to get back at him, if he treated you unfair, than to yell at him or get in an argument. Let him sleep out his hangover, the pain will be punishment enough for him. And so on. I could be wrong but these stories are coming up more and more often and I wonder if she is trying to hint I should find a boyfriend/potential husband. She doesn’t know that I’m a lesbian, not because she is a racist but mostly because I’m a rather private person and even though I know she has nothing against homosexuals in general it’s still a bit terrifying to tell her. I don’t want to rock her world again so close after Mom’s death.

I never brought home a guy, never been in a relationship with one as far as she knows. Even though I don’t particularly look like a stereotypical lesbian except for my footwear, it’s also not a big surprise that I prefer women. But one only sees what one wants to see so I guess this option never crossed her mind.

On the other hand, Granny is terrified that I might fall in love with a man over the internet, and he will rob me of all my possessions and money. Or that he turns out to be an axe-murderer, rapist or whatever her imagination comes up with. Thank you very much TV for fuelling her imagination! She recently told me, that she woke up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare like that. I get that she is worried and cares so much for me but in most cases I’m a grown-up and not stupid. Just because my mother married an idiot does mean I’ll do the same.

It’s like she cannot even  make up her own mind whether I should find a man or become a nun. I try to tell her to not worry so much and I keep wondering if my coming-out to her would actually change her worries or only deepen them. Same sex marriage is partly legal in Germany. It’s called civil union and is like marriage in some points and totally ignorant in others like adoption and tax benefits. I suppose it wouldn’t even make her worry less. It would be like tomayto – tomahto to her and she’d hand me my convent application.

Christmas will be in about 8 weeks and even though we haven’t discussed where we will celebrate this year (even though I’m leaning towards spending it at my uncle’s house) I think it will be a good time to come out to my family as all of them will be together and none of them knows yet. I’m not sure if I will actually go through with it but it would be a proper opportunity at least.

A Thing about Recent Discoveries

5 Jul

Recently I found myself surrounded by some female buddies. I won’t call them friends because we only hang out during performances when there’s no one else to hang out with. One of them had a magazine and as in every summer issue, there was a big love horoscope thing in there. As they were going around reading what their horoscopes predicted for their love lives, they eventually ended up on me and so I had to read mine too.

It predicted something about falling in love with a guy before September and some more of that stuff. And as the girls and the old guy that was sitting with us were very happily talking about this subject it made me a bit uncomfortable because I don’t think I’ll be falling in love with a guy anytime soon since I’d much rather be with a girl but nobody in the theater knows that yet about me.

I don’t feel like going around telling everyone that I’m gay but at that moment I really wanted to blurt it out but of course I didn’t. Maybe I should have, I’m not sure. It’s all still very new so I tried being as evasive as possible whenever the topic of my summer guy love came up again on that afternoon but it left me wondering and amazed at the same time.

Perhaps I could have just changed guy to girl in my head and it would have been fine. But it wasn’t because it bothered me that the stupid magazine only thinks of straight people. This is probably just the beginning of me feeling misrepresented by main-stream media.

Aargh, I don’t know how to fully express these feelings I had.

I’ve been dangling my feet in the truth about my sexuality for months, dancing around the edges of it until everything I held back all those years finally rose to the surface. And I’m glad it did. It’s not that I have zero interest in men but only very little in comparison to women so I should probably call myself bisexual as I am not opposed to ever being with a man but I don’t like that word very much and also I swing more to the female side so I go by lesbian but I actually prefer to call myself gay. Does this make any sense at all?

This was actually the first time I realized the difference of being gay, it never bothered me before when I read something and only straight people were referenced. It never bothered me because I assumed I was one of them; until recently. But I’m not, perhaps I’ve never been only I was not aware of it.

Later that day, the guy who plays Captain Hook asked me if I had a boyfriend and I just told him I’m too boring for anyone to like me. What I wanted to say though is, that I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend but a girlfriend because I’m gay. But again, I didn’t.

It’s just so strange since I know there will be more and more times in my life in which I’ll feel misrepresented because people (and I include myself in this) see straight as the default orientation. You assume you’re straight and assume that the people you meet are straight and they are until they reveal themselves as not.

So far, I haven’t fully understood how to handle it with the majority of people I know. But I think that me wanting to tell some of them is a step into the right direction, or am I mistaken? It takes time to fully get my head around everything and I don’t want to rush things. I never do anything in haste so why should I do it with this? But I can’t stop thinking that I had a chance that day to come out further and that I let a good opportunity pass by.

For now, I’ll just stay in the nomansland of not being fully out but not being completely in the closet either.

Should and Shouldn’t

15 Jun

I shouldn’t have eaten the bag of potato chips yesterday.

I shouldn’t be eating the donuts I just bought.

But I do eat them, because my will is pretty weak when it comes to food. And I’m mostly ok with it. I gave up on having the perfect model figure a long, long time ago.

Life isn’t always about doing what you should do. For example, I should be writing on my project at the moment but I ended up on WordPress procrastinating instead.

Blogging has been a great experience so far, I got to know people around the globe I wouldn’t have gotten in contact with if it weren’t for blogging. It also helped me in ways I didn’t know I needed help. Every time I write something and hit the ‘Publish’-button it sets me free a little bit more, especially with the harder stuff I went through so far this year with my mom being sick and dealing with it.

It’s being said that, when you go through rough times, it’s when you really do your soul searching. I’m no stranger to hard times. It’s been ten years since that saturday morning the police rang our doorbell to arrest my father for tax fraught or something like that. My mom was not there, she was at work, like she sometimes did back then. I was really terrified, not because of my father being put in jail but because of what this would mean for my mom. Things were always difficult because of him. I guess this is why I don’t miss having him in my life. I’d love to have a dad right now, someone who would help me take care of mom but I know it’s not the father I have that I want. Does this sound harsh? Well, it’s true.

I’m an honest person, sometimes way to direct and therefore not made to be a diplomat even though I once considered it a career opportunity. If you give me a birthday present, it’s not hard to read my mind whether I like it or not. I know I should just try and be polite but I’m not. I’ve gotten better at it by now but I suppose people can still tell that even if I say ‘thank you’ and ‘oh that is so cool, I like it very much’, I’m lying and I don’t like to lie. My father was good at lying and I don’t want to be!

People should be honest with each other.

But are we always honest with ourselves? Do we even know it when we aren’t?

I didn’t.

And I didn’t know that it was even possible to hide from yourself, especially when you’re an introvert like me who thinks and thinks and thinks about thinking. I was dishonest with myself though and that’s what I learnt in the last months.

It’s ok to be who we are.

‘I’m not afraid anymore.’ This thought hit me yesterday while I was waiting for a friend to go to a concert. I’ve always felt a little different from others. It started in kindergarten when I didn’t know what to answer when one of the other kids asked me what my father’s job was because I honestly didn’t know. All the other kids had dads with normal jobs but not me. I still don’t know what he does and it’s been 20 years since kindergarten.

If you’ve made it this far though this post then you’re certainly asking yourself what I’m trying to say, what the whole point of my trip down memory lane is all about and if I even have a point. Well,…I do, of course. This is not my typical rambling. I’m only prolonging the moment here, to get more time to decide if I should put it on this blog or not. But then again, why am I writing under a nome de plume if not for anonymity, right? So, it shouldn’t be a difficult decision. I shouldn’t be afraid to send this out into the infinity of cyber-space and I’m not. So I’m just gonna say it:

I’m not straight.

How could it take me so long to figure this one out? Well, I honestly don’t know. At least, there are a lot of things in my life that make more sense to me than they did before.

Now, I’m going to hit the ‘Publish’-button once again and let yet another piece of myself float into the nothingness of the blogosphere. I’ll see if it makes me feel freer…

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