Monday, January 3, 2011

A milestone

I won't apologize for my lack of updates over the past few months, because it's just that I've just been busy and happy, nothing interesting to report.

But the past week or so has been monumental. Today, January 2, 2011, I came out to my mother.

Backing up, on December 18, 2010, I finally met Lomond's parents. He had called them to let them know that I would be at his choir concert in Austin, which they were also attending, so that they wouldn't be blind-sided by my presence. The wonderful thing was that Lomond's mom then said without needing to be asked, "Of course I would like to meet him." So he and I texted a bit when he wasn't on stage at the concert and decided he would come get me when it was over and then we would both approach them. It was a little awkward at first, as to be expected, and we could tell his dad was much more uncomfortable than his mom, but then she suggested we get something to eat before we drove back up to CenTex and they drove back up to the D/FW Metroplex. Over dinner, we didn't discuss our relationship, nor did it feel like a job interview. The Lomond family just had their normal conversation, and I joined in whenever I could. Overall, not bad. His dad even cracked a few jokes. Later on, Lomond's parents told him that I seemed very nice. I think that's what they needed, really - to see that I'm not a drag queen or a rent boy, but rather a regular nice guy.

Meanwhile, Lomond has been applying to doctorate programs in the Northeast, and if he goes, I'm going with him. Of course my family would expect some explanation as to why I was willing to move across country to be with him, so I decided I really needed to finish coming out to them. On December 17, an opportunity presented itself. While preparing to go to Austin and attend an Old-Fashioned Piano Party that night, I tried to make up for my lack of a haircut by trimming the little poofy curls on my temples that I hate so much. Bad idea.

I royally messed it up and had to make an emergency appointment with Sister #3, the hair stylist. While she was fixing my screw up, I mentioned that I was going to a party with Lomond and some of his friends. When she asked, "So who exactly is [Lomond], I gave her a look in the eyes which said, "I think you already know." Naturally, she was happy for me and wanted to know more about him, said that she and Sister #1 had been speculating about it, and asked when she would get to meet him.

That was when I made a plan:
I would have him meet all three sisters while they were all around for Christmas. Then they would be able to give support and vouch for how wonderful Lomond is when I finally came out to Mom later in the break - after New Year's, I decided, when people had left and stress was somewhat lower.

The mass meeting was set for the evening of December 26, under the guise of going to Starbucks and hanging out "just us kids." Sisters #1-3 and Sister #2's husband went with me to Starbucks to meet up with Lomond. It went rather well. Like the meeting with his parents, we more or less had the same conversation we would have had anyway, with just some casual questions about him and a clear acknowledgment of our relationship. It was nice, Sister #2 talked about how good a match we were all the way home, and Lomond said that although he was a bit quiet, he felt at home, that my siblings reminded him of his cousins up in NorTex.

With that under my belt, it remained only to come out to my parents. Today, despite us both feeling under the weather, Mom and I had a relatively good day. While she was out at the store, I decided tonight was the night. I dug out from their hiding place the booklets I had gotten at Austin Pride, and skimmed once more through PFLAG's "Our Daughters and Sons" before hiding it again somewhere more accessible.

When Mom got home, we ended up talking about various things as I waited for the right moment. It didn't come until after we both ate dinner and watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Desperate Housewives. She said she was going to check her e-mail and then go to bed. Once she was done, this is more or less how it went:

Phillip Wilde: So you're pretty tired, then?
Mom: Yeah... is something wrong?
PW: No, nothing's wrong.
Mom: Something's wrong, I can tell.
PW: No. N-nothing is wrong.
Mom: If you have something to tell me, just tell me.
PW: You and I are pretty close, and I wouldn't want anything to change that...
Mom: Uh-huh...
PW: But I feel like I haven't been completely honest with you... Mom,... I'm gay.
Mom: I can believe that.

So she had had an inkling for sure. Which is good, because she would have to be pretty much blind not to. I mean, I haven't exactly been discreet about how much time I spend with Lomond. So after that was a long, drawn-out exchange of "Why'd you choose this?"/"I didn't choose it."/"God can change it if you ask."/"It's how God made me and I don't want to change."/"It's not what God wants."/"I think God made all kinds of different people and likes is that way." und so weiter, und so weiter. Eventually I said that it was just a different side of love, which made her ask whether I was in love. "Yes."/"With [Lomond]?"/"Yes."/"God has something better for you, and I don't mean a guy." I gave her the PFLAG booklet and asked her to read it. She said she would, but that it wouldn't change her mind, that her beliefs are too deep. I replied that this is part of who I am, and that won't ever be changed.

That's pretty much where it left off. She assured me that she will always love me unconditionally, but that she will be praying for God to turn my heart. Not perfect, but it could have been much worse. I still have a family, a place to live, and at least I've taken the first step. Now I honestly believe that she just needs time to think, to come around and realize that this is how I am and how I will always be. I texted Lomond, my sisters, and several savvy friends, and the responses have all been loving and affirming. I really do love you all and appreciate your support.

I'll update later when there is more to say, but for now, I'll leave you with Rufus: