Growing up kinky has its own challenges. I've outlined a few of them on this blog, but god, I wish I had had the It Gets Better Project around while I was growing up. It definitely would have made things a lot easier.
I generally was a pretty well behaved kid. I didn't act out a lot, and I stayed on my parents' good side. That's not to say I followed all the rules, either. Some teenagers sneak into their houses at night and have to worry about their parents catching them while they're still drunk from the party they had just come from. Me? I was sneaking into the house so they wouldn't catch me with rope burn all over my arms or tape residue on my face.
I was crafty. They never caught me. No joke.
Due to all the secrets I've had in my life, I've never really felt all that close to my parents. There's too much they don't want to hear about. I mean, they've met my partner a few times, but every time I bring up the word "marriage", they let the topic die or quickly change the subject. I know they don't support same-sex marriage. Given my mother's chosen brand of Christian faith, I'm sure she never will.
When I came out to them in high school, it didn't go over well. Ten years later, we still don't see eye to eye on the subject. But now I'm faced with a bigger problem.
Thanks to all of you out there, my new career as a public speaker and sex educator is starting to gain some traction. I'm working on multiple contracts for shows in the Spring, I'm opening a leather shop on Saturday, and this website gets about 3,000 visitors per month from every inhabited continent on the planet (including some extremely dedicated readers from Australia - thanks boys!). I just got off the road after traveling for two months to try to promote myself. Hell, one of my upcoming shows is even going to be in Missouri.
This is too big of a part of my life. I can't hide this anymore.
I feel so fucking immature writing this all in the first place. I'm 28 goddamn years old. Why am I so afraid to tell this all to my parents? They're adults. I'm an adult. Can't we just all be adults about it? I'm in St. Louis right now. I sat down to dinner with them. I was as nervous as I've ever been in my life. I didn't accomplish a thing all day and I've been nauseated and shaking over what's about to happen. Finally, I let them finish eating and then I just went ahead and said it.
I told them about the shop I was opening, my blog, my career as a public speaker, and I broached the subject matter of what I discuss. I explained to them that alternative lifetsyles (and yes, they understood what that meant) were important to me. I told them that I know they didn't want to know all this. I know they'd just like to go on pretending it doesn't happen, and I know they'll never voluntarily talk about it with me.
When my parents found out I was gay, all they wanted to do was talk (i.e. yell) about it; in twenty eight years, I've never EVER seen my mother in a state of speechlessness. Until tonight.
She finally spoke with dread and pain in her voice. This isn't what she expected of her son. But she quietly admitted it was a reality she had to accept. She's stuck with it. Translation: I would change all of this if I could. Don't worry mom, the feeling is mutual. I'd have parents that don't just tolerate me, but accept and love me. That said, I know this would be a tough day for even the most progressive of parents.
My relationship with my parents will never be the same. No longer can I grasp at the straw that I'll ever have a strong, loving, open relationship with them. That ship is SAILED. I've pretty much sealed the deal on ever being able to be close to them again. They wish they didn't know. They want a different son. But they're going to take the one they have because...well, they're stuck with me. And they're not happy about it. In fact, they're currently feeling personally hurt that they've raised a human being who turned out this way. I doubt it's going to get any better. If, in ten years, my parents' can't come to terms with me being gay, they're NEVER going to be able to come to terms with this.
The hardest thing I've ever done is break my parents' hearts. I know I shouldn't care, because we're adults, and I shouldn't need them. But damnit...they're my parents. I'm really hurt by the rejection, but I knew it was coming. I was ready for it. I've made my peace, and I do NOT have their blessing. It's time for me to move on.
Sometimes, it doesn't get better; you get stronger.