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Posts tagged ‘parents’

Conditional Love

Recently, I became aware of something when I was visiting my family. We were looking through various photo albums with my nephews (my parent’s grandsons) who were in town visiting from outside the country. So there are a couple of big books, plus about 6 so-called “brag” books that contain 15-20 photos each. Not to mention the display of photos on top of the entertainment cabinet in the living room.

I come from a family of 4 children. There’s my oldest brother, who had 3 girls, my 2nd older brother who has 2 sons and my sister who had 2 boys also. So the grandkids are all adults now… and there are 2 great grandchildren even. I am the lone gay person in the family. I have been in a relationship with my partner for almost 24 years.

So what did I realize on that visit? I realized that there were no pictures of me and my partner in my parent’s house! I felt sad and mad when I realized this. Sure I am in the photo albums, but it’s by myself, with my siblings or with my nieces. If you were looking at these, you would think that I was single! How could my parents deny that part of my life? How could they give me so-called “conditional love”? We love you, BUT… you’re gay, in an interracial relationship too… plus you like to do weird things with your hair or what you choose to wear. No, they didn’t say that but I have to wonder what the hell they are really thinking.

I know people have their own journeys as far as coming to terms with being gay or lesbians. Same for parents, siblings, friends, co-workers, etc… they have their own journey to come to acceptance of their loved ones. When I finally came out to my parents about 10 years ago, I told them about PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and gave them some brochures and phone numbers.  I don’t think they ever read them, and I know they never went to any meetings. They have one friend who had a gay kid who died of AIDS, but I doubt they ever talked to her about it.

So where do we go from here? I love my parents, but from my perspective they need to try harder than what they are doing. You would think I was guilty of a horrible crime, that I was a terrible human being, by how they are treating me here. I get it, I know I can’t compete with the grandkids… but my siblings have their spouses in those books. And other than my oldest brother… my partner and I have been together for more years than the other couples in the family. And it’s not like they don’t have pictures of us either, I know for certain that I have given them some over the years. Who knows where those ended up?

What happened to unconditional love? I know my parents voted Yes for Prop. 8, but I still love them. They have done so much for me and my siblings. I was honored that I could give a heartfelt speech at their 60th anniversary party earlier this year. They always invite my partner and I over for holidays and birthdays… and my Mom always give him a hug even.

I hope we can get past all of this… but as of now, I need to prepare myself for hearing things I may not want to hear.

Update: I confronted them about it, and they denied any wrong doing. I talked with some other parents with gay kids, and they suggested I give them a nice framed picture of me and my partner. I gave it to them for Christmas, and it was still there when I last saw them, so I have no right to complain anymore.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Hiking in the Spirit and the Kilt Man line. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Coming Out — It Matters

I came out of the closet a long time ago, I knew by my late teens that I was gay. It wouldn’t be until years later that my family knew about it. This has been an amazing year for gay rights. More and more individuals are coming out, we are getting some respect from the White House, and we can now serve in the military openly.

I saw a headline that read “So Anderson Cooper is Gay? Does it Matter?” Yes it does. Let me tell you why.

The more of us that come out, the more we have a voice. We are no longer the hidden minority. We are your sons, daughters, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and those driving in the car next to you.Coming Out Day

When I was dealing with coming to terms with myself, I didn’t know anyone who was gay. I didn’t know anyone in school, or in my family. I don’t remember seeing anyone on TV (except for those who seemed to be very troubled). I felt so alone. You were primed to think you were going to lead a lonely, miserable life as a gay person.

Those were the media views, then you had religion to deal with also. As a Catholic, you were supposed to abstain from sex until you were married (to a person of the opposite sex). Gays were “welcomed” to the church, but we are told to be celibate and abstain from having sex. Not to mention the guilt factor. I prayed and prayed that God would change me. I didn’t want to be this way.

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Thank You Mom and Dad

The following article was written for my parent’s 60th anniversary on 2/23/2012.

What my parents have achieved is almost unheard of today. They have showed the world around them that not only is this possible, but that when 2 people love and respect one another, they can overcome all the obstacles that reality throws at them.

My parents have raised 4 children, including myself, all very different, unique and talented individuals. I remember having a good childhood, a house filled with a lot of laughs and love. We were all encouraged to follow our dreams and be the best that we could be. We had memorable family vacations, as well as big holiday, birthday and neighborhood get-togethers.Mom and Dad

One of their greatest accomplishments was instilling the importance of faith, family, and friends in our lives. These things have helped them in their lives and their relationship is as strong today as it ever was because of them. These are not 2 people who are together ‘just because’ or two people who just tolerate each other. They are an inspiration to all that know them.

We were raised knowing that God was on our side. That he was our friend, and when times were tough he would always be there for us. We were raised to be thankful, grateful and kind to all. We make it a point to pray every time we break bread together.

I remember going to so many different family functions through the years at my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins homes. Celebrating everything from marriages to new life to celebrations of life. I remember visiting the cemetery, looking at old photos and videos and talking about family history and the people that were important to their lives.

My parents are very giving, and love opening their home to their friends. They have had friendships that have lasted as long as they have been together. Some they went to school with, some are neighbors, some are from the church they go to. They are more than friends to them, they are family.

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