I finally dared to look up. I wasn’t sure what I saw those eyes. Could it be pain? Anger? Shock? I couldn’t define it. I looked back down at my feet. I just had my pedicure done and at the moment, it was the most beautiful thing I could stare at. It gave me joy and sudden hope that whatever the outcome, these beautiful feet would take me to a place where I can be me.
“Are you sure? Why didn’t you ever tell me?” The voice sounded so far and strangled, I couldn’t recognize it.
I looked up from my feet and met those eyes with a piercing gaze of my own. Why? You’re seriously asking that question? Really? Give me one good reason why I should have told you? You always had something hurting to say when the word ‘homosexual’ comes on the news or is randomly passed around by your club members during afternoon tea and some crumpets. Tell me how I could have said something to someone who has an agenda against us. TELL ME!
“What? What do you mean?” My words came choked up.
I didn’t know I had asked the questions out loud. I remembered the night she called me a “Bitch” for snapping at my dogs and right there, I was being one. And the sudden realization broke my heart more… and the waterworks started slowly.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be unreasonable but it’s the truth. I had to find attention elsewhere because you were always too busy to give me the attention I needed while growing up. I’m not an ingrate. I know everything you did and are still doing is for me to have a beautiful future. And for that I will always love you. But you just didn’t know I needed you during those times he messed up…”
He is my father.
“You were too absorbed,” I continued, “with how to handle him every night he came home and didn’t do anything about his responsibility towards us.”
“You’re Gay? Are you sure? Really sure?” She still wanted more affirmation.
“Yes, I am sure.”
“How did it start?”
I wasn’t sure I wanted to tell how it started. How do I fess up that I was molested when I was five years old by three guys for five years? How? I wasn’t ready to see the failure-as-a-parent-to-notice-what-your-child-was-going-through stigma fit like that LASTMA jacket that is mostly spoken about here.
I love my mother. She’s very strict, a good Christian, and she’s the father I have always looked up to. I’m an only child and I could see that she was torn, really torn by this news of my coming out to her. I laid it bare because I wanted her to know about the school issues I was facing due to neglect and much love for the job I started while in school. I needed to let her know everything at once.
And I did.
Now she knows.
“Vhar, I asked you a question…” She was crying already.
“Mum, I’m not sure I should tell you.”
“Tell me. I want to know everything.” I could hear the edge to her voice.
So I did. I told her how it started as a child, how my last relationship started, how it ended and how I looked forward to another one with a male partner.
“May I see his picture, your ex, I mean?”
I was taken aback. Why did she want to see him? Although she met him twice before, I wasn’t sure I wanted her to know it was him. I got my phone from my room and showed her his picture. She was gobsmacked and asked if we loved each other. I nodded.
“This isn’t easy for me, Vhar. It’s not. But I hope this phase is over soon. This isn’t you –”
“Don’t! Don’t say that. This is me. I love guys. You’ll have to come to terms with it.” I was being a bitch again, I didn’t care in that moment. I would never allow anyone put me down with words because of my sexuality and beat me blue-black with ‘good intentions’ that I have thought about already. She had to know what I wanted for myself. I held her hands, looked at her, sighed and finally smiled. “I love you, mother, but you have to learn to love me like this. One day at a time…”
We cried together after that, and amidst sniffles, she nodded. In that very moment, I loved her more.
This happened three years ago, in April. In her bedroom. Around 2am.
Before I went to bed that morning, she asked me a question that earned her one of my looks. (I have different types of looks, but this particular one is classic. A raised eyebrow, squinted eye, the other enlarged, set jaw line and lips in a thin pout and a tilted chin)
“Tell me, how’s the sex like?”
Written by Vhar