Although I tend to straddle the line between being guarded like Beyoncé and live-out-loud à la Rihanna when it comes to discussing my private life, over time I’ve come to be jealous of friends who have big, prying families. As much as I love and adore my mother, she will not discuss my boy problems with me – outside of her uncertainty as to where having sex with men will place me in the afterlife.
In my family, it’s love with limits – and before anyone argues that love shouldn’t come with limits, spare me the Diane Warren ballad you’re quoting. Life is complicated. The “complication” for my family – my sexuality – makes for a consistently awkward exchange with my kinfolk, and nothing tests these limits more than holiday-season dinners.
They’re not completely comfortable with my sexuality, but they don’t want to totally alienate me either; my family may not be comfortable getting an invitation to my gay wedding, but they wouldn’t miss the baptism of the baby I made in a lab with my gorgeous homegirl from college.
So suffice it to say, when it’s time to sit with family for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, my mother will not be asking me if there is any special man in my life helping me sin to the best of ability. I can talk to my siblings and my niece about my personal life, but that’s a whopping three people – two and a half, actually, since there’s only so much you can tell a teenager. As for my parents and the rest of my extended family, the actual contours of my dating life will remain totally undiscussed.
I already know what they will actually say to me: I will be asked innocuous questions about the weather and Times Square (aka the most horrific place on Earth). In a sense, I get off easily; some of my other friends in similar situations have relatives that make inquiries only in code.
“So, do you have any friends?” they’ll ask. “Friends” is the word older people use to describe someone they assume you’re having sex with, but that acknowledgement gives them the willies so they tone-police themselves.
But I’m now at the point where I wouldn’t mind being asked uncomfortable questions – even coded ones – like “Are you the boy or the girl?” I’d happily explain to them that’s not how any of this works, but I need a starting point first. I would even love to finally start being asked things like “You’re not getting any younger. Isn’t it time you think about settling down and marrying someone now that you can?”
Read the rest at The Guardian.