Posted by: hellonhairylegs | September 28, 2008

Coming Out: The Post-Euphoria Stage

I didn’t plan to come out tonight. I don’t have the money saved up to support myself through the HSC or the appropriate knowledge of our legal system to be kicked out. I just got so angry at the constant questioning about when I would get a boyfriend. Another side of me thinks the entire thing is ridiculous and that my parents shouldn’t have assumed that I’m straight (-travels to fantasy world for a moment-).

The Patriarch is one of the “I’m so reasonable that I don’t support slavery and think women should be able to use birth control” types. So he will still love** me anyway, even though he doesn’t support any same-sex rights. I think in some ways he is glad I’m a lesbian because that means I won’t have “real” sex with anyone. He thinks it is fine (-teeth grind-) if I become a lesbian vegetarian hippy, but thinks it is terrible that I don’t plan to wear a bra in uni. Given that I haven’t worn a bra in ages, this is a sign of both his general cluelessness and clinginess to beauty norms.

Mom did the whole “What I have done wrong?” crying thing. She thinks I’m a lesbian because it is politically correct (WTF?!) or because that’s what my evil feminist friends have told me I MUST do. She wants me to be a lesbian for the “right” reasons.

This wasn’t a choice. It just is.    

Angsty woe angst. All that happiness is draining away in anticipation of all the awkward car rides ahead.  

**Confess to owning me.

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Responses

  1. A hearty handshake and congratulations to you through your angst.

    Is it ok if I confess to such low expectations that I’m mostly just glad you weren’t assaulted or thrown out? *sigh*

  2. Thanks Lauredhel. I guess I had some of your expectations too, I’m glad that my parents aren’t the type to throw out their daughter for being a lesbian.

  3. I’m glad they weren’t either (even though not throwing your children out should be, as I’ve said on other things, the default fucking position).

    Anyway, I second lauredhel. That was an incredibly brave thing you did. It chafes me that it takes courage and conviction to confront parents on such a personal thing that shouldn’t be their business anyway, but that the patriarchy treats it like it’s their business in particular.

    (But yes, on the ‘patriarch would cop to owning me’ bit, I get. And it makes me gag.)

    Sending you virtual hugs, a pat on the back, or chocolate, or whatever it is that would help support you right now.

  4. Congratulations, even though it was hard. I’m glad your parents aren’t the type to throw out their daughter for being a lesbian. I do wish though, like you, that the default assumption was not of heterosexuality.

    My mother, upon finding out I was bisexual at thirteen, was very upset – mostly telling me I shouldn’t be having sex and you could ‘catch things from girls just like you can catch them from boys’. I think she was more upset that I was sexually active than about the sex of my partner. My dad told me he’d rather I went out with girls because then I couldn’t get accidentally pregnant. Over time it’s just become a non-issue and every day I am thankful that they accept us as we are, at least nowadays.

  5. *hugs*

  6. Congrats and good luck. Ride out their awkardness with a sense of pride, sista.

  7. Congrats! Although the bra thing is just creepy. It sounds like it’s going to work out ok, with ups and downs and all.

  8. Wow… what lauredhel said. Good luck, you political lesbian, you! (Q: If your evil feminist friends told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it? A: Yes, but only if it’s a sexist bridge.)
    LOL! Sorry, had a moment of absurdity. Wait until they decide “it’s just a phase”. You won’t know whether to laugh or beat your head against a wall.

  9. congrats from me too

    and your blog title is fabulously funny

  10. Thanks jo and Beppie. *hugs*

    Anji, I think that is part of the reason my parents didn’t freak out as much, now I won’t get pregnant.

    Thanks Zen and Cassie. The bra thing is kinda creepy.

    SL- that’s exactly what I’m waiting for. “It’s just a phase” or “X is such a nice guy…”

    Thanks bentcrude. The blog title came to me in a moment of genius. It kinda says everything from the get go.

  11. Congrats on coming out HHL!

    Yeah… I’ve got nothing else to offer but hugs 🙂

    *hug*

  12. Wow. Thanks for this post.
    You done good.

  13. Congratulations! When I read the book Inside Out (- by erin shale – highly recommended) the egocentric git I am was miffed at my lack of a similar moment of exposition and dramatic tension. Instead, my parents are wonderful and prepared themselves even before I was certain.

    I’d find out your local chapter of PFLAG, and get your owners parents onto it – otherwise I’m sure there are plenty of advice books for the confused progenators of the newly-outed.

  14. Congratulations!

  15. Have they noticed that it’s not exactly politically correct to be a scary feminist?

  16. HHL, I’ve been keeping up with your blog since the demise of IBTP- it is a truly bright spot in the cesspool of the internets. You’ve done an incredibly courageous thing here, and I’m so glad you are willing to share it and the rest of your stories and contemplations with the masses. I hope your parents are able to move themselves to a position of acceptance and active support, instead of mere DNA-related obligation. Congratulations, and keep on fighting the good fight!

  17. Better out than in, though, maybe….?
    And comiserations on your mum’s reaction. (Mine wandered into my room when I was sixteen and said – for no good reason – “it’s a shame you’re not a lesbian. I’m so tolerant.” and walked out again. Like you do.)
    Also, have you thought of telling her that you’re a lesbian because you want sex with women, not men? I mean, I know it’s a statement from the department of the bleeding obvious, but surely it’s about the “rightest” reason for being lesbian!

  18. Awesome, HHL, good for you. It’s ultimately about you, not about their reactions.

    When I accidentally outed myself (Mom found a note in my pocket from some sleazy boy who kept hitting on me that read “Are you gay or bi?” and I scrawled in HUGE capital letters “GAY! GAY! GAY!,” so there wasn’t much talking my way out of it,) her response was the tearful I-Failed-As-A-Parent thing too. Best unintentionally funny line of the whole awkward period – “I let you watch that damn Foxfire movie one too many times!!!”

  19. Congratulations, you did something really gutsy, and something really important to your personal integrity.

    Aww I felt sad though reading about what you are having to go through in even coming out to reasonable parents.

  20. Thanks Emilie, Helen and Notawhisper. (*wipes eyes and sniffs*)

    Kim, I will ask my parents to consider PFLAG. Maybe I will get them Inside Out for Christmas. Thanks for the advice.

    Nia- I don’t think it has occured to them that being a radical feminist isn’t exactly easy.

    Plainjane- I’m so stealing “bright spot in the cesspool of the internets” for my next tagline. Sharing on the internets in hard sometimes, but I’m grateful the community in the feminist blogosphere that allows me to talk out these issues without condemnation.

    Rachel- the next time the topic comes up I will tell her that. I feel awkward talking to my parents about sex. I got my sex-ed from school, Scarleteen and friends (don’t listen to friends).

    Livvy, sounds like an interesting coming out experience. I think parents sometimes don’t recognise that they don’t have (and shouldn’t have) complete control over their children’s choices. That doesn’t mean they failed as a parent.

    Blue Milk- you’re right about personal integrity. It is better to go through this unpleasant stage than to grit my teeth every time I hear something homophobic or everytime my future is brought up.

  21. Congrats and hugs hellon. Happiness and liberation will be yours again despite those awkward car rides. What bluemilk said about personal integrity.

  22. See, this kind of post scares me. I still haven’t come out to my family, at all, and I don’t think I would unless someone dragged me, kicking and screaming. Hell, they give me so much shit for being a feminist, how the fuck should I tell them I’m bisexual/a lesbian? I mean, my sexuality isn’t rigid, or at least I don’t think it is.

    I guess that they should keep in mind that nothing has changed. You’re still the same person you were before you told them. They should be smart enough to realize that. Part of the reason I haven’t come out is because I don’t think my family would figure that out, especially if all I can give them is “surprise, I’m not straight!”

    Congratulations though. You’ve done something amazing, on the road to liberation. I hope to someday soon have the courage to do the same, even if my answer to “gee, who do you want to fuck?” is still up in the air.

  23. Congrats hellon! I just read that you are only 17! That is so amazing- you have so much courage and strength. Good for you. It’s so hard with parents, no matter what. The important thing is that you get to live how YOU want, no matter what they think. Go you!! 😉

  24. […] at Ideologically Impure lets Stephen Frank know he is officially scum. Hellonhairylegs writes about coming out to her […]

  25. Cool. Well done. The whole thing will fade quickly and you will go back to being their daughter first and a lesbian long distant second. Don’t worry, rejoice in your courage.

  26. I’m late to the party but wow, I am in awe of you, sister.

    Well done.

    I hope the wave of euphoria carries you right through the HSC.

  27. Thanks Paul.

    Thanks Spiders, I hope your daughter gets through the HSC too 🙂

  28. Aw, congrats! It sounds like they reacted reasonably well, considering. It’s good that you don’t have to keep it from them anymore.

  29. Wow, well done HellOn. That was no small undertaking given what your father is like.

    I have to admit it made me laugh that his reaction is to turn the situation to how it works for him controlling you in ways he approves (you won’t be sleeping with any guys he doesn’t like).


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