They Knew

It had been an interesting evening with the medium.  She opened my eyes to possibilities beyond the physical world.

As the session wound down, I said  “I never told my parents that I’m gay.”  She told me she knew I was gay and added “Your parents knew.  They knew.”

I had a hunch my mom knew.  But I was never sure about dad.  They were hardworking, conservative parents steeped in Chinese culture.  Dad had a more western education.  They never asked me about girl friends or marriage.  I played the role of the filial son while they were the dutiful parents.  It was our unspoken pact.

For many years, I’ve struggled with this guilt.  I also feel that I’m letting down the broader gay community by not being fully out.  It’s an odd and illogical way of thinking.  A gay friend told me each of us have our own journey.  What worked for him and others doesn’t apply to me.  Yet, when I meet gay men who are out, I just have this feeling of inadequacy.  I didn’t have your courage.  I wonder where my journey will lead me.  But it seems a bit lighter now.

 

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16 thoughts on “They Knew

  1. I don’t think you’re letting down the gay community by not coming out to your parents. We all have different circumstances in our life and sometimes our choices won’t work for others and may be a bad idea. You did great. You did the best you could with your circumstances and who really can judge another? It’s nice to hear the weight on your shoulders has lightened, what a huge step for you.

      • Also I wanted to mention before that how much you’ve helped your parents financially and caring for them is probably more important then just coming out to them (which isn’t really doing anything, per se). Please don’t discount all the really important, hard stuff you’ve done for your parents, because these things matter and I’m sure you had good reasons for doing them. It definitely wasn’t easy for you, right?

  2. Everyone’s path is different and we can only do things in our way and our time.
    As a parent, I’d guess that your parents already knew. And they were/are proud of you. They love you. They are watching over you. 🙂
    And you are not letting anyone down by doing life the way you think is best for you. That’s all any of us can do.
    I would say, “Don’t compare you or your choices or your journey to anyone else, Matt.” I know that’s easier said than done. But, comparing just makes us feel bad. I compare myself to others and it just makes me feel really bad. 😦 So, I’m working on not doing that, and just being me.
    You just need to keep being you! 🙂
    As I commented to your comment on my post tonight…Your light does shine, Matt, brightly and beautifully! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂

  3. Matt, they knew. They accepted you as you are. I think I would have really appreciated a conversation with your dad about a good book while sharing a bottle of Dalwhinnie. He seemed like a damn good guy. Stop beating yourself up about stuff that isn’t your fault in any way. You have an amazing opportunity to change your life for the better. Live each day as if it were your last, for one day, you are sure to be right.

    • He loved scotch (especially with a splash of water) and would really enjoy a conversation about books, current events, politics, foreign affairs and ancient history. If you like Harley Davidson – that will be a big plus. He drove one when he was a young man.

      Thanks for the advice. I think the weight is slowly lifting off my shoulders. I still have to learn to live each day as if it was my last.

      And yeah, I do see my current status as a chance to start fresh and do some thing different. Almost all of my ex-colleagues that are still working wish they were in my place. (sounds odd … but it’s true).

  4. You know what? It’s hard to judge your experience against someone else’s. Perhaps your parents didn’t ask because it didn’t matter? They loved you because you were a good son and other things weren’t important. Straight children don’t announce to their parents that they are straight so why do we feel we must? I have told my mom but I have resigned myself to know that my dad would be better off not “knowing”.

  5. Parents knows everything even when you think they don’t. I wouldn’t think that you’re letting the gay community down at all. Everyone handles things differently. Whether you decide to have the talk with your parents or not, they’ll love you unconditionally unless you’re an alien and they were’t aware of that either :p

  6. From what I’ve read, I think your parents loved and accepted you at your core, Matt. You are a good human being — gay or straight.

    I understand why you never told them. Your intention, amongst other things, was likely not to worry them. It’s a selfless act to carry the weight of a secret, especially something as important as your own identity. In time, you may have told them, but I think you can find some peace now.

    Whether your parents knew or not no longer matters to them, even though it’s something you may still think about. That you should lead a happy life in their absence is what is important.

    As for coming out to the gay community … be kind to yourself and give it time. When you least expect it, you may decide to come out. Or perhaps you never will. You are not responsible for the gay community. There is no right or wrong, and the only person in the equation that matters is you.

    xo
    eden

  7. yes, what works for others doesn’t always work on us. that said, guilt is part of life. either we say ‘bye’ to it, or we choose to live with it. i’m living with the later. at least for now.

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