You Can Be a Lesbian, If You Can Be Quiet
My dad has no problem bragging about my education and
career. After several years of refusing to even enter my home, in recent time
he has not only entered but traveled hundreds of mile to do so. And, based on outward
appearances, after ten years he seems to adore my wife and stepson. In spite of
this progress, I get the impression that he's accepting as long as no one has
to know that his daughter is a lesbian.
Honestly, my father has never shared how he felt about my sexuality. As a matter of fact, my father doesn't say how he feels about much of anything of substance. I told him I was a lesbian via a letter, when I was twenty years old. He never responded. I heard from my brother that he had a bit of a breakdown one day and revealed to my brother what the letter said. According to my brother, my father was in utter disbelief. However, he never said a word to me and was always cordial to my girlfriends. My siblings did much of the same. So I thought that everyone was accepting until my wife's mother made her latest backhanded compliment.
She was said to have stated that she did not mind visiting my wife and I because we were, "classy with ours."
Scenario: My wife's mother and several other family members were preparing to visit us in South Carolina. Well, my mother-in-law kept changing her mind about if she was or was not coming. My wife thought that her mom had a problem with her and/or us and asked her aunt to find out if she did. My wife was relieved to learn that her mother was in no way trying to avoid us. As a matter of fact, she found us to be "classy with ours."
I pondered over the meaning of this statement for quite a while. Were we classy because we were college educated and well-spoken? No, she said we were "classy with ours." 'Ours' must have meant our sexuality. What made us classy lesbians to her? Again I asked myself if it was the education, speech, style of dress, etiquette or taste. I wanted it to be one of these so desperately, but I knew the truth. We were classy to her because we were both feminine lesbians and gave no outward indications of our sexuality. We were classy because we allowed her to be a closeted parent of a lesbian. This made me wonder if my dad was the same way. I wondered if he to only accepts us if no one knows that we are lesbians.
This wasn't the first time that I had someone close to me pretend to accept me. I met this friend when we began pledging a non-Greek sorority together. We were LS's, and if any of you know how close you are to a line sister, you understand how much I loved her almost immediately. After we pledged non-Greek, we were approached to pledge a Greek organization, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated. Neither of us was ready for a second pledging process but we both fell in love with SGRho. So we became LS's for the second time. When my wife and I were married, she was one of twenty people on the guests' list. I fell in love with her in a platonic way. Then someone in her family was suspected of being gay, and she revealed how she really felt. She didn't agree with it, but felt that because she didn't say it or treat me differently it was okay. I didn't know what to think then or now.
Part of me agrees with my friend. As long as people treat me and my wife fairly, why should it matter if they don't agree with my sexuality? Then another part of me wonders if everyone who is quietly against us is simply resting in limbo and waiting to ambush me when their homosexual beliefs are challenged, homosexuality hits too close to home, or lesbian daughters refuse to be silenced.
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