For all my mother’s love and understanding, I knew there was one thing she would never accept. Being a Villa fan. Thankfully, I was only coming out as “not as straight as I told you”.
From the moment I realised myself that it was ok to not fall nicely into the “gay” or “straight” label, I knew telling my family was going to someday come. For all the horror stories I’ve heard about negative reactions, though, I wasn’t really scared.
My mother was never going to be a problem. For as long as I can remember, she’s prided herself in telling us that she didn’t care what we, her children, were as long as we were good people. So when I told my mother, I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t get a reaction at all, and actually had to tell her again just to make sure she’d heard me.
Still there was no reaction. In her eyes I’m no different. In reality I’m not different, and there is no way I can be disappointed by the lack of reaction.
One down, one to go.
There were two ways I figured the conversation with my father and step mother could go. Either I could be told I was too young to know about myself or my step mother would start an hour long rendition of “I have a gay family member so I know everything there is to know about you”. Even now, I don’t know which path would be the worst.
I wound up sitting through the second option and having to try to explain that the world isn’t as simple as gay and straight to somebody who isn’t entirely used to listening to other people anyway. For some reason, I thought I might know a little more about myself than my step mother did but I was wrong, of course.
Coming out is not one moment. According to a friend who has told some member of her family she’s bisexual, I have started the long (apparently never ending) process of telling people that, actually, I’m not that straight and having people try to explain to me who I am (I’ve already had two people try to explain to me what bisexual means). I can only hope it continues to go well.