In this pre-transition Jessica Kohinoor video, a young man describes how his mother found out he was gay whe he was 18 years old. Basically she overheard him talking to his first boyfriend on the phone while he was getting ready to meet up with him.
In addition to this, he talks about how difficult it is for gay kids to explore their sexuality from Kindergarten and up like straight kids do.
He’s saying nothing new though. I do still find it odd that millennials and post millennials still feel reluctant to come out. I wrote a whole essay about this back in 2016: “If Coming Out Is Easier For Millennials, Why Are So Many Still Closeted?”
I guess the Church still affects people greatly…and most ppl don’t live in big cities so I’m sure that factors into it as well.
The young man in the video is right about not being able to explore our sexuality as kids, which affects our development into healthy human beings and dating in the future.
In hindsight I should have had the whole “Boyfriend Experience” and all that when I was a teenager but growing up in Detroit in the 90s where there was a six-degree separation from everyone else (I have hella cousins) made me paranoid…
Also something happened with me and my mom when I was like 14 that made me dive further into the closet. Let’s just say she found some stuff I had hidden, confronted me in tears (like the guy in the video) asking if anyone had done something to me (meaning molestation, no one had done so, I was discovering that I was gay).
Me not wanting to disappoint her, I denied being even being remotely gay and repressed exploring further until I left for college. Ironically, others in her family were gay and one of her best friends was a flamboyantl femm so in hindsight, I should have just said fuck it. But at 14, most aren’t thinking like that.
Years passed and all seemed forgotten. I overhead her telling an Aunt that it was a phase, or maybe my Aunt said that to her, I’m not quite clear.
To be honest, that incident may be the reason I still have difficulty dating and opening myself up to others to this day. That’s not to say all of my issues boil down to how my mother negatively reacted to finding out her son MIGHT be gay, but maybe there is some lingering trauma there.
It wasn’t until just a couple years ago did I have a full on conversation with her about it (after years of her making comments about women and getting married). We were on a Mother/Son trip together and went to a restaurant for lunch. In the Uber on the way there, she asked me if I’m attracted to women with crazy hair colors like Purple and Pink. It was then I decided to tell her after we ordered our food.
There was a couple sitting at the table right next to us and I didn’t want to be a story that they told their friends later (“You won’t believe it. This old ass Black guy came Out to his mother while we were at lunch today.”) Once they left, I found a way to segue into the discussion and just spit it out.
“Ma, now that I’m getting older I’m thinking about my own mortality and the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Florida last month made me want to make sure that if anything happened me like that, there wouldn’t be any surprises from you and the family. So I just want to make sure you know, y’know, about me being Gay.”
She claimed to already know and said that our whole family knew, and that I “wasn’t fooling anyone.” I told her that I never tried to and that I just wanted her to ease up on all the talk about women since I had already assumed (correctly) that everyone knew the deal. I guess in her head, she was helping me be closeted by playing the part of the clueless mother when the whole time I not only was openly gay in Atlanta, I had created one of the few websites dedicated to Black Gay Men in the world.
Her reaction was both nonchalance and religious disgust.
“I love you but you’re still wicked.”
Yes, my Ma Dukes is one of those people.
We’re still as close as ever but we definitely don’t have the relationship where we can discuss my dating life. I think the only other time I brought it up was before the 2016 election. As a Trump apologist (Yes, she was one of those people too…she’s since found Jesus though), I told her all of the good things that had come under Obama’s Presidency that Trump could try to undo, including the ability for me to get married in this country.
Since then, she hasn’t brought it up, nor have I…
So what’s your story? When and how did you come Out to your Mother (or parents in general)? Was it a positive reaction? Negative? Are things better now?