In 1996 I was eighteen years of age. Jodeci’s “Freakin You” remix featuring Wu-Tang was coming from the speakers in my dorm room. Towel under the door, window open so the room would not be too cloudy with weed smoke. I am playing the fighting game Killer Instincts for the Nintendo 64…Beautiful day it was. The phone rang and it was my mother. She was in the process of moving our belongings out of our house. She was getting remarried and was moving in with my soon to be step father. After some small talk and to let me know how things were going; she said she wanted to ask me a question. While packing my room up she found a VHS cassette box. I was like okay. She said “well on the cover there is a man with another man’s ding-a-ling in his mouth”.
The phone hit the floor along with my mouth.
See before I went home on Christmas break at the end of 1995; under the cover of night, I made the trek off campus to a local adult video store. I proceeded to purchase a gay video to enjoy while in the comforts of my old room. After having watched and subsequently masturbated to said gay video; it was discarded under some trash in the outside trash can due to the abundance of wackiness that was produced on said video. (Damn I hate getting a horrible porn movie?)
In my disgust I forgot to get rid of the box the video came in, which at that moment was now the cause of my high being blown and my mother questioning me about the box to this wack ass gay porn movie that I wished I never purchased…DAMN DAMN DAMN!
I picked the phone up off the floor and proceeded to tell my mom some lame story about me just being curious concerning what was on the video and not being gay. Long story short, she was relieved and told me she disposed of the cover and no one saw it. She told me she loved me and everything was packed up and waiting for me in my new room when I got home. Yes dodged a bullet with that one.
Fast forward to the year 1999. At 22 years of age, I was at home in my new room, struggling with my feelings after having had sex with another man, I decided to do what Oprah said and write down my thoughts in hopes of providing a sense of relief and giving me some clarity. I would read my words periodically in attempts for peace of mind of my actions. I would keep the pages folded up and hidden inside of a SOURCE magazine.
The year 2000. My dysfunctional step brother has now moved in. He and his father have major issues. To make way for my growing comic book collection, I have put the majority of my magazines in milk crates and stored them in the garage. In his usual state of being bored with nothing to do, the step brother decides to thumb through and read the aging SOURCE magazines stored in the garage and finds my now forgotten folded pages of my words and thoughts.
He then proceeds to call his friends and read it to them on the phone. During one of his calls, my mother over hears the conversation (not the details mind you) walks up on him, hangs up the phone and takes the infamous document. Later that night she explains to me what happened. She stated she didn’t read it, knew it was something personal and put it upstairs in my nightstand. I was clueless as to what it maybe but believe me, I was shocked when I got up stairs to my room and realized what it was.
After a few moments of panic, I thought, Oh well.
A couple of weeks pass and moms is taking the household laundry back to their respective rooms. When she gets to my step brother’s room… I will be damned! Moms recognizes my hand writing and realizes my damn document is on this bastards night stand. So this fucker has been in my room, went through my shit and took the damn pages again. What in the hell?
But this time mom’s reaction is a little different. Mama is like…what the hell is so fascinating about these damn raggedy ass pages that keep popping up in this house. So she reads it.
Days pass and she is acting a little different.
One week end day the conversation comes up about the chaos my step brother is causing in the house. Dude has been going through everybody’s belongings when he has been home by himself but his dumb ass didn’t have the sense enough to put things back after he had been snooping. The conversation shifts to the fascination he had with the letter. Out the blue, she said she read it and wanted to know if I was gay.
I cringed and said “yes I am”. She put her hand over her mouth and slowly moved across the room to sit down. I couldn’t believe I had just come out to my mother. She was visibly confused. I hung my head in silence and waited for her to speak. “How long have you known?” she asks. I said “for a long time.” I didn’t want to tell her I was seven or eight years old when I had my first inclinations. Years later she confessed to me that after I told her, for weeks she would think back on our conversation when she was alone and cry.
She said she felt so hurt because she always looked forward to my wedding and playing with her grand children. She stated she was clueless even after finding the porn video cover because she didn’t think gay people were masculine.
Many deep conversations have taken place over the years with my mother concerning my sexuality. I was more than happy to share my life with her and in the process offer clarity in the many misconceptions she had about homosexuality.
I understand I am very fortunate. Not just because my mother is still living but because we have all heard the horror stories that result when folk come out to their family and friends. I never had any feelings of guilt or rejection from my mother concerning my sexuality. She has always said “regardless I will always love you, you are my baby”.
I remember one of the best conversations I had with my mother came about as a result of an article that I read entitled
10 Questions to Ask Your Mother.
Some of the questions are;
–What’s the one thing you would have done differently as a mom?
-Is there anything you have always wanted to tell me but never have?
-Why did you choose to be with my father?
The conversation we had around these questions easily went on for over 5 hours and I found out things not only about my mother but about our family in general that I never knew.
My mother is a part of my life. She has visited and stayed with me and my partner and cracks jokes and laughs right along with us. My twisted, unorthodox sense of humor definitely comes from her.
My heart fills with joy when I think about how close my mother and I have grown together over the years.
I love you Mom…Happy Mother’s Day!
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