Monday, May 22, 2006

if you don't tell, my family won't ask

This past weekend was my families’ annual extended family BBQ get-together. Extended meaning; aunts, uncles, cousins and such. We see each other three times a year. For a BBQ in October and May and then some of said family gets together at Christmas time. Part of said family doesn't get-together to celebrate Jesus’ birthday. You know, the reason to eat in abundance and swap white elephant gifts. Because it can't be proven that Jesus was actually born on this date and because Christmas and its true meaning isn't actually represented on this day.
Okay then.
So, extended family was all gathered around for the feast of hot dogs and carbohydrate goodness. I should also point out that everyone, with the exception of my family (meaning mom, dad, brothers and in-laws) are all pretty damn religious. I was raised Baptist. Southern Baptist. No drinking, pre-marital sex, cussing, drugs, co-habitation prior to marriage, dancing, or earrings are permitted; cause, you know that's all in the Bible as no-no's (Ew, smell the sarcasm.) So, I would pretty much be seen as one big-o-sinner in the eyes of many in my extended family.
I went to a private Christian school through the middle of 5th grade. I was then thrown to the wolves, lions and other wild beasts known as the public school system. I went from being the good little Christian girl who questioned things a little too much for the taste of her teachers to the public school girl who still questioned everything a little too much but, the teachers were actually happy to answer me. I was drinking by junior high and started smoking cigarettes at 12. (Quit at 19. Smoking that is.) I'm pretty sure had I stayed in the private school sector I would have been kicked out promptly and happily by the school administrators.
Sunday school also went to the wayside around the same time. I'm not 100% sure, but I think my mom was pissed at God for a number of things and so she was more than happy to oblige our, "Oh, mom, do we have to's?" That were said to her on early Sunday mornings. So, bye-bye to church. Hello, to lazy Sundays. My family has embraced 'sinning' and all it's wonderous glories.
But, I digress.
My point is, and I do have one, is that my younger cousin is gay. I've known he was gay for awhile. My gay-dar was going wild around him. But he didn't actually come out to me until we were at a house party a mutual friend of ours was having. How did he come out to me? Well, it was a house full of flaming gay men and I was the only female there and we literally ran into each other. Ta dah! Out of the closet he came.
He and I weren't ever that close. We're about ten years apart in age and his family would be part of the barn-burning Christians in my extended family. However, at this party and through running into each other at the bar and various other house parties we have actually become acquainted with each other and have a lot in common. However, I would be the only one who 'knows' that he is gay. Why? Well, because if he actually came out to his family they would disown him. The same grandparents who have laid a guilt trip on him for moving away to go to graduate school, the same aunts and uncles who support him in all other decisions of his life; would cut him off in a twirl on the dance floor if he came out. It makes absolutely no sense to me. They preach God's love. Go to church every Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night, yet the same people would disown their own flesh and blood because he is a 'sinner.' You know, because he loves someone of the same sex.
So, I am the only one who he can talk to and be completely and totally himself around. The only one in the family who won't reject or disown him, pray for his soul because he is gay. The only one who wouldn't be convinced that he is going to hell.
How utterly ridiculous.
I simply can't wrap my brain around it. Or perhaps it's that I simply don't want to.


TrappedInColorado said...

Yeah. It makes me crazy when they are so blantantly contradictory in preaching love and their actions. It used to make me very angry. "Anger results from the turmoil we create when we demand that life be fair." Life isn't fair but why do they have to get so much press?

I'm enjoying your postings.


Phollower said...

Of course he'll go to hell. Why do you think they call them "flaming"? But think of all the fabulous company he'll have. I'm not gay but if Christian law makes the rules I'll be meeting him there for a number of other indiscetions. And if he asks me to dance, I just might.

Sue said...

I completely agree -- I hate that people have to hide in the closet of someone else's makings -- life is hard enough without having to police who you love and what you say to whom etc. Great site :)

Mikey said...

It's a sad thing that parents dissown their kids for being gay. For Gods sake grow up!! We were born this way. If God didn't want us to be gay he should have made us straight.