My family’s evolving reaction to my sexuality is a continual source of learning and frustration. Like many people, I was raised in an incredibly fundamentalist environment, and have since declared, “I’m Gay! Really, really gay!” So it was frustrating, but not that suprising, when I was de-invited from my aunt’s Thanksgiving and Christmas parties last year. Well, I wasn’t exactly deinvited: only the parts of me they found objectionable.
So this year, when my Aunt Fonda called to tell me about Christmas, I was prepared to politely decline. I raised the issue of Garrett last year, and they’d made their feelings abundantly clear. Imagine my suprise (and, admittedly, suspicion) after declining the invitation when Fonda asked, “um, well, uh, would it make a difference if we invited Garrett, too?” OK, so not exactly the warm, welcoming acceptance we’d like to feel, but it’s a baby step, none the less.
Last night was said Christmas party, and we managed to escape without any confrontations or incidents. I got to hold Isabelle, my cousin’s new baby, and my other cousin and her husband were in town from Florida. Overall, not a bad night.
Of course, it’s not all well: no one can seem to remember what Garrett does or where he works. My dad, my mom, my siblings and their husbands. No one. Every month or so when we see them, they ask, “now what do you do?” Please, if you must be polite, at least remember what you’re being polite about! It was suprising (pleasantly) last night, then, when Aaron, my cousin’s husband, asked Garrett about work. And knew what he did. And knew where he worked. And did I mention that Aaron and Bobby live in Florida? And that we haven’t seen them in over a year? Yeah.