Nobody raises a gay child by choice. And even when parents suspect their child is gay, they hope otherwise. Watching a video by Davey Wavey, a YouTube personality that I really like, talking to his mother about his coming out, was both moving and saddening.
David’s mother said that she said that she and her husband had never talked about David being gay because: ” You never say it out loud. It’s like if you have cancer. If you say it out loud, it’s going to go happen, so you never say it out loud. You keep it quiet because it’s going to go away.” How honest, but how tragic. That a parent would think about homosexuality in the same way they think about cancer is a sad commentary on how homosexuality has been seen in our culture.
It made me wonder what my parents had discussed when I was growing up. Did they never say out loud, our son might be a homosexual? My mother, aunt, and grandmother certainly had their suspicions that I could be homosexual, but I doubt much was ever discussed with my father.
I could imagine my grandmother and aunt discussing what they might call effeminate or homosexual tendencies — the language of the day. I’m not sure what they would have discussed with my mother, preferring not to have that conversation. My father, when I was a child, always seemed so masculine, cold, and driven. Dad was probably outside any discussions that took place with the women.
But my father was clearly disappointed in his less than athletic son who wined when he tried to teach him basketball and was bored at football and baseball games. He let me know by his coolness and distance that I did not measure up. He always seemed more interested in my sister, who he could have ‘deep worldly’ conversations with.
No, nobody raises a gay child by choice. My parents certainly didn’t, and while they are fully supportive of me today, back in 1971 when I was discovering my sexuality, I couldn’t imagine telling them that I was gay.