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I wanted to be a real person to my parents again
February 19, 2013 11:55 AM   Subscribe

"Y'ALLQUEERS BETTER BE ON YOUR BEST BEHAVIOR, I AM HERE WITH MY MOTHER AND IT'S HER FIRST TIME IN A GAY BAR SO YOU JUST STOP THAT HANKY-PANKY RIGHT THIS SECOND."

(it takes a while to get started but this post made me a lil misty-eyed)
posted by showbiz_liz (72 comments total) 121 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Thanks to this comment for pointing me towards this blog!)
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:56 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Aww! That's ... that's wonderful. Adorable. And now I, too, am misty eyed. WHAT'S WITH THE FUCKING MIST AROUND THESE PARTS.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:07 PM on February 19, 2013 [6 favorites]


You can search down for "Commence backstory!", which is where the story really starts. And you should, because it's a really nice sweet story.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:08 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Indeed this is a great story, multicolor and font chaos and all.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:08 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aw, that was wonderful!
posted by griphus at 12:13 PM on February 19, 2013


That was a great story. I'd love to read the postcards she exchanged with her mom. All that chaos on the page makes me think that those would be some great postcards.
posted by gladly at 12:16 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


If this mist fucks up my computer I'm going to be pissed.

What a fantastic story.
posted by rtha at 12:19 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Best. Best. Best.
posted by odinsdream at 12:21 PM on February 19, 2013


That feeling where you get from 'not talking about it' acceptance to the other kind is just about the best thing in the world.

And for better or worse, it never stops feeling kinda magical.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:26 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?
posted by asnider at 12:29 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


DAWWW
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:30 PM on February 19, 2013


That feeling where you get from 'not talking about it' acceptance to the other kind is just about the best thing in the world.

And for better or worse, it never stops feeling kinda magical.


"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?" he asked somewhat seriously.
posted by RolandOfEld at 12:31 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nthing DAWWW.
posted by Glinn at 12:33 PM on February 19, 2013


Fuckkkk. Why the hell did I decide to read this at work when I knew I'd start crying?
posted by kmz at 12:33 PM on February 19, 2013


Blogging. That's how it's done.
posted by NedKoppel at 12:34 PM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?" he asked somewhat seriously.

Wouldn't it be though? It's like... a meal after a fast is way way more satisfying than a normal meal, you know?
posted by kmz at 12:37 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?

Probably. :P
posted by nosila at 12:37 PM on February 19, 2013 [14 favorites]


"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?" he asked somewhat seriously.

Roughly 2.3 millimerlins less magical, but if the new Weights and Measures bill is passed by the council, it will be about 5.6 centipotters more, so who the hell knows.
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on February 19, 2013 [16 favorites]


Awwww. Thanks for this. That was great!
posted by zarq at 12:42 PM on February 19, 2013


"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?" he asked somewhat seriously.

More magical, yes. Magical is not the same thing as "desirable" or "ideal," of course.
posted by Tomorrowful at 12:44 PM on February 19, 2013 [8 favorites]


asnider: "Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?"

The protagonist, like the story's formatting, is unconventional.

The story's lesson is (in part) that it can be wonderful when people throw off traditional shackles and embrace the unconventional.
posted by zarq at 12:47 PM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like that I automatically read that in a western drawl. Made it much sweeter.
posted by dry white toast at 12:48 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I read this when she posted it and I'm so glad it made it to the blue. That was the day I just couldn't wash the onion juice off my hands...

(and FWIW, I like the formatting because it makes it read like a conversation in my brain and I have a much better sense of voice than I get from my normal superfast skim over text. I can understand why people find it annoying though.).
posted by raeka at 12:49 PM on February 19, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?

Select all, copy, alt-Tab to Notepad/vim/whatever, paste. Well worth it.
posted by gurple at 12:49 PM on February 19, 2013


Very nice. Having watched my parents (81, 76) deal with my sister's coming out, all I can think is what awesome people they are. No drama, just acceptance, her partner is part of our family and that's all there is to it. We all agreed that we'd never seen my sister happier and that was really the only thing that mattered. Having a functional family is a wonderful thing.
posted by doctor_negative at 12:50 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Love it. Weird and true: When I was 15, I had a dream in which my parents took me to a gay bar for my 16th birthday. The tension was, I was scared someone would show they knew me, because I was already used to going there on weekends when my parents went away. LOL! But then when my birthday came, we did go to a bar, just not a gay one. Dad was mistaken about who was playing, thinking it was the son of some friends.
posted by Goofyy at 12:53 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, this is great.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:55 PM on February 19, 2013


"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?" he asked somewhat seriously.

More magical, yes. Magical is not the same thing as "desirable" or "ideal," of course.


Exactly. (This is a much less depressing answer than my "I wish I knew.")
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:56 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


I loved the formatting and typography because it felt like I could see and hear the author telling the story, with exaggerated gesticulations and eyebrow-raisings and funny voices and all. It's not how I'd want to read everything everywhere, but for something like this it felt really perfect.
posted by rtha at 1:00 PM on February 19, 2013 [25 favorites]


The illustrations / reactions are great. They're not gratuitous clutter -- they add so much humor.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:06 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?

I loved the formatting. It was a great departure from the usual blog blandness, and it was actually a nice little throwback to when blogging meant you were hand-crafting your posts, rather than using some cookie-cutter shit.
posted by odinsdream at 1:14 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?

Actually, I LOVED it for the formatting. In particular, the picture selection was great -- as in, "professional art director" great.

Hurray for the daughter who gave her parents another shot and hurray for The Mom who reached out
posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


This was extremely sweet. Tears!
posted by xarnop at 1:19 PM on February 19, 2013


How do people who swear so much keep making me cry today?
posted by maryr at 1:25 PM on February 19, 2013


Loved this story.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:27 PM on February 19, 2013


More magical, yes. Magical is not the same thing as "desirable" or "ideal," of course.

Magic always has a price.
posted by maryr at 1:29 PM on February 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?"

i can speak to this personally. i'm queer/bi and was raised mormon. one parent is out of the church now and one is still involved. they apparently both knew i probably wasn't straight before i told them and this had been a topic of great concern, i hear.

i told my recently non-member dad first (they had divorced after decades just a couple months before). he was immediately accepting and curious. it was every queer kid's dream. he took me to hooters (uh, nice try dad, but a little off base). as for my mom, that was a harder sell. a family member outed me to her a couple years after i told my dad, which didn't help. she was beside herself with grief, wondering how she had failed me, saying all sorts of (unintentionally) offensive things. i pulled a way. it got pretty bad. then, slowly but surely she came around, and even tried to set me up with another woman a time or two. she still isn't thrilled and nearly had a ticker tape parade when i married someone with a penis, but she is still in my life and there's no crying (over that topic at least).

so, i had instant acceptance from one and what felt like a magical change from the other. the instant acceptance is totally preferred, but it doesn't feel magical. it just feels like you got to share good news and the other person took it as good news. magical is when there's a change you thought was impossible, which for a lot of us queer kids is our best case scenario with some relatives.
posted by nadawi at 1:38 PM on February 19, 2013 [12 favorites]


Thanks for posting this. I love it. (And I love the formatting, too.)
posted by small_ruminant at 1:43 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?

Instapaper Text (scroll to the bottom of the page) is your friend.

That was a very sweet story, and not just for LGBT folks. People change all the time, and sometimes our loved ones just have a really hard time with that. But true love waits, and sometimes it has to wait a long time and it still isn't perfect but like she said, it's a start.

Wonderful story.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:44 PM on February 19, 2013


i absolutely adore the formatting.
posted by nadawi at 1:44 PM on February 19, 2013


I know, right. I totally expect to see strict adherence to a staid typographical style when I visit a Blogspot called "effingdykes."
posted by NedKoppel at 1:49 PM on February 19, 2013 [10 favorites]


Magic always has a price.

Yes, but it's easy to be the pawn of magic, because magic makes lots of promises.
posted by Green With You at 1:52 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


There sure is a lot of pollen in the air today, it's making my eyes water like crazy! I'm so glad she got the idea to send a post-card a day. What a brilliant idea.
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 1:56 PM on February 19, 2013


Just so everyone knows I wasn't being snarky or dismissive, maybe a bit cynical but I really just wanted to hear the discourse, which has been great. Thanks.
posted by RolandOfEld at 1:57 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is it wrong that I couldn't get past the hideous formatting?
posted by asnider at 12:29 PM on February 19 [1 favorite +] [!]


Copy it all, paste into whatever word processor, and set the font for "helvetica".

All better now?
posted by she's not there at 1:58 PM on February 19, 2013


Also, thanks for posting this - it's such a lovely, heart-warming story.
posted by she's not there at 1:59 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Even when I knew that moment was coming, I still choked up and had to quickly find a spreadsheet to edit.

It took something special for her to do her postcard thing the way she did it, and I can't imagine a better reward. I hope her parents continue to blossom and the lightness of her heart persists.
posted by batmonkey at 2:06 PM on February 19, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is why the postal service is a national treasure, you guys.
posted by BlueJae at 2:09 PM on February 19, 2013 [35 favorites]


oh that was beautiful. Thank you.
posted by KathrynT at 2:41 PM on February 19, 2013


Beautiful. I loved it--and loved the crazy fonts and formatting, because all of it was completely in character with the writer! Thank you so much for posting this.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 2:46 PM on February 19, 2013


(Thanks to this comment for pointing me towards this blog!)

Weird. I know two people pictured in that blog entry (one is Gertie from Blog for Better Sewing; the other is, AFAIK, not a public figure). Really strange.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 2:48 PM on February 19, 2013


She accepts photo submissions so all manner of people are likely to wander through.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:53 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but a lot of the pics seem reblogged from tumblr. The Gertie pic definitely looks like a standard shot from her blog. Not that it really matters--pretty typical blogstuff WRT reblogging photos with sketchy tumblr attributions. Just an unexpected place to find her, that's all.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 3:03 PM on February 19, 2013


Aw, that made me tear up at work. So awesome.
posted by sarcasticah at 3:19 PM on February 19, 2013


<3
posted by salishsea at 3:20 PM on February 19, 2013


This warms my heart. That's all. Don't give a damn about the format.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:47 PM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh yes!!!! This made me feel all kinds of good. Beautiful.
posted by kinnakeet at 5:38 PM on February 19, 2013


Aw man, I was having such a cynical 'I Hate Everybody!!' day ; this just ended that. Daaawwwwww indeed.
posted by Fig at 6:24 PM on February 19, 2013


This made me miss my mom.
posted by govtdrone at 6:52 PM on February 19, 2013 [3 favorites]


Awww. That was great all around. Her parents must have been so glad when she started writing those postcards; what a good idea.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:54 PM on February 19, 2013


That feeling where you get from 'not talking about it' acceptance to the other kind is just about the best thing in the world.

And for better or worse, it never stops feeling kinda magical.

"More magical than having someone close to you accept you from the git'go?" he asked somewhat seriously.


I would say that for someone who has very little, winning a million dollars in a lottery is more magical than someone who already has millions who wins the same, dontchathink?
posted by greta simone at 8:12 PM on February 19, 2013


I'm verklempt, in a good way.

I feel really lucky - I don't know if it's just easier to come out as bi (especially as a woman), but my mom was totally understanding from day one. There's been more tension in the extended family over our support for equal marriage, but we just refuse to backdown on that.

But reading this did make me wish I had gone to lesbian bars when I was single. Being too nerdy for any bars, I missed out on dancing with all the handsome women.
posted by jb at 8:30 PM on February 19, 2013


Hello gay people!

I just wanted to thank all of you wonderful, beautiful people for being brave and patient with all us straights. Listen, I know it's really not your responsibility to convince us that you're cool and if you decide you want to just write us off, that's totally understandable. But here's the thing: once we get over ourselves and get to know you, in *almost every case*, we find out we love you!

So here's the thing. We understand a lot of people have died. A lot of people live with an awful lot of misery. But among us straights, it feels like real change and equality is right around the corner. Momentum is with you. We see more of you on our TVs and even some of our preachers and leaders are telling us its ok to tolerate you. There's even a gay living down the street from us and we say hi to his boyfriend every morning when we're walking the dog; so far, our marriage is still intact and we don't think they're trying to convert our kids with their agenda.

What we're saying is, we like, understand in our head, that you have a right to exist and have rights and stuff even if we get squicked out by two dudes kissing. But we might be ready for you to, you know, "be gay" in front of us now. Like, if you want to make out at movies, or have us over for a gay barbecue with that terrible music you like, we'd be totally honored to bring the crab dip, even though we have no right to expect the invitation.

Cheers,
The Straights
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:12 PM on February 19, 2013 [4 favorites]


Awwwwww.
posted by medusa at 10:05 PM on February 19, 2013


This is an incredibly tiring way to read a sweet story.
posted by robcorr at 12:12 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great story, thanks for posting.
posted by Daddy-O at 1:06 AM on February 20, 2013


And now I'm all misty-eyed at my desk. I have a love/hate relationship with Effing Dykes, and this falls squarely on the side of love.
posted by libraritarian at 5:56 AM on February 20, 2013


I just bawled my eyes out. Damn. Thanks for posting this.
posted by joannemerriam at 11:00 AM on February 20, 2013


Like, if you want to make out at movies, or have us over for a gay barbecue with that terrible music you like, we'd be totally honored to bring the crab dip, even though we have no right to expect the invitation.

I appreciate what you're trying to get across, and gays are thrilled to have straight friends, advocates, and allies, but something bothers me here. Hear me out.

Y'know, I think you'd be surprised, maybe, to know that not all gays like "that terrible music" that we're supposed to like, whatever that is, or throw "gay barbecues," whatever those are. We're possibly more like you than you think, some of us, maybe even most of us. We watch TV, we pay bills, we get up and go to work in the morning. We walk our dogs and pick up their poop. We pay taxes, too, even though in the US, the government uses those taxes to discriminate against our committed relationships and to pass laws that explicitly deny us hundreds of rights and benefits that are accorded to straight folks automatically. So, no, maybe you (and I mean here the same generic "you" that you use in your comment) don't, like, understand enough that we have "rights and stuff." Because we really don't have the rights you think we have. Not yet, and maybe not ever, if the majorities in many state legislatures and in the US House have anything to do with it. It may look like we have all those rights on the news and on TV and in the movies. But no. We don't.

I'm gay and I'm not wonderful or beautiful and I'm not cool (never was, never will be) and I'm definitely not brave or patient. I'm a coward and a fool and I kind of have a bad impatience habit, actually. I'm pretty ordinary. And I'm just trying to live my life, like everyone else is, gay or not. To be honest, I don't care if you love me or hate me or are indifferent. Just leave me alone and don't try to legislate my life and my marriage out of existence.

And I don't really go in for making out at the movies, but being able to hold my husband's hand in public once in a while without attracting stares or worse would be great. So would not having waitpersons ask me and my husband every single time we go out whether we want separate checks. No, we don't want separate checks, fuck you very much.

As for change, if there's anything I've seen in my life, it's that it comes in fits and starts -- it may look like it's around the corner now, but there may be setbacks and reversals and retrenchments along the way, and they may be big ones. I'm just grateful as hell when good change does happen, all the while cognizant that nothing is certain and permanent.
posted by blucevalo at 11:43 AM on February 20, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't really want anyone making out in front of me in the movie theater, thank you.
posted by maryr at 12:47 PM on February 20, 2013


You are totally right of course, blucevalo. I'm just charmed in the last couple years that a lot of my relatives in flyover land, who don't think they know any gay people, have in the last year moved from "How unnatural!" to "Hey, these people exist and they're just normal people!" At my son's birthday party recently, my hard core catholic conservative parents had perfectly lovely conversation with the three sets of same sex parents (this is Wallingford, ask anyone in Seattle) and afterward told me how much they enjoyed talking to so and so without *once* mentioning their orientation.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:00 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's a great story, Slarty Bartfast. Sorry for coming across as peevish above. The original post's a great story, too. I know that saying "I never thought I'd live to see the day" is a cliche, but in this case, it's also true. Going back 25 or 30 years when gays were either punchlines for Eddie Murphy monologues or tragic, dying, beaten-down, ostracized figures in indie movies and indie songs, and otherwise in the eyes of the media and other realms of mass culture virtually non-existent for all other intents and purposes, I really did believe that I'd never see the day.
posted by blucevalo at 1:27 PM on February 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


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