copyright © 2005 Dale Gregory

Family Outing

By Dale Gregory

© 2001

(LIGHTS UP on Young Man)

Coming out of the closet to your family is supposed to be a rite of passage. Like my cousin Troy. When he came out to his parents there was people screaming, dishes being thrown across the room and threats of aversion therapy camps. My Uncle Bob kicked Troy out of the house and told him that he was dead to him.

It didn’t go that way for me. Last weekend with my family? I flew all the way to Ohio to come out to them. I did it over dinner. I just blurted it out. "Everyone I’m gay!"

My rite of passage?

They laughed. (beat) They didn’t believe me. It was a circus of mockery. I felt unsettled and very confused. A lot like I do when I hear Madonna sing live.

Then my mom stopped laughing long enough to tell me that she disagreed with me. (beat) Disagreed? -as if we were debating. She told me that I couldn’t be gay because I played soccer, had no sense of the aesthetic and wore cheap, ready-made department store clothing. (beat) Lesbian, she said she could believe, but not gay.

My sister said that I was too tall and big to be gay and that all of her gay friends had nice asses. Excuse me, but I have a great ass!

Then my dad told me that I lacked the fun, sharp wit and sense of humor that they’ve all come to appreciate in my cousin Troy . "I have a sense of humor", I yelled.

Again laughter and again my mother saying "like a lesbian".

I told her that she was being offensive and that I knew plenty more witty lesbians then I do gay men. She said that only a lesbian would say that! That just got them all riled up again.

Finally, to stop them from laughing, I yelled out that anal sex was very much underrated and surprisingly not that painful.

They just laughed harder and mom almost passed out because she couldn’t catch her breath.

It wasn’t supposed to go this way. It was supposed to be like when Troy came out of the closet. People screaming and glass smashing …

If only dad could have been more like Uncle Bob. I wanted him to hit me, spit at me-something. Do you know what he did instead? He slapped me on the ass and told me to either femme it up or give it up.

What in the hell does that mean?

I don’t know if I came out to my family or not.


Dale Gregory

© 2001



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