do you think they know that sunday brunch is the gayest meal of the week?

Internet, I should tell you what happened afterwards! Bullet points are the most merciful choice here because it was a long-ass weekend:

  • Parents, stepmother, grandfather and cousin declared unconditional support
  • Dad sent pointed email (cc’d everyone!) to homo-loathing family member. Email included words such as “cruel,” “exclusionary,” and “apologize”
  • Dad’s repeated viewings of heartwarming GLBT films (beginning with “Go Fish” in 1993 – my fault!) inspire request: put anger aside; high road; French toast and forgiveness; c’mon. Dad’s vision: victory of tolerance over bigotry; dignity over dehumanization; set to triumphant Ani DiFranco musical score, heavy on percussion. Dad said, “teachable moment!”
  • Dad so sweet
  • But am not educational documentary made flesh; sorry. Buy homo-loather Andrew Sullivan book or Advocate magazine, OK? Find high-school production of The Laramie Project!
  • But then self began wavering! Self was suddenly Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof” when redheaded daughter takes up with non-Jew! (“On the other hand…”)
  • “THERE *IS* NO OTHER HAND!”
  • Homo-loather pressured from all sides to apologize
  • Have not heard from homo-loather yet
  • Am OK with that: Apology nice; no apology also fine
  • People allowed opinions! Even terrible/wrong opinions!
  • But do not have to subject self to them if can help it, right?
  • Family did brunch thing
  • Invented new veggie casserole for lone self to enjoy with beer while watching Seasons 3 and 4 of “Queer As Folk” to help maintain militant attitude
  • Chuckled warmly at “Queer As Folk,” which was filmed in Toronto and should have been titled “Earnest Canadian Acting With Buttsex”
  • Girlfriend (“beloved life partner” to YOU, homo-loather) canceled visit due to legit family emergency of non-emotionally-wounding variety
  • Two family members emailed “family photo” of the brunch
  • Never has such a well-meaning gesture been so insensitive OR so poorly received
  • Was pretty buzzed by then
  • What else, what else
  • Oh yeah, Dad said aunt by marriage showed up wearing horrible Civil War-era badger neck-fur coat (not fur solely FROM badger neck; complete badger fur worn AROUND aunt’s neck) with badger head on one end fastened to badger tail on other; so badger looks like eating own tail, and aunt said something SO HORRIBLE! SHOCK AND AWE!  that karma was, at least, a little bit served.

UPDATE: Received – and accepted – heartfelt, genuine apology/promise to do better from (former!?) homo-loather. Also received chocolate cake. The mind boggles, pleasantly.

UPDATE 2: No one will repeat what badger neck-fur coat aunt said. By all accounts was not homo-related though. Small blessings, self. Small blessings.

My family threw a bomb, so I threw one back. Here’s the email.

Dear family,

I’d like to explain why I won’t be joining you for any of the lovely weekend events planned for Grandpa’s birthday: It has been gently, kindly explained to me (via text message) that my beloved partner’s presence makes one of you uncomfortable;  therefore, I am not welcome to bring her along.

I would like you, dear family, to imagine being told by someone you adore and admire that the sweetest, best person in your life – the person you have waited and hoped and worked for until the cusp of middle age – is a source of discomfort. Imagine that the smartest, wisest, most full-of-integrity person you have ever known; the one with whom you are finally your best self, is not welcome among the people you have loved since the day you were born.

Imagine being expected to understand this and just sort of be cool with it.

Now imagine being un-invited to the Sunday brunch you bought a new outfit for; all the while excitedly telling your partner: I can’t wait for you to spend some time with my family! You’ve never even met my grandfather; my uncle John or cousin Mike!

Imagine the person you love. Go ahead. Really bring that person to the forefront of your mind. Let him or her wash over you in all his or her inimitable verve. Think about the way he or she forgives your mistakes; encourages your dreams; gives your life form and color and meaning.

Now imagine, if you can, that your family requires you to treat that person like he or she doesn’t matter; doesn’t even exist. You are only welcome if you come alone. You are only welcome if you STAY alone. Like, for the rest of your life.

You are only welcome if you lie.

Never. That’s a thing that will never happen. If you’re surprised by this in the slightest, then you don’t know me at all.

Because that is a denial of my full humanity, dear family, however kindly it is put to me. Every gay and lesbian person knows that this denial will come, and often, but we hope it is delivered by strangers or cable television personalities with bad hair. Better the rock; the brick; the can of spray paint; the loud, ugly scream of “FUCKIN’ DYKE” from a stranger, than the gentlest denial of our humanity from our own families.

I hope you have a beautiful weekend together.  I love you all very much.

But also? I love myself.

 

— Your daughter, granddaughter, niece, and cousin,

Phonaesthetica