I decided to finally come out as a lesbian to my parents by writing a ”Dear Mom and Dad” letter after falling in love with a woman. It had become so painful–the silence, not knowing how to respond to my motherʼs questions, imploring me to shave my legs and underarms, to go out with men. I thought it would make things better because I couldnʼt imagine it being any worse.
My motherʼs letter following the one I sent began with the words: “The day we received your letter was the worst day of my life.” She explained that my father blacked out twice in the office that day and that he fell and fractured some ribs. Then she continued “Youʼre not like that. Someone has brainwashed you into believing that youʼre that way.” Towards the end she said “We love you very very much. Please donʼt hurt us.” In the letters to come, “hurt” was to change to “disgrace.”
Contrary to my expectations, my father didnʼt write until a month later. His message was: “our only problem is mother.” His request of me was to never write or speak the words “gay” or “lesbian” to her ever again. “You must give her every chance to believe that you arenʼt that way.”
Years later when my father passed away, my mother forbid me to bring my lover girl-life partner to the funeral. I did anyhow, and this led to even more bitterness and hurt between us. Years after that, she forbid my partner (the same one) to come to her funeral. She came anyway.
I still wonder how anything could have been different. It had become impossible for me not to tell the truth about who I am,. My mother, especially, could never accept me as a lesbian which irreparably wounded our relationship. But I know that being open and honest about my self, my truth, my being, my love for women has given me my life. And I passionately believe in the urgency of telling our truths, despite the consequences.
P.S. We are still together after twenty-one years. In a recent ouija board reading, my mother (as a spirit) told us that she doesnʼt have a problem any more with our relationship.