08 March 2014

Still coming out.

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My dad was one of the first people I came out to.* I was in central Illinois and he was in northern Illinois, and I did it over the phone, my hands shaking the whole time.

He was one of the people I was really nervous about telling. I didn't know how he'd react, so I was afraid that one phone conversation would end my relationship with my dad.

It didn't.

It was hard for him, but he listened. He asked a few questions ("Are you sure?" "How do you know?"), and we ended the conversation. In two years, we haven't talked about it since, except the one time he let me know that George Takei is gay when I was up visiting. For the past couple of years it hasn't been a big deal. I wasn't dating anyone, so it never came up. I was gay, but my dad didn't have to deal with it.

Things are a little different now. I'm dating Yvaine, and it's time to talk to my dad (again) about the fact that I'm gay. It's time to let him know that he can't keep pretending I'm straight.

I know it can take time for friends and family of LGBTQ folks to come around. And I didn't want to give my dad an ultimatum or force him to decide right now whether he accepts me or not. What I did want to do was to make him think about it and realize that he can't ignore my sexuality.

So I told my dad I needed to talk to him when he was alone. I wanted to talk before I went up to Illinois for a quick trip because he'd made plans to see me, and if he needed/wanted to change those plans, he'd have time.

He didn't change his plans. Of course, we didn't really talk about anything once I told him I'm dating someone. We're going to talk about it again once he's had time to think about how he feels about it.

On the scope of things, I know I'm lucky. When I came out to my friends and family, I wasn't disowned or lose anyone because of it (at least that I know of). Most people I've told have been incredibly supportive and understanding. Others have been taken aback, but have since come around. Still others (who I suspect are far less supportive) just don't talk about it, but don't treat me poorly because of it.

I'm thankful for that. But still, I know that dating Yvaine changes things. Saying I'm gay is one thing. Being gay is something else entirely. Apparently.

I don't know what's going to happen when my dad and I talk again. He might be fine. He might not. He might want to meet Yvaine. He might tell me that someone I'm in a relationship with is not welcome in his house. He might avoid the conversation for far longer than he should.

In the meantime, we're having dinner when I'm in town next week. And we'll just have to see what happens.

*A teeny bit over two years ago, actually.

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