THAT THIN RUBBER WALL

Hello to all, people of the forum, and sorry for the long absence from the discussions, now that I have more free time I promise to participate more diligently. Here are some of my last year reflections; I would like to know what you think about it, or if you have had similar moments with your parents.

Let’s start from this assumption: I did my coming out with my mother in June last year. I thought everything would be pretty smooth with her: she’s an open person and has lots of homosexual friends and acquaintances. Before doing this great step I consulted with a cousin of mine, who has long known of my homosexuality, to ask him how he thought my mother could take it. He claimed that there would be no problems whatsoever; the same was told to me by a friend of my mother, a person whom I have always trusted a lot and to whom I had asked for advice in order to prepare my plan.

I still remember the scene: my mother had come to see me that day in the city where I was studying. I thought of telling her everything as soon as she arrived. For months I could not stand the silence, having to bypass certain questions, even on a simple “how are you?” or “what do you do?” In a word, I couldn’t stand anymore that I couldn’t be myself in front of her. The thing had become more acute after the previous month, May 2014, when I had begun the relationship with my current boyfriend. “So,” I told myself that morning, “as soon as she gets here, I’ll tell her.” Obviously I didn’t succeed. I waited, while we were in my house, to find the right moment. Since at such moments we are always kissed by the blindfolded goddess, what I never wanted to happen happened: by accidentally rummaging in a drawer, she found an old pornographic DVD (gay) of which I didn’t even remember the existence (I thought that I hadn’t it anymore). I took it from her hands, made a thousand improvised excuses and threw the DVD away within two seconds.

The moment I was patiently preparing the ground for my coming out, this was naturally a mess. The height of misfortune was reached when, by chance, a backpack fell from the top of my closet, opening itself and letting go out a box of condoms carefully hidden by me there. As they say: so lucky! All this, as well as unexpected, also seemed tragicomic to me. On either occasion my mother didn’t make a wrinkle; nevertheless my delicate and meticulously constructed plan to introduce the discourse had gone, to put it mildly, to hell. I remember that we went out, seemingly I was the the same guy as in the morning, but inside I cursed myself, for having forgotten the DVD there and for the unfortunate coincidence of the backpack.

We went to eat out in a restaurant. And there I told her everything, between one dish and another; I didn’t use the word gay or homosexual, I didn’t have time to speak clearly. I mentioned something I wanted to tell her and after a few tentative attempts she said to me: “Are you with a boyfriend?” And I replied: “Yes”, with the sensation of throwing myself headlong into a black chasm, where I hoped to find a soft surface that would have mitigated the fall, but it was not like that.

I still remember her gaze at that moment: it was as if a wasp had stung her; in her eyes I read for a moment her pain, an unexpected pain, never imagined. After about a second she came back to her usual way of doing, but there was a touch of coldness in the voice. I realized that my predictions were wrong, that I had thrown myself down and had banged my head violently. “I would have never imagined …”, she told me. “I know how sensitive you are, but I never would have imagined.” Then she resumed with an institutional, very cold tone. “it will take me a while to metabolize. It is not easy for us. No nephews (I am an only child n.d.r.). You did well to tell me. On the other hand we have a very close relationship. Many people never say these things, for a lifetime. Don’t tell dad, he would never understand. Perhaps, with the good that he wants you, one day maybe yes… or maybe not … it’s better to avoid, I think. The soup is tasty, isn’t it? We have to go back here, they make a nice home cooking.” I swear to you that at that moment I wanted to die. It had not gone well. I had hardly seen my mother, usually so warm with everyone, taking on such a cold attitude. At the exit she told me: “Well, hug me”. But it was not a hug, or at least, not one of those I had always received, this one was certainly the coldest. Then nothing more. I was very upset.

Then in the evening I forced myself to stop thinking about it. It was my last night in the city where I had studied and lived for four years and a furious storm raged, I had seen similar rains only during the monsoons. I had greeted my mother as if nothing had happened. In the following days we talked on the phone; she seemed much quieter, even cheerful. She simply told me she wanted to talk a little better with me about the thing. Several times I threw the hook, while she and I were alone at home, when I was home for the summer. We didn’t discuss a second time about it: every time I was about to start talking about it she stopped me saying that it was not the moment and nobody said anything more.

As you can imagine, the thing left me very melancholy. You must know that in the past I had a long relationship with a girl, which ended precisely when I decided to face reality and follow the true feelings that were in me. At that time my mother was always there to ask me how my girlfriend was, when I went to visit her etc. she kept also giving me money, without my request, so I could go and see her, since we were both away from home and during the holidays we lived in different regions.

Given this past, I would have expected a quite similar attitude, at least I would have expected she would ask me how I can meet with my current boy, since we are more than a thousand miles away, I expected that she would offer me help at least sometimes. For a year nothing. I am proud and, I have to admit, I have a tendency lately to shut myself up more than in other periods of my life, I have never asked for anything. Result: economic efforts to save money and buy airline tickets, and so far no problem, there is much worse in life and this is certainly not the problem for which I write here; rather, I was grieved that I continued to take planes for a whole year, once every two months, without saying anything to her. Indeed, I lied every time. I was pretending to be in France (where I currently live) and actually I was in Italy.

In such cases you have to behave like you were a spy: you must be careful never to turn off the phone because, in the event of an unexpected call, the interlocutor should not hear the answering machine of an Italian operator rather than one French; you must be careful never to use a credit card in Italy, because movements are traceable; you must call the landlady to avoid problems to rise in the days when you are away because she could call your parent’s home in Italy; you must invent days never lived and, what is still worse, and has always been unacceptable for me , you have to lie on the phone every night, inventing imaginary stages in radio astronomy that allow only a few minutes of phone calls a day due to radio screens in proximity to the tools (yes, I also invented this). Is not it horrible to have to lie like that, moreover to your mother? And all this because I was afraid of the rubber wall that I found in front of me, not hostile but not friendly, not contrary but not favorable. And I lived and I still live with terror that my father can discover the thing (in which case the catastrophe is assured).

Last April I had resigned myself to the painful idea that in my mother’s eyes I was no longer the same; I felt less loved and, behind all the good speeches, I saw the sad truth that “the majority of parents would not want to have a gay son.” No, they would want a gay son “but” they would prefer avoid such a opportunity. Then if it happens, they show to accept it, or at least maybe they try, but … And into this “but” the figure of my mother is drowned until recently. Then, in April, precisely during one of her visits to the foreign city where I currently live, she asked me for detailed information about my boyfriend, G., offering me the support that long ago would have been the norm.

I reassured myself, and in these months my hopes have increased. Of course, not everything goes well, in the sense that the subject is rather a taboo. I don’t know if my mother will ever get to love me just because I’m homosexual, going from “it is so and I’m not pleased, but I love you the same” to “I love you just because you are homosexual and you’re happy to be, because you’ve had the courage to take the reins of your life and you have a wonderful love story with G.” Perhaps I’m claiming for too much, indeed, almost certainly, but I wonder: is it so difficult for some parents to leave aside, even in lucky cases like mine, the irrational fear dictated by years of backward education on the subject, consolidated with age? I don’t know, have you had similar experiences? Or your coming out finished unexpectedly? A great greeting to all. I promise from now on to write more on the forum!

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If you like, you can join the discussion on this post on Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-that-thin-rubber-wall

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