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Privet Don't Ask Don't Tells


So in this blog I would like to take the topic of "personal don't ask don't tell" type of situations, where its in the work place, with friends, or even at home with family, after you have come out of the closet.  Some of these don't ask don't tell situations my be self imposed simply because you have not come out to the person. (even thought they seem to suspect something)  Some of them may be effectively imposed on you by some one who continues to deny that you ever came out to them, and they revert threw their actions into a don't ask don't tell policy.

This works basically as it sounds they don't ask about it, and often most of the time will go out of their way to continue to use opposite sex descriptions when talking about relationships, and in return they expect that you not talk about it. They in effect create a situation in your life where you are out yet when you are around them you are forced back into the closet.

Now this is the one reason I don't like it when some one is outed (with the exception when they are actively working to harm the gay community and claiming to not be gay) even when its not intended in any way to be harmful or hurtful, by some one other then them selves.  It creates an awkward situation where one may not be ready or quite know nor have figure out  the appropriate way to come out the the people to only have them now know, and be expecting them to "come clean".

This is a situation I have found my self in, and i hate to say it I know i have and continue to handle it disastrously do to my total inability to figure out how to basically go about telling them what they now already know.  What had happened is about a year ago, my mom accidentally came out to one of my aunt and uncles and one of my cousins and his wife.  She did not mean to (and I don't hold hard feeling against her for it) basically what happened is my cousins wife asked if I was dating any nice girl, and my mom said no.  Then she asked something to the affect if I was ever going to date a nice girl to which mom replied no. (and came out the the closet to them for me with out my knowledge)                             

 
 
Of course now I have found my self in a situation where I know know that they know, and I have been told that they are all fine with it. Then of course there is the complication that she kinda told them she would not tell me she told them. Which makes it a very awkward situation, as I know they know but I'm even less sure about how to approach the situation then I ever was before, and I was never quite sure about how to do it before.(I had always figure it could wait till I meet some one that I got in a serious relationship with)

As it stands now I'm not quite sure if I should wait for them to ask me a question like are you dating some one, or something where the subject can be brought up, even thought I know that they know.  Or if I should instead come straight out and tell them some how, which makes me all worlds of uneasy still, I was never particularly keen on sharing this information until I was at a point where I was in a serious relationship with some one. (that was at a point where it would be appropriate to breach the subject with extended family) Ether way I not quite sure the appropriate way to go about doing so, as even though it sounds particularly stupid I am not comfortable "coming out" (even thought they already know) to them face to face.  Yet I can't quite think of an other appropriate way to do so, nor a particularly appropriate time and place to do so, as well they are not direct family (even thought this side of my family all lives close by and is very very close)

Then there is the other concern, that is the fact that Dad has not been and still is not the most excepting of the fact that I'm gay.  He is the one who has basically hoisted an unspoken but pretty rigidly enforced don't ask don't tell policy on my homosexuality.(since I came out to him 3 years ago when I was 19)  It seem to be like his approach to there things that he dose not like, ignore them and they will go away.  In this case if he ignores the fact I'm gay, by not ignoring it, as a mater of fact by using wife etc if he talks about my future, that I will turn straight.

I have tried gently in the past to help, by trying to provide him litterateur for parents whose kids have just come out to no avail. He just would ignore it and then eventual it would wind right back in my room.  Mom has even tried to talk to him about it with very little luck.  About the only success she apparently had (which I did not learn about till a year ago) was that when I came out to him he was ready to throw me out of the house, and that it was basically her ultimatum of if he did that she left to that kept that from happening. (my coming out to him was fallowed by about 4-5 months of not being acknowledged as existing at all) I have also in the past tried to correct the use of the wrong sex tum like wife etc and would say you mean husband, or when pressed about the one gay social group I go to finally said I was going to a gay group.  The response to these was that the conversation immediately ended and then I was not talked to, was actively ignored and not acknowledged for a few weeks to a month.




This is another part of the reason I am reluctant to officially come out to the rest of the family (the other two aunts that my dad dose not get along with very well already know from stumbling upon my old myspace page) The other reason I am worried to come out officially to the rest of the family is that doing so opens up a who new bag of worms of potential friction and emotional disaster. (and posible finagle and housing disaster as, again due to economic work situations i can no longer afford to live on my own) As to me it's abundantly clear that Dad will never be ok with my including (nor particularly even mentioning) any guy that I am seriously dating in any sort of family gathering. (be it a BBQ etc) Whats also been made clear is that Mom has no intention of letting that stop here from trying to force that from happening ,which I love the fact she is that supporting, but I fear that it will only end in distaste for every one involved.

Unfortunately I also find my self very unhappy to have to basically live in a manor where I can't openly be my self, where I have to deny a who aspect of who I am.  The aspect of who I am attracted to, of my visions for the future. That when I'm in my own home, that when I spend time with my family the people that I hold most delay in my life I have to go back into the closet, or face being treated like I don't exist.  Unfortunately both existences hurt, it seems to be a matter of picking between which pain is the least painful and being treated like you don't exist is the most pain full.

How every my greatest pain is the thought is that as my life progresses, when I really do start to get into serious relationships, that my father is going to be more and more alienated from my life, and that the time I do get to spend with him is going to more and more painful. My grates pain is the thought that someday when/if I find a partner and start a family of my own that my father will not be able to handle that and will wind up wanting to have no relationship with me at all.

Its the thought of losing him in my life that often makes me question whether its worth it to try to break out of this privet don't ask don't tell, even when at times when it causes much of the pain of being stuck in the closet ready to get out but not being able to do so, and makes you feel like you are freer outside of your own home, the place that should be your refuge your safe place, then you are in it, to be your self.  Yet it almost always comes down to well he dose know I'm gay so I'm out, so it should not matter to me that unspoken I'm not welcome to talk about or mention anything alluding to my being gay. yet that answer never seems to quite satisfy the way I would like.




Comments

  1. I'm very sorry that your dad has chosen to take this stance with you. Its sad that it means so much to our parents some times that they would rather not see us...than see us as gay. Clearly your dad has some really bad ideas about what it means to be gay and...much like my dad, resists all attempts to show him otherwise. Which puts you in the position of being his education. you are his only window to the gay world. When you are in a serious relationship and IF he decides to exclude you comepletely...please understand that it is his loss. He is the one who can't see you for the thoughtfull, intellegent, and caring son that you are. It is NOT your fault. perhaps one day it wont be so scary for him to acknowledge that.

    As for the rest of your family...you out...job done. time for a beer.

    the best tactic with all of these individuals is to stop censoring yourself. If you are going out with a man..say he...not they or them. Your mom brought you halfway, now you gotta walk the rest of the way by showing them its nothing to be ashamed of. :)

    Bryan

    ReplyDelete
  2. The most confusing part when it comes to my dad is that he dose not seem to have trouble when it comes to other people being gay (including coworkers etc) but with me it's the taboo that must never be acknowledged.

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