While sitting in traffic, I tune into Channel OUT Q to Lance Bass’ talk show and each night their listeners call in with questions or share an idea or opinion.
Most of the time it’s not serious. Tonight was about Thanksgiving and how LGBT people were dealing with their families. Some couples, it is no big deal, they go home, the whole family is accepting. The next caller from California said how at age 40, his family from Tennessee had disowned him and has had no contact since he was 18. Another woman, her family said they were fine with her being a Lesbian for 7 years, until last year at age 44, when she brought home her girlfriend, the family has now having little contact. Mind you MOST of the stories were very uplifting. But I never heard anyone mention their journey toward understanding or acceptance.
It doesn’t always happen fast. About a year after coming out, a year of walking on egg shells, there was the disagreement about my soul and my mother called me a name I don’t repeat. A few years later, my boyfriend & I were invited home for Thanksgiving with the rest of the family. Due to an ice storm there were only 4 of us for Thanksgiving. Mother chose not to look at my partner, including when passing the food. We prayed for her neck “to heal” when we took communion that Sunday. And this summer at the family reunion when we cleaning up after the meal, someone asked my mother if the homemade dill pickles were hers, Paul chirped in and said, “NO, those are not Violet’s pickles, I know her Sweet Ginger Pickles and those are not Violet’s.” Mom said, “He’s right.” as she cracked a smile.
This year, we have the offer to be with our biological family for Thanksgiving. I cannot rush someone’s growth and understanding; I just give thanks for the effort, the dialogue we have shared and progress we have made over 22 years. It is why I pray for peace and patience every day.