On June 8, 1997, my mother wrote in her journal, This is the day I lost my daughter. Not a particularly nice day for me either since shortly before writing those words, she had been searching my room on suspicion that her daughter was -- gasp! -- a lesbian. When she found a couple of love letters from my first girlfriend, she went into hysterics. The confrontation happened later the next day.
Mom: "Are you gay?"
Me: "Uh . . ."
This brings me back to the journal. After feeling like my privacy was unforgivably violated, I searched my mom's things in retaliation. I must have thought I was really clever when I opened up her nightstand and found her journal. This is the day I lost my daughter. What an awful thing to read.
I'm writing about this not to gain any sympathy points, but to hopefully exorcise myself of a demon old enough to enter the 4th grade. My coming out was not pretty -- lots of tears and something about Catholicism. It was hard to keep track of all the purported influences that mother hurled at me. My favorite was, Was it because you had a teacher in high school who was gay?
Yeah, Mom. That was definitely it.
If OFTL and Lesbian Club has had any successes it is that I am more comfortable with myself and comfortable with my sexuality -- it only took nine years. Since that day in June, my mother has thankfully calmed down and learned that she didn't lose her daughter after all. Though the L word is not mentioned, I have the sense that she's since come to peace with it and feels bad about how she reacted. See, no one in my family talks about what they are really feeling, so I have to speculate and take my victories where I can get them.
Thank god for happy endings, right?