by: Andrew Wnuk
I am going to assume that most of us have parents. I am also going to assume that most of our parents are heterosexuals. I usually try to avoid assumptions, but something tells me these are pretty safe bets. I’ve been out for a while now, and although I am still very young and have a lot to learn, I have picked up on a few things over the years. Back home in Connecticut, I was surrounded by heterosexuals: my parents, my brother, my sister, my dogs. I never really asked my dogs, but again I’m assuming. I know my family loves me, but I have found myself in a few awkward situations because of the “homosexual” things that I do. I have compiled a list, I hope you enjoy.
1. I believe that it is so important that every individual comes out of the closet only when he or she is ready. It is not something that can be forced or rushed. I was sixteen when I came out, and I know that sounds young, but I was identifying as heterosexual for sixteen years! That’s a long time to be something you’re not. I was ready to come out, and I did, and I hope that everyone has the opportunity to come out to their parent or parents and have a positive experience or build a stronger relationship with that parent. But whatever you do when you come out, make sure that parent is not driving!
My mother and I were driving home from my grandfathers funeral, it was late, we were exhausted. She said “Andrew, tell me something to keep me awake.” And I was like “Okay, well, I’ve been thinking about this for a while and . . .” “Yeah?” she asks. “Well it’s not a phase or anything, but. . .” “What?” “I’m gay.”
I swear I put us both into cardiac arrest, I think we went up on two wheels for a hot second, I was worried I’d be in a neck brace or something. Okay, it wasn’t that bad. But just make sure they’re not driving or operating machinery or something, it can be distracting and possible harmful.
2. We’re all humans; we all have needs and desires. Sometimes it isn’t possible to fulfill those desires with another person, especially when you’re from a small town in Connecticut with a gay population of approximately one. The urges need to be taken care of one way or another.
Don’t giggle, we all do it/know someone who does it. You know what I mean. Table for one. Whatever. It’s fine. Who cares about that part? No one. The important part I’ve learned in this situation is that whatever you do to eradicate those desires, do not use the family computer. Blaming a bug or virus for all of the gay porn that accidently downloaded to the desktop will only work once, maybe twice. So be careful. That’s all I’m gonna say.
3. Cutting the grass was one of my favorite activities to do during the spring and summer months because it gave me ninety minutes to not be bothered by anyone. I could think about school or work or boys or whatever I wanted to concentrate on. Sometimes, when I was in a really good mood, I would sing. But I wouldn’t just sing, I’d bust out an entire Broadway musical.
I always felt like I was getting away with something bad ass here, cause the lawn mower was so loud it would drown me out, so there was no way my family could possible hear me singing Gypsy or Phantom or any other show and make fun of me for it. Something to keep in mind is that even though you’re family can’t hear you singing, they can still see you dancing like a crazy person. And record that dancing on a phone or camera. And then proceed to upload that video to Facebook or Youtube.
My sister uploaded a performance to Facebook and my brother had the YouTube account, so it worked out nicely for them. The Music of the Night suddenly became the “Laughter of the Night.” All night. For many nights. Do not ever stop belting out Memory, but just remember that there are other Cats watching.
4. When you are home, visiting for the holidays or whatever, make sure that you have successfully logged out of OkCupid. Or else you may wake up the next morning with a new picture, new profile information, and possibly messages from the gender that you really aren’t interested in. At this point I would like to suggest investing in a personal laptop, because then it is slightly more acceptable to have a naked man as your background and not have to blame a virus.
5. Likewise, it may be a good idea to delete the Grindr app before showing you’re new iPhone to your grandmother.