Saturday, December 15, 2007

"Life is what it is......You just have to accept it because you have no other choice." - Stone Cold by David Baldacci

After a while,we started to share with some people that our son is gay. I feel that it is important to tell people in order to gauge who is genuinely our friend and who is not. Those who may feel disdain, or who talk about our family behind our back, are not worthy of having a relationship with us. I feel that by slowly telling a select group of people, a safety valve is released, our world of supportive friends and family grows, and we can move forward feeling comfort in the fact that our son is accepted by those people who remain important in his life. Those who are not accepting will be deleted from our simcha list.

The reactions of the people I have told have been quite surprising, but maybe because I have been selective in my choices. The first person I told was a women who works closely with me. When she saw me after my son came out to us, she asked what was the matter. I replied that I felt that I was just run over by a tractor. When I explained why, she responded that this was the same expression that her best friend used when she found out that her son was gay. I told a good customer of mine and he told me what life was like in his family once his older brother came out. These were not the reactions that I expected.

My wife has been more reluctant to tell people. She has told a few of her good friends and the reaction is tearful and understanding.

There is one reaction that has been elicited by a few of her friends that is actually quite disconcerting. That reaction is "Oh well, it's his choice."

It's his choice?

Do you think he wants to limit his career choices...because it's his choice?

Do you think he has to worry about losing his job.....because it's his choice?

Do you think he should walk in fear in some neighborhoods...because it's his choice?

Do you think he wants to be ostracized from friends and family....because it's his choice?

Do you think he wants to lose some of his civil rights...because it's his choice?

Do you think he wants to be discriminated against...because it's his choice?

Do you think he wants to put his parents through this anguish...because it's his choice.

I think not.

SD

Check out the website of the American Psychological Association, especially on the topic of choice....www.apa.org/topics/orientation.html

3 comments:

Tanya said...

My younger brother recently announced to my parents that he was bisexual and that he has been this way for the past three years. My parents are yiras shomayim irlich people. Needless to say, they feel that they have failed; are at a loss of what to do and how to react. Amazingly, they have not stopped davening and are still so full of hope that my brother will iy"H one day lead a normal life.
They did go to a PFLAG group but were amazed at how all the parents in attendance were so accepting of their son's status and new way of life.
I recently read an article: http://members.aol.com/orthogays/moment.html
which talks about trying to lead a normal way of life with siyatta di shemaya.
I don't know much about this struggle and how difficult it would be for a man to overcome and live with these urges.
My brother is defiant, obstinant and not concerned at all with how much this is hurting my parents or me. He does not want to think about the future and of the prospect of raising a family. He is enjoying the here and now with his partner. I would like to get in touch with someone via email who can share advice and chizuk.
Thanks

Anonymous said...

Tanya,
I can hear that you and your family are truly struggling with what sounds like shocking news. I am sorry to hear that, and hope that this blog gives you the chizuk you are seeking. What is interesting to me in your comments is that you seem very concerned about your parents. Having limited experience, but being as I am a proud family member, I have to say that yes its important to feel for your parents and support them but I think its also important to love and respect your brother for who HE is and for the courage it took him to open up and strength it takes him to face his surroundings daily. Not for whom he was, who you expected him to be or who you imagined him to be, but for whom he IS. This was not necessarily a choice for him, but the fact that he has chosen not to suppress his feelings and has chosen to share his life with someone, and for that matter with you is a huge step. You claim that he does not seem to care about you or your parents feelings, and with very little background about your specific family situation, I beg to differ. It seems like he very much cares, and for that reason has opened himself up and has maintained his relationship with you, despite how you yourselves and not to mention your community must be reacting to his lifestyle. I think in light of this very scary world we live in, life is very precious. Family is something that is not easy to be a part of and even harder to be without. Maybe instead of always worrying about how people will react, what the right thing to have done, or to do is, its time we see and appreciate people for who they are; including their flaws, their amazing character traits and what they have to offer and not so much the clothes they wear, the box they fit into or the flag they wave.

heblish@hotmail.com said...

SD-

I apologize that I've never thanked you for your blog before. I've been following it almost from the beginning, and have enjoyed the ride.

I am a frum, gay guy living in Israel. Out to my family, and friends. I'm struggling to find a place for myself in the Jewish community.

My biggest challenge has been struggling with -- not the Jewish Law -- but the Jewish community that insists on excluding their own. The Tradition is so easily malleable (and I say this from the Orthodox perspective) in so many regards (think: agunot, mamzerim, etc) but there is total halachik obstinance with regard to the issue of homosexuality.

Thanks again for the blog; I hope it continues to provide you an outlet, and its readers strength.

Looking forward to Year Two.