Monday, 9 December 2013


 When I was little, maybe between the time I was eight and fifteen, my mother used to take me everywhere with her. I am not sure why that was, because I had other siblings and they didn't go with her. It might be because I was a very sickly child and she didn't want to leave me alone or with a babysitter. I'm not sure.

At any rate, every Tuesday, for all those years, my mother went to visit her friend on Tuesdays. Her friend was this beautiful, tall, elegant woman who had the most beautiful home in the most fancy neighbourhood in my city. I called her by her initials, C.T.
C.T. and my mother liked to talk and so I was sent outside to play, near the river. There were a lot of chinese geese in the yard, with shiny black bumps on the fronts of their heads. These geese were pretty friendly, but they left their droppings everywhere, so eventually, I didn't play in the yard for the hour or so that my mother talked with her friend. I read.
Now, this went on for a LONG time. I am talking about seven years, every single Tuesday without fail, for at least an hour each time. And most of those times, I never went in and saw C.T. herself. I just went straight to the garden and sat down and began reading a book. It's not like I wasn't a curious child. I totally was. But in this one space, in this one place, I was completely incurious.
Recently, I was talking with my brother, and he said something about my mother being bisexual. I was extremely surprised. Why would he say that, I asked. He laughed and laughed. "Remember C.T?"he asked. I did, of course, remember C.T. "What did you think that was?" he asked, and in my innocence, I said, "Mum's best friend?" Not quite, he said, and I realized something then, that even though I know many LGBT individuals, and have a connection with that community, until you are ready to see something about someone you know, it will stay hidden.
My sister is clueless!
Maybe that is what is so hard when people come out to their families. Maybe the family had been seeing it all along. Maybe they already had seen it all. But they were blind to it. They weren't ready to see, just as I hadn't been ready to see my mother as bisexual until over twenty years after the fact. And then, when the family member begins to tell their truth, begins to say that they are not, in fact, straight, there is that challenging moment of "Oh no! I knew it! But I didn't want to know it! And I'm not ready now..."

What do you think?

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