National Coming Out Day

Don’t get too excited, I have no such grand news.  I was just reading Cris’ blog though and I thought about my brother and how hard it must be to live with that kind of a secret. 

 I knew for my whole life that my brother was “different”.  The word gay wasn’t even around in my vocabulary in the 60s and 70s.  Even in high school, I just didn’t think about it.  Even though I’m sure by that tim I realized what made my brother so different was his attraction to other guys.  I figured everyone else in the family knew, so why bring it up.  Obvious, right?  My youngest sister found out when she was in high school when she told a guy she liked him and he told her he was interested in our brother.  Miss never realized it until years later – which I think is really funny, because he and Missy were the closest of all of us.  He had already moved and was living in either California or Arizona before she found out.  My mom and dad didn’t find out until they were divorced (around 1984).  Yet Mel and I knew it.  How could no one else tell?  I remember the first Christmas I took Steve home to my mom and dad’s house.  They weren’t divorced yet and the whole family was over.  On the way home Steve said, “Why didn’t you tell me your brother was gay?”  I said, “Can you tell?” He practically had to stop the car!  He looked at me with absolute disbelief and said, “Min, he is flaming!”  Which he is, and I know not all gay are… But he is.  And nobody in my family knew except me and Mel.  I’ve often wondered if it was denial, or thinking if they ignored him maybe he would turn out straight.  I remember once I told my mom I thought he was gay, I was probably about 26, so he was about 20, and my mom freaked out and told me not to start such stupid rumors.  Of course he wasn’t gay!  Okay mom.  All of his friends are guys, he hangs out at the 2 local gay bars, he’s never had a girlfriend… Okay, he’s not gay.  Why press the issue? 

The only part that bothers me is that he is the last one to carry on the family name.  The very last.  My grandfather had 2 other brothers, one died without having any children, the other one had a son, but he died without having any children, my dad is an only child, and my brother was the only son.  To top it all off, he and my dad had a falling out and he legally changed his name!  So even if he adopted a child it would have a different last name!  Ah well.  Such is life. 

 Of course my church is very much anti-gay – well, I wouldn’t say so much anti-gay as firmly beliving marriage is between a man and a woman and that’s the basis of a family.  Even though my brother and I don’t have much of a relationship (and no, it’s not related to him being gay), I couldn’t do the whole calling tree thing for the marriage amendment a few years ago.  I can believe what I believe, but I can’t do anything that would hurt my brother.  Does that make sense. 

Well, I’ve meandered on and on for long enough.  Good luck and many blessings to those to chose to come out today.  I hope life is good to you. 



Filed under family

3 responses to “National Coming Out Day

  1. I’m glad I could provide inspiration. 🙂

    I know what you mean about the famiy name thing. It truly is /was an issue for me. I guess deep down I figure that while I think it is important that I would like to have kids someday, it’s more important to be true to myself, the trust that everything will fall in to place in it’s time.

  2. Meg

    By the way, “Min” is my daughter’s middle name. 🙂

  3. Your mother’s reaction sounds like denial, but the reaction of others could just be innocence. My ex was the most innocent man in the world, and even though we were living in Brighton, even though the guy we were talking to was dressed like the construction worker out of the Village People, and even though his partner was dressed the same way my ex still asked they guy if they were brothers. He tended to think that the nice young girls who chatted to him in hotels were just nice young girls too. Which they were, of course. Bless.

    I am glad that you did not let your religious beliefs colour your feelings about your brother. It is just a sexual orientation, after all.


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