Whenever I sleep somewhere else, my little brother ends up taking the brute trauma from my parents’ constant bickering. It’s kind of funny, especially the bit where they make fun of my entire existence because I’m gay.
Let me explain.
According to my brother, my parents have a tendency of talking shit behind my back when I’m away. He’d mimic my dad first, and in his best kind of Americanized fobby accent, he’d yell, “fucking gay!”
Then my dad would explain to him that it was because of my sexuality that my life became the way it is: working two close to minimum wage paying jobs and just all around struggling. My mom would join in on the banter and she guaranteed him that once I take over the house, my man’s going to move in and I was going to kick him out.
It all tied in to this recurring theme of, your life will be better as long as you’re not like your brother.
Yet, not a tear drop from me. The pain I feel is minuscule. Actually, it was a lot worse back then because I actually got kicked out. Sometimes it even got physical. And in the last episode of “Neil is gay, and we need to control him,” I had to open up my own phone line because my dad was being a helicopter parent and calling dudes on my call history.
(*Note to all you gay teens out there: don’t share Apple ID’s with your parents*)
The predicament today is different. Instead of the parental units blowing up my phone, they kind of just wait for me to get home so they can give me the death stare. It blows over in five minutes. Ultimately, I think they understand that I need downtime otherwise I’ll drive myself crazy. Also, I’m a few years shy from 30, and being lonely at 30 is not only embarrassing for me, but also for whatever reason, embarrassing for them.
But it’s tough living with homophobic parents. It’s hard approaching certain subjects without pissing them off. Leaving traces of anything gay-related around the house is enough to set them off. I can’t even record RuPaul’s Drag Race.
That’s not to say my parents haven’t made strides in tolerating my sexuality since me coming out. They have, it’s just that they’d rather not see it. I’m not sure if I’m being naïve, but their silence toward me being gay is just as deafening. And after hearing about what my mom said, I won’t even think about bringing any guy home to meet them. It’s just not in the cards — not in this lifetime at least. Suddenly, now I know why they’re not calling my phone.
So what do I do?
I ask Google.
And of course, the first motherfucking item is an Ask Abby wannabe with two parents asking an expert of how to deal with their gay son who’s living with them.
Can you help us figure out how to address the matter of our living arrangements with our grown son who is currently residing with us and who recently informed us that he’s a homosexual? He now refers to himself as “gay,” is beginning to tell other people about it, and seems to view homosexuality as permissible in his moral outlook. Needless to say, this evolving situation has turned our world upside down and thrown us into an emotional tailspin. Among the numerous things we are grappling with, one concern is a very thorny practical question: should we allow him to continue living in our home or not? We genuinely love our son, but we don’t want to condone or endorse his lifestyle. What do you think we should do?
The reply’s kind of long, but my favorite bit was this…
It might be helpful to include your most basic requests and stipulations in a formal, written shared-living arrangement document that you can all sign in solidarity.
…and now here I am imagining some suburban white family serving a contract to his gay son — who for some reason, I imagine is LeGanja Estranja — and the first line of the agreement reads: (1) No Anal Sex Anywhere on This Premises.
Then the answer goes on as follows:
This last point is especially important if you have younger children in the home. Your son needs to understand that you, as parents, have a very real responsibility to guide and protect his minor siblings – especially if you detect anything you regard as a negative influence.
…which makes me wonder whether or not my parents wrote this damn question. *hand on chin emoji*
I [x] that bitch of a webpage and find this horror story, which reads:
“One night, we were in the basement, just like old times, only now we’re adults and we don’t just make out anymore. It was late, and I assumed my parents would be asleep,” a 26-year-old named Tina, from Washington D.C., told Cosmopolitan. “Next thing I knew, my old-fashioned, Italian-Catholic dad comes downstairs and witnesses Ken and me in full-blown missionary-style action. He immediately ran upstairs to my mom, and he couldn’t look at me for a long time after that.”
And while I can sympathize with sista girl, I still believe that being caught in the missionary position while being heterosexual is not the same as being caught gay-handed, with your legs hoisted above like mighty flags on top of your man’s shoulders. Gay shock value trumps most — and that’s because it’s anal.
I know what you’re all thinking. The solution’s been staring at my face this whole time. It’s time for me to move out. As I try to waft away those thoughts of having to move out of my comfort zone away, I’ve thought about this enough to know that maybe it really is time to pack my bags.
As it stands, financially, I’m in a tough spot. But being under my parents’ roof gives me the advantage of saving up. Everyone in the Los Angeles area is always looking for a room mate, so that right there just splits the costs.
But it’s hard. I’d be leaving behind my awesome little brother, and possibly giving up free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Not to mention, my parents aren’t completely terrible. Hell, they’re actually quite pleasant. But while the living situation is extremely comfortable, I end up having to emotionally foot the bill by suppressing myself.
Having to explain which friends (gay or straight) I’ll be hanging out with is taxing. Being paranoid of the phone call from the parents while Kylie Minogue is bumping in the background is just as much of a nuisance. And to quote Ega Jones of Thought Catalog…
You’ll meet guys who will want to pick you up at your house on a first date. This is a foreign concept to begin with, as a city soul who likes to maintain an escape route during any social interaction, but you’ll recognize that it’s a chivalrous gesture and, after an internal debate, you’ll reluctantly tell this guy he can pick you up. Fifteen minutes before he’s supposed to arrive, you’ll start pacing. You’ll survey the house and see where your parents are in relation to the door, calculating who will win the race to open it.
Don’t I deserve to experience new things? Yes, I do. Don’t I deserve to meet and date others? Yes, I do. Don’t I ultimately deserve the freedom to express myself? Yes, I do.
And if you’re in the same predicament as I am, you do too.
I’ve unintentionally canvassed for answers in regards to moving out because I’ve always been curious about being independent. Yeah, that sounded bad.
Many have answered to the tune of, “yeah, my parents weren’t really cool with me being gay, so I had to move out.”
“But wasn’t it hard?” I’d bat my eyelashes like a little priss. “Like, didn’t you have to fold your own clothes?”
“I mean, yeah, but I could actually just be myself.”
For many, sometimes stepping into the struggle of having to sustain yourself can be the biggest sigh of relief. So in the sense of everyone like your family being accepting, sorry! But it doesn’t get better. Maybe it’s time I take a deep breath in and just jump. Maybe it’ll be better that way.
What do you all think? What are your experiences of living with your parents?