I would be closer to my extended family. It breaks my heart to say that. I have tons of cousins on both Mom and Dad’s sides, really warm, wonderful people, yet I have always been an outsider. It is not that they haven’t loved and supported me as a gay person, they have (for the most part), but straight me would have fit in better from the beginning. There never would have been the elephant in the room of my “gay lifestyle,” waiting to be acknowledg…
Very interesting perspective on straight me v. gay me.
I can relate to much of what you say, but I have lived it both ways. I was married, two kids, living a heteronormative life. I was a pseudo-straight person for forty years, although I didn’t even know the “pseudo” part. I thought I was straight.
But you, know, Dale, I still didn’t fit in. I couldn’t fit in because I didn’t know how to connect with those cousins. I did when I was young but as I got older, I found that I couldn’t because so much of who I was I hid.
A few years ago, I decided enough. I was to give the closing remarks as our family reunion broke up. I thought, “Here’ my chance.”
I said, we have two big secrets in this family: Grandpa shot himself and I’m gay.
Some in the family haven’t forgiven me. Some for the suicide secret, some for the gay secret. I shattered the facade that we were a special family. We loved every one, but still, we are just a bit better than them.
I still love my ex-wife, my kids, my siblings and I just lost my favorite uncle at 95 years old.
I have family now, some by blood, some by choice. But I don’t miss being part of a family that feels like we are just a little bit better than all of those other families out there.