05 May 2009

A bondage pony and other adventures

I stayed up late Saturday night because I started watching a DVD commentary and then just wanted to finish it. I got up early for me on Sunday because I couldn't sleep, so I was exhausted all day. Still kinda grogged today.

If you haven't been reading lately, now would be a good time to catch up:
  • One identity of many

  • Well, it's out of my hands now...

  • While I'm waiting...


  • In short, a week ago, I started watching the vlog Brunch With Bridget which got me thinking about what it means to be out & proud. Friday, I sent my dad an email saying I was thinking of driving over to a Pride event. Saturday night, I got a noncommittal "Hope you had a good day on Saturday" email response from him, and Sunday my parents got back into town.

    During various trips of unloading their car, I welcomed each of them back separately. Got a good hug from each--not unusual, but sometimes the hugs are more half-assed. Then there was the usual relaying of trip stories and family news by Mom. She told a couple of stories about using the GPS and trying to find places that I could've easily segued into driving over to Pride, but I left it alone to see where they would take the conversation. Besides, she gets kind of excited and chatty, and it's best to just take it all in until she asks me what I've been doing.

    While making a couple calls to let people know they'd arrived home safely, Mom gave me some loot they'd brought back for me. First, a long sleeve tee with a picture of a s'more on it with the text: Less is s'more. It made me laugh, and I liked it even more when I read the small tag on the bottom: Do what you like. Like what you do.

    Then she told me about going to the mall with my five year old niece and telling her about how I like goats and how she can never find a good one for me. Then she pulled an awesome little stuffed goat out of her bag and gave it to me. It's worth noting that I sent down a big rabbit of mine for my niece in an effort to reduce my stuffed animal collection.

    Then Mom said, "C. wheeled your brother down to the hospital gift shop one day, and he said this made him laugh and think of you." She pulled out a chubby pony the likes of which I would never even consider acquiring and handed it to me.

    I laughed politely. "This made him think of me?"

    "It's very huggable," she said.

    I nodded. The pony had a harness around it's head, sort of like a muzzle, no reins. "He sent me a bondage pony."

    bondage pony
    Cue awkward courtesy laugh from Mom and Dad. I felt like a jerk because it was ridiculously nice of my bro to get me a gift while he was in the hospital, but I couldn't quite let it go. "So let me get this straight: I sent you down with an animal to weed my collection and now I have more than I had before you left." A better laugh from both that time.

    Before we headed out to dinner, I was washing up and thought, They might actually not say anything. This could be just like when I tried to come out in grad school. I put my hands under the running water. Act as if you're out anyway.

    I looked at myself in the mirror. What a bizarre way to think of it. "Act as if you're out"? If you act like you're out, then you're just out. I'm not an up-in-your-grill sort of person, but I was ready to be to get my point across. At least, in a passive-aggressive way.

    We drove up to the restaurant together, continuing the usual banter, except that I started channeling Bridget McManus's eye rolls. You know when you hang out with someone for a long time and you pick up some of their phrases or looks? Clearly, I've watched way too many vlogs in the past week. It felt pretty meta because I was aware I was doing it and thought, wtf am I doing?

    We ordered dinner, Mom relayed a couple more tales, and then she finally said, "So what have you been up to?"

    "Not much really," I took a breath, "I did drive over to Townsville yesterday." I looked at them across the table.

    Mom smiled and said, "Are you gay? Or just proud?"

    I wasn't actually expecting her to ask point blank, but I loved that I'd successfully trained her when I was young to not make any assumptions.

    What I hate in that moment is that I felt the blood rush to my cheeks. The only possible saving grace is that there have been times I felt like I was blushing really hard but was told you couldn't tell.

    In my peripheral vision, I could see the couple at the table across the aisle from us and wondered if they were listening. I said, "I'm proud and bi."

    "OK," she said and then went on to other things.

    My Dad didn't say anything, but then he's fairly quiet anyway. His face was pretty blank. Mom had her cool-mom game face on. I'll take it.

    I told them my getting lost on the way to Pride because of a detour story, a little about the event, and then we moved on.

    A bit later, Dad and I chatted about my new computer (yea!) with our usual enthusiasm and that made me feel better about his controlled reaction.

    Oddly, I did not feel a huge sense of relief. Though it played out just about exactly as I'd hoped, it was so fast that I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

    It's been another day though--in which it didn't come up at all--so that feeling is starting to subside a bit.

    Now there's just my brother. Tempting to be a jerk and just email him, "You know I'm bi, right?" when I'm near positive he doesn't, but the poor boy's back in the hospital today for his pneumonia and observation. So...I'll get to that after he's better, I guess.


    A year ago on TTaT: Why didn't we think of this sooner?

    8 comments :

    1. Hey - congrats! And in their quiet way, it sounds like your parents were pretty cool about it all. So now it's out there and you don't need to feel like you have to self-censor around them, except for the stuff that you should ALWAYS self-censor around parents.

      As for you brother, I'd suggest an email that says, "Hey bro. Thanks so much for the stuffed pony! It was a huge hit at the bisexual leather bar I hang out at with all the bisexuals. Because I'm bisexual. So thanks - feel better!" ;)

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    2. Ha! thanks, Jenny. Yeah, I'm not exactly telling them about the blog... it's good to have some boundaries.

      Alas, I already sent my bro a quick thank you email. If only there were a bisexual leather bar here. ;)

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    3. Yay, you did it! And kudos for your parents for being pretty cool about it. Now your support network includes your parents, a small goat AND one bondage pony. Not too shabby.

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    4. Thanks, Cheryl. I didn't even think of it that way, but I guess you're right.

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    5. I like how she asked. And that they didn't act weird about it!

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    6. That is just friggin awesome! Your parents took it way cool, although sounds like Dad is still "processing" the information. I'm sure he'll come around to the same attitude your mum has as well.

      Kudos to you for coming out!

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    7. Thanks very much, TMWW!

      And yeah, it's one thing to hear it and another to see it in action, as it were, but they've been cool in a it-hasn't-come-up-again-since way.

      Mainly I feel better for having done it, and that's worth far more than I'd anticipated.

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