You may recall I said, on September 11, that my thoughts were with Bart who was going through the process of coming out as a gay man to his parents. He has been discussing this process in his blog for months and, finally, posted them a letter telling them he way gay. Their initial reaction seemed positive and supportive but now it seems to have turned negative and he is receiving email from his father quoting a range of anti-gay websites.
Now, I have an unbearable feeling of sadness. Here is a young man trying to do the right thing and here are a set of parents whose world seems to have fallen apart. While a blog is only small insight into somebody’s personality and the life that they lead, I do get the impression his parents are good people. So why do his recent entries make me feel so sad? I am certain they love their son and want the best for him. I am positive that they are trying to do (what they see as) the right thing. I am also fairly sure that they will accept their son and in years to come regret the way they handled the news (doing it all by email is, perhaps, not an ideal way to do this). Still, a certain part of me wants to believe people are good, supportive and that discrimination is something we will, eventually, only see in historical movies. I fear I am either naÃ¯ve, or (as I would rather be) eternally hopeful.
There are coming-out experiences posted across the web. All are useful to a certain extent and all are useless by the fact that none of them deal with our own families and the dynamics of our relatives and their own belief systems. Many of them, good or bad, serve to show the world what a painful process this is for many gay men. Will it ever change? Tom posted an entry (see September 16th) which summarises some of this and, one day, I may post about the awful way I procrastinated the subject for too many years.