Guess What? My father’s gay

 

The day my father came out of the closet.

Last December, the week before Christmas in fact, a strange event occurred.

First of all, our housecleaner came to our house, which was weird, because, you know, it’s hard not to feel unnerved when you’re watching Grey’s Anatomy in your Disney princess nightdress (stop judging, you are never too old for Disney) and your 20-something housekeeper who is wearing clothes other than pyjamas is vacuuming behind you- working her butt off while I’m, you know, watching TV.

In my pyjamas.
At midday.
I know, I know, hard life for me.
My father was also at my home; mowing our lawn, because Mum and I are lazy and do not mow lawns, and apparently having a forest in the suburbs is frowned upon, and he says to my mum, “Can I speak to you privately?”
And she’s all “o-kayyyy…?”
So they go upstairs and I try to eavesdrop, grumbling because this house does not have thin walls and I can’t hear anything, and I start to fold laundry. Then I panic, because OMG! WHAT IF HE’S LOST HIS JOB AND HAS TO SPEND ALL MY INHERITANCE??
Yes. I’m really that selfish and self-absorbed. Whatever, I’m a teenager okay? I’m still at that it’s-all-about-me phase.
He comes down and says, “What are you doing?”
I look at him like he’s dumb, because, really, isn’t it obvious? I have clothes in my hand, which I’m folding. It’s not that hard to put two and two together.

He ignores my look, and instead says: “I need to tell you something, just remember that I’m still your father.”
At this point, I’m thinking I’M ADOPTED. Because, seriously, when someone makes a point of reinforcing how they’re still your father, my mind immediately switches gear to one of those shows like Switched at Birth, because it sounds like something you would only need to say when you’re in the situation of telling your child they’re not biologically yours. Right?
Then he’s like “I’ve met someone.”
And I’m thinking, “…Well that’s not as exciting as being adopted. Why do I care?”
So I say, with as much enthusiasm as I can muster for someone who is not me: “Great.”
Then he said “it’s not a lady.”
And I’m thinking “WHAT! HOW CAN YOU BE GAY? YOU HAVE NO FASHION SENSE WHATSOEVER! WHEN BLAIR WARLDOLF ON GOSSIP GIRL GOT A GAY FATHER HE WAS AT LEAST HANDSOME AND FASHIONABLE! WHY DO I GET STUCK WITH THE FATHER WHO LOOKS STRAIGHT BUT IS REALLY GAY?”
It really is all about me.
I really should stop thinking that stereotypes are right all the time.
In all seriousness, though, yes, this was my honest to goodness truthful reaction. It was selfish, and self -centered and unmistakably melodramatic. Apart from my stereotypical reaction, though, it’s not that big a deal. Sure, he’s gay. Sure, he doesn’t fit my persona of what ‘gay’ looks like. Sure, he’s unlikely to start dressing better anytime soon. Sure, he’s not going to move to a chateau in Paris, like Blair’s father did. Does it really matter, though? If he doesn’t murder someone, or hurt anyone by being gay, why should it really matter to me?

In all honesty, I would be lying if I said that his coming out of the closet hadn’t affected me. It has, I can assure you, but it I think the effect is has had on me, and my life, would have had more impact if my parents hadn’t separated almost a year before his ‘announcement’.  It’s affected my life in little ways. I met my father’s boyfriend on Christmas Eve, and he’s nice enough.  In some ways, I’m glad that I have a ‘another daddy’ instead of a step-mother. It just means that now I’ll have to get another chair at my school graduation, and I get the added interesting (to say the very least) experience of my maternal grandparents meeting my father’s boyfriend for the first time. Sure, now I’m half expecting my father and his boyfriend to go all Modern Family and adopt a baby from a third world country, but as long as  I get paid decent money to babysit, I don’t think I’ll really mind. I still see my father the same amount as I did before; and my father and I haven’t become any closer or further apart. The biggest, albeit small, impact it has had on me is it’s given me something to write about.  It isn’t easy to write when you don’t have a good story to tell – and my father’s announcement gave me just that.

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