Where Did I Go Wrong? – 11: Insulting Accepting

My parents have always been very open-minded people, and it’s a value they instilled in me from an early age. That’s part of the reason I’ve never been bigoted towards any group in my life. Except furries…furries are disgusting.

Now, growing up wasn’t always easy for me. I always had a hard time fitting in at school. I would demand answers to questions nobody in my grade would ever ask. One particular incident was in the first grade, when I DEMANDED to know the purpose of spending an hour colouring in a picture of a hot air balloon. I seriously wanted to know what impact this was meant to have on my education. I clearly knew how to colour, I knew the names of every colour. I knew what a balloon was. So how was sitting down and colouring one for a while supposed to teach me anything at all?

Now that I’m older, I know about the existence and purpose of busy work. Plus I suppose it’s possible my peers enjoyed the activity. Me, I wanted to be doing something substantive. Finally the teacher became so upset with my obstinacy that she threatened to send me to the Principal. I called her bluff and volunteered to go visit the Principal, stating that perhaps the Principal would be able to answer a simple question.

Yeah, fitting in was never really one of my strong points. And it didn’t get better as I got older. I’ve always had a need to understand things. I want to know why I’m doing something. This was a problem in school, and would have gotten me shot by friendly fire in the military. Mind you, it wasn’t the only problem I had in school, but it’s the only one I feel like sharing with you at the moment.

My parents didn’t really understand why I had such a rough time in school. They tried to come up with a reason. In their defense, they wanted there to be a single reason I had problems so that they could fight it, and help me out. The idea finally dawned on them that maybe I was gay. It would explain why I couldn’t fit in with my peers, and why I always seemed a little out of place.
So sometime in junior high my parents called me into their bedroom, and we had a nice chat. They explained to me that if I was gay, that was ok. They’d still love me and support me, nothing would change, and I should feel free to tell them. Now, being assumed to be gay is a little insulting for any straight guy, but I knew their hearts were in the right place.

Thank goodness all of this happened before I made out with Daniel and saw Gary’s junk, because then I’d have had a lot harder time defending my heterosexuality.

I calmly explained to them that I wasn’t gay, and they said that if I decided that I was, I could tell them anytime. We left it at that.

My parents deny it to this day, but that exact same conversation occurred 4 more times over the next 6 years.
Five times my parents let me know it’d be ok if I was gay. Five times. FIVE! At first it was at least a little endearing, but after five times it began to feel like they really wanted me to be gay. Seriously, I began to feel oddly pressured towards homosexuality by my parents. I’m still the only person I know that has a “coming out as a straight man to my parents” story.

Now, the only thing I can say in their defense is, in college I did join the Gay and Lesbian club at school. My reasons for doing so were fairly simple though. I had dated a girl with a gay brother, and she took me to all of the meetings at her school’s organization. After that I dated a bisexual girl, who took me to some of the meetings at HER school. Couple that with the fact that my Imaginary Friend Russ is gay, and I finally decided to just join the one at my school. I wasn’t the only straight person there, and they were actually a lot of fun to hang out with. Although I will say this, as a straight guy, the worst place to try and pick up chicks is at the Gay and Lesbian club at your high school or college. Seriously, it’s just not worth the frustration.

I was even an officer my last semester there. When I ran for Historian I made a little speech introducing myself. I explained that while I was straight, I didn’t choose to be that way. They voted me in unanimously, although the fact that I was running unopposed helped.

And after all of that exposure, and my parents constantly hounding me with “are you gay yet? How about now?” I did honestly consider whether or not I could be gay. I tried to picture in my head what it would be like to be in a relationship with a guy. I suppose I could get used to holding hands, maybe even cuddling….but it all falls apart when I try to picture kissing a guy. I am 100% straight, but at least I gave it a shot.

Anyway, the final time my parents called me into their room for this little chat, I’d really had enough. Also at this time I was in a very serious relationship with a girl. In fact I was missing quite a bit of class because we were spending so much time in bed.
Finally fed up with this line of questioning, I did what I think very few men have EVER done in their lives. I offered to bring my girlfriend over and allow them to watch us have sex.

Yes it was awkward. No they did not take me up on that offer. But they never brought up the subject ever again.
In retrospect, I suppose I could have just let them look at some of the porn on my computer. Still, it worked. My sexuality has never since been questioned…by my parents.