Friday, December 04, 2009

Part of the Family

I took my mom to see A Christmas Story, a theatrical adaptation of the movie. It was good. We quite enjoyed it (it was certainly better than Michael McLean's The Forgotten Carols, which I've written about below).

Anyway, while I was home, I was looking at some of our family photos in the living room and commented that my niece had grown quite a bit since the photo had been taken. Mom agreed, and asked me if she noticed the new pictures she had put on the wall. It was three photos in one frame of Jonah and me at the zoo and at a nature preserve in Las Vegas (two outings we had taken with my mom).

I have really been happy about how welcoming my family has been to Jonah. He is treated just like any other spouse, and it has really brought me much joy (and I'm sure Jonah feels the same way). My family really goes out of their way to include Jonah in our family activities, and I really am grateful that. I know many gay people (including Jonah) who are not as fortunate in that respect. I know every family is different, and I also know of families who not only don't include their child's significant other, but also practically disown the child as well. I am thankful for a family that treats my husband as they would any other family member. It makes me so very happy.

I remember more than a year ago, I had written a post that said, in part:

"Recently my mom put a photo of my sister and her fiance on our piano in the living room. That's where many of the family photos go. There are several photos of my older brother and his family and ones of my older sister and her family. And now there is one of my youngest sister and her soon-to-be husband. But there are none of me and Jonah. My mom loves Jonah a lot and she also loves me a lot, and I don't expect her to put a photo of us on the piano because I know it would be awkward for her to explain to visitors about us, and I don't want to put her in that position. But it still makes me sad."

I'm glad we're past that stage, and that there is now a photo of me and my husband in the living room with the rest of the family photos. And the photos are still unobtrusive enough that I don't think they will put my mom in an awkward position should anyone ask about them.

Anyway, it just made me glad.


The Faithful Dissident said...

Kudos to your mom, Cody! I think that even though it's just a small thing to put up a picture, her small gesture can have a big impact on others who see it. Regardless of how they all view gay marriage, they will see that she is not ashamed of her son and that she loves him and his husband just as she loves her other children and in-laws. That's huge, especially in Mormon circles, and I think it shows just how much integrity she has.

She sounds like an awesome lady! :)

J G-W said...

I think one of the major turning points in my parent's figuring out what it meant for me to be gay was when they got acquainted with Göran. Göran is really sweet and outgoing and has this great sense of humor; he is down to earth and loves to give hugs and puts people right at ease. And when they met him and realized what a cool, wonderful person he was, they fell in love with him right away.

I think they realized, "This is what it means for John to be gay...!" They saw what a cool person Göran was, and how happy we were together, how happy he made me. It went from being this abstract thing that was painted in their minds to be really horrible, to this very concrete real thing. And in the concrete, they immediately grasped the good in it.

Really, at the point that Göran became part of the family, all the residual homophobia just evaporated...

A.J. said...

You have an awesome mom!

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks, guys!

Yes, my mom is definitely awesome! She is one of my best friends.

J G-W, I agree that when people see the human side of who a gay person is rather than abstract perceptions, homophobia disappears. I think fear and ignorance of the unknown is what causes prejudice and bigotry in the first place.

Bravone said...

My mother still cuts out my brother's husband of 11 years. We put them on our brag board. She is softening, but slowly. One of the main reasons I came out to my folks was to help my folks understand better my brother.


Gay LDS Actor said...

I can't even imagine my mom cutting Jonah out. At least your mother is softening.