When you’re gay, you’re somehow lucky , because you can see it coming. I mean, the path is usually quite unpleasant before you’re able to fully live your life, and might take months or even years. When you find find out one of your relatives is gay, it might feel like a slap in the face, and though working your way to acceptance might feel unusual, it can still take some time.
1 – You have a gay relative. How did you find out and what was your reaction at the time?
To be honest, it wasn’t a real surprise. I knew my Mom was very accepting of homosexuality (and her daughter had already opened that door), and the numerous innuendos had tipped me. It wasn’t official before that dinner when the two of us were alone. I wasn’t even astonished. Of course my reaction was benevolent : it was quite delicate back in her days to fully and openly embrace her sexual orientation. What matters to me if that she lives happily, however it is with a man or a woman..
2 – I suppose you had a lot of questions, do you recall some of them?
I had some indeed. But my main concern was the future of the family unit :
would she leave my Dad to start a new life with Lara Croft?
3 – How was your life affected by this?
I lived through parental separation somewhat belatedly! A necessary evil.
4 – Back then, did you fear the reactions of your entourage to that news (friends, family, neighbours)? What about now?
Absolutely not. If people aren’t able to accept my mother the way she is, then the hell with them. Simple as that. I was just a little anxious about my little sister’s reaction. But it turns out she is very mature and open-minded for her young age. Proof is that we can sometimes learn from the kids.
5- Do you easliy tell people that your mother or father is lesbian/gay/trans?
It’s a funny question, you can hardly say no when you’re doing this interview!
The entire web knows now that my mother likes the ladies!
But in general, I consider that a happy life is a discreet one. Consequently, only my closest friends know, because I think it’s important that they do. But the rest of the world doesn’t know anything and thus all is well in the world.
6 – When you witness homophobia (on TV, or people talking in the street, …) how do you react?
Most of the times, I’m pissed off. I try to at least talk about it whenever possible, to try and understand where the fear and hate comes from, and point out the absurdity of the latter. I try to explain to the person I’m speaking to that LGBT people are like everyone else. It doesn’t always work out, of course, but it’s still more efficient than just let it go or act out on anger, violently and without arguments.
7 – If you had any piece of advice for people who just found out one of their parent is LGBT, what would it be?
Be kind. Coming out late in life often occurs after years of denial and some serious questionning. It isn’t “just” about accepting your own homosexuality, but also dealing with the consequences on your family that will necessarily result from the coming out : the children’s reaction, the possible divorce, starting all over, …
I think it’s harder for parents to get out of the closet than their children, because their life is rooted and already planned in our eyes. And making the decision to leave that life behind and live a new unpredictable one is quite a tough ordeal. So if on top of that, they don’t have the support of their children…We always hear about how we live in a more tolerant and open-minded time now, especially toward homosexuality: it’s on us to make it true!
8 – Do you have children?
Not in the near future, but who knows, maybe some day.
9 – Anything you might want to add?
Nothing on the subject but I would like to thank the WALF crew for their initiative. Keep it on girls, it feels great to have lesbian media with such a complete and fun content.
Translated from the French by IMNSX