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Dicks and Docks: How I Came Out to My Mom in a Boat Ramp Parking Lot

Coming out is a milestone in every queer's life. This is my story.

Wasn’t she sassy?

Coming out of the closet is one of the most pivotal moments in a queer person’s life. For some people it is an easy, seamless experience. For others, it can cost them their support systems, families, and even their lives. In my case I basically outed myself the first time I opened my mouth. A purse fell out. It was filled with tinted moisturizer, a pookah shell necklace, and poppers.

Even as a child, the way I carried myself, how I talked, the things I liked, and what I wore (a magenta and teal striped jumpsuit comes to mind) all signaled to the world that I was different. I was teased mercilessly in middle school. Even the lunch lady called me a faggot. But I didn't actually realize I was gay until I had my first boyfriend, JD.

Originally, he was the boyfriend of my bestie Amber, and we first hooked up while they were still together. They broke up soon after, and we fell into a year-long secret love affair. It was full-on lovey-dovey, butt-crazy-without-actually-doing-anal puppy love. And I'm honestly grateful that my first experience with a guy was someone I really loved, because not every queer person is that lucky.

My mom loved JD. My family embraced him like one of their own. Everyone seemed totally enamored with him, except my little brother. Because plot twist, my little brother was also secretly gay. JD and I discovered this by reading his journal, where he fantasized about our older sister's boyfriend. And yes, I'm aware that this TEA is so hot it could burn your clit off, but rub some vaseline on it, because it gets hotter.

So JD and I stole the journal page and used it to try and blackmail him into being less of an asshole. Of course, my brother was a nightmare from hell back then (his book of daddy issues is thicker than the Quran). So rather than admit defeat, he went on a revenge campaign to destroy our relationship.

One of the most exciting things about a secret love affair is all the kinky places you can hook up. So one day, JD and I were hooking up in my mom's bed.

And before you get all judgy about it, you should know that she has no problem with it. 

She's dead.

Anyway Judge Judith, my brother was spying on us from the window. He then proceeded to tell my entire family.

This is probably a good time to tell you, my mother was a very accepting and loving woman. I wasn't afraid to tell her about my gayness because I felt like she wouldn't love or accept me. 

I was afraid to tell her because I was being a little bussy.

So one day she asked me to take a drive with her. We drove down to a parking lot by a boat ramp, because that's what you do in North Florida. And she basically asked me if I was gay.

Because we were in Florida, I chose to bussyfoot around a bit, and told her I liked both guys and girls, but probably guys a little more. She called me on my bullshit until I admitted that I was gay, and then told me she worried that I might get AIDS.

I told her that gays only get HIV because anal sex is more bloody than regular sex, but I used vaseline, so I would be totally fine.

Anygay, then she said she loved me, and that would never change. And that even though her religion said that homosexuality was a sin, she was determined to love me unconditionally and accept me as I am.

Or something like that. This was like 24 years ago. That's an entire Timothy Chalamet. 

Anyway, here is what she said about it, in a 2001 letter to me:

"When you were in third grade, I knew you were gay. I put it down as a genetic, chromosomal issue and left it at that. I let it go and waited for the day for you to come to your life’s terms, and admit to me (the very same admittance I gave you.)

‘Mom, I’m gay.’

You however, quietly battled with your reality during your sophomore and junior years.

One really is a lonely number, isn’t it?

I asked you one day, ‘GA, are you gay?’

You said ‘I’m not 100% sure; I like both guys and girls but guys better, so I guess I’m considered gay.’

A simple yes would suffice, GA, mutters mom…”

She went on to say: 

“The world would be a better place if people understood, accepted, and practiced every day that every human has his or her inalienable right and privilege to be who they are; much the same as my old fashioned philosophy ‘ The beginning of love, is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to wise them to fit our own image.’

All biased folks should examine their most inner secretive fears, before they point their unclean fingers at gay folks.”

She did keep her promise and love me unconditionally. My brother chilled-out a lot after he came-out of the closet, and she loved him in exactly the same way.

But just like, not as much. 

LOL jk.

I was lucky to have an accepting family situation, but not every LGBTQIA+ person has such a good experience. One of the most beautiful things about our community is how we can channel that pain and trauma into art.

As queer artists, one way we can share our stories in empathy and love is through such art, like writing “coming out blogs”, or directing Oscar-winning movies.

Recently I watched the movie Everything, Everywhere, All at Once, and found it to be a really touching portrayal of the coming out process. The main character Evelyn's relationship with her lesbian daughter Joy is a good example of a loving, but toxic dynamic between a parent and a queer child. 

In the end it is only Evelyn's acceptance of her daughter, but her ability to let her go, and then grab ahold of her again, but then follow her off a cliff in another dimension where they are rocks, that heals their relationship and creates a healthy future relationship between the two.

If that was a little confusing for you, remember the movie is called Everything Everywhere All at Once, and it lives up to its name in the tomfoolery of the plotlines, the gaggery of gorgeous costumes, and the sheer absurdity of Jamie Lee's dusty old thrift store wig and belly-button-level Yzma tits.

This movie is a true feast for the senses. Like, figuratively you guys.

Anyway, come see it on Tax Day with Rainbow Cult! We're screening it at the Perplexiplex at Meow Wolf Denver on Monday, April 15th. A percentage of each ticket benefits PFLAG DENVER. There will be drag shows, speakers (like moi) and giveaways (including tickets to the Meow Wolf exhibition). Costuming is encouraged, but not mandatory.

I’m giving a short speech where I will read excerpts from my mom’s letters over the years about my coming out process, and the relationships between parents and their gay children. It’s my first time speaking in front of a large audience, so come and make fun of me.

And if you're wondering if that was a shameless plug of an event I am hosting, indeed it was. My audacity is also enough to burn your clit off.

But it's a seriously good movie, and also a good cause. If you, or someone you know is struggling with coming out, here is a link to PFLAG’s crisis resources.

As always, live and let love. And if you can't do that, at least mind your own business.



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