Opening a Few Closets

The first time I ever brought a girl home to family event, outside of just meeting mom and my siblings, I also revealed a lot more to my family than I planned to.  There are a lot of closets that I haven’t come out to my entire family about.  Religious closets, sexuality, and maybe even gender. Part of that is because I am never really sure where I stand myself.  In this situation, I wasn’t sure what to expect but thankfully I was fairly accepted.

My girlfriend and I, we’ll call her Phoenix, had agreed before hand that we wouldn’t behave like a couple, at least not to the point of physical contact.  This was fairly expected of most couples in my family anyway, unless you’ve been together for a number of years or were married.  Phoenix was a very tall, androgynous woman and was easily categorized as a lesbian at that time. She is also very outspoken and open about pretty much everything.  Our arrival together was also a very obvious sign to my intelligent family that our relationship was very atypical. Questions started to pop up from the beginning. Several of my mom’s cousins

began to ask, “Is that Kara’s ‘lady friend?'”  Everyone was pretty interested but no one would come directly up to us.

As interested as everyone was in us and our relationship, I’m glad that everyone was polite and accepting.  I felt very grateful to my family and glad they continue to accept me to this day.  I also feel very lucky that Phoenix and I were not the only gay couple at the picnic.  One of my very obscure cousins from Buffalo and his boyfriend were visiting my cousin Annette.  I think they were happy as well.  We began chatting and I soon learned that Aaron was a drag queen.  Phoenix and I were both drag kings and my family began to pick up on our conversation, particularly Brenda.

My mom’s cousin Brenda is the gossip queen of our family.  She was very curious about drag and Phoenix and Aaron loved talking about it.  I am not sure how I felt about this felt at the time, suddenly being outed to my family.  Drag was not a closet I had planned to open to my family because I thought it might have been more trouble explaining then it was worth.  Being a drag king is not a major part of my life and I didn’t want my family to know that I was going out to bars multiple times a week.  No one cared though and the day went smoothly.  The only resistance I received from my family was an email from one of my cousin’s telling me that she would be praying for Aaron and I.  You know, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”

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