I cope with humor. So this summer while I was planning how I was actually going to come out to my parents, I also amused myself by thinking up horrible but creative ways I could have come out had my parents been a little less likely to be horribly traumatized by it. I present to you . . . the best five.
- As a “Get Out of This Conversation Free” card. We’ve all been there. You’re home for the holidays and someone has gone off on the Tangent of No Return. Maybe it’s about kids these days or the government or just a really awkward story that no one wants to hear again. Well, this is your one chance to get out of THAT conversation by interrupting with “So I’m pretty sure I’m gay.” It’s guaranteed to shut down anything else that’s going on in your immediate environment. BONUS: You may not hear that story/have that conversation for a while.
- A Rick Warren-style Tweet. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, follow the links.) I don’t actually have a Twitter account, nor do my parents, but I can’t help but feel this would be hilarious. You know . . . as long as you weren’t on the receiving end. “Mom, Dad, I’m gay. Can’t explain all the reasons here . . .”
- A cake. Pretty much everyone in my family stress eats, so cake would be a good thing to have around in a crisis. Also, cakes are generally associated with happy things like weddings, birthdays, Bar Mitzvahs, etc. Cake is party food! Bonus points if the cake is rainbow or confetti. You win the internet if it is presented without comment or explanation. “Mom, Dad, I made dessert tonight!”
- Family game night. The possibilities for this one are endless. Charades? “Three words . . . first word . . . eye . . .” Pictionary? “Um . . . a rainbow? Two girls holding hands? Friends? Sisters? Oh! Not sisters! WHAT ARE THEY DOING????” Or for slightly less dramatic impact, we could play Life and I would just put another pink figure in my car when it’s time to get married . . .
- Purchase t-shirts that say “I’m proud of my lesbian daughter.” Ship to parents. Include note that says, “I thought you might want to have something special to wear for Pride this year! See you [dates of local Pride event].” Subtle, but effective.
I hope this is the future. I hope that someday coming out will be such a non-issue that kids will be able to bake cakes and play games and do fun, celebratory stuff. Because coming out should be about celebrating who you are. Coming out should be just another milestone of growing up and figuring yourself out. It should feel as good as getting a college acceptance letter or find a hobby that you love.
And really, I hope that someday coming out becomes obsolete. I hope that someday we get rid of the boxes and find a way to acknowledge that sexuality is complicated and dynamic and labels aren’t as important or useful as we want them to be. I hope that if my teenage son or daughter tells me they are attracted to someone of the same gender, they won’t need me to tell them it’s alright. They’ll already know.