A few months ago, I posted a blog about my father being more homophobic than I thought and how I felt my catholic, Maltese, 70-year-old grandmother would have reacted to me coming out to her. I was convinced she would have been fine. So I came out to her.
My mum and dad were getting ready to go out for dinner with their work, so that night it was just my grandmother, my sister and I. I asked my nan to talk to her in my room while my parents were smoking outside. I was so nervous and I started to cry. Even though I knew she was going to be fine with it, I was still so nervous. She thought I was about to tell her she was going to be a great grandmother and my parents didn’t know. But no, She was just about to find out that her youngest granddaughter is gay.
Just as I expected, she was fine. She hugged me and wiped away my tears and said that it was okay and that she still loves me. She asked if my parents know. I told her they did and that’s all I said. I didn’t want to get into too much detail. She said it was good they knew, followed by saying my mother would have been fine but my father, she wasn’t sure about. The look of anger and disappointment she had on her face when I told her how my parents reacted, it scared me. I never saw her look like that. In the 17, nearly 18 years of me knowing my grandmother, not once have I seen her with so much anger and disappointment. She asked how they reacted.
I told her everything. How my mother couldn’t look at me or talk to me for a week, for a month it was still awkward and how my father was even contemplating conversion therapy until finding out it was illegal in Australia, so he started to insist I spoke to my local priest who baptised me and done all the sacraments that I’ve received so far. I even told her how my father was disappointed in me when I chose to not break up with my girlfriend because of how my family felt about it. For a moment, I felt relief, as if I just got everything off my chest of what it’s been like lately for me. Once I realised my mother was in the bathroom, that relief instantly turned into fear and regret.
My grandmother was disappointed in my parents, particularly, the woman she raised. She raised my mother and my aunty to be so accepting of homosexuals, especially family. She felt disappointed in herself thinking she raised a woman that was fine and so accepting with homosexuals. She did but to a point. My mum is fine with my cousin who is a lesbian, she’s fine thinking another one of my cousins is gay but he is in the closet, Shes fine with all the lesbians in my baseball team and my friends who are either bisexual, gay or a lesbian. But she’s not with me.
Once my mum left, my nan asked me about my girlfriend and wanted to see a picture of her. So I told her everything.
I told her my girlfriend’s name and how she doesn’t get on with her dad. I told her how we liked each other back in 2017 but she didn’t know I liked her and she thought I was straight so she never tried anything on me. That got my grandmother’s upmost respect for my girlfriend. I told her how when my girlfriend and I meet up and when she sees me approaching her, she gets this smile and look on her face that I can’t even describe, something I never got with any of my ex’s. I showed my grandmother the teddy’s she bought me and made her smell them because they smelt like her. I told my grandmother about how we help each other with our depression and anxiety and how she helps me recover from my eating disorder. I told her how when I tell my girlfriend I haven’t had anything to eat, she “kills me” and buys me food and makes me sit down and eat before we go and fuck up Kmart. I told her how despite knowing my family doesn’t like her anymore if she notices my eating disorder relapsing she was going to find a way to talk to them to tell them her concerns about my health. I told her how we are both broken angels helping each other find our wings. I told her how protective she got of me when I told her I was indecently assaulted at work when I was 16. I told her how protective my girlfriend got when I told her that he usually hangs around where we meet up with his wife and 2 daughters, I also told my nan how she said she was willing to get into a fight with him if we saw him and he or his wife started to approach me. I told her how she had to repeat year 10 because she was getting bullied and didn’t go to school because of how suicidal she was.
And finally, I showed her pictures of her. I was worried about how my grandmother would have reacted to her eyebrow, septum and ear piercings. I was worried about my grandmother’s reaction to her pink hair and how she styles her hair. But to my surprise, she said she was really pretty and wanted to meet her. She also said she wanted to take us to Mardi Gras next year because of how excited she was and how she always wanted to go but never had anyone to go with or take. And finally, she hugged me and told me it was okay and that it would get better. She started to refer to my girlfriend as her granddaughter, the same way she refers to my brother in law as her grandson.
For a moment, I felt like everything was okay. I felt free and accepted, I felt like I was on top of the world. My parents left, we got pizza from my work on my shout and my discount, watched Netflix and played UNO. We discussed how I wanted to move out when I was 18, renting my place splitting with my cousins’ boyfriend so he and my cousin have somewhere to go also I know he’ll keep up with payments.
For a night, thanks to my grandmother and my sister, I felt normal. I felt like a normal kid. A normal kid that has been accepted by her family and was free to talk about my girlfriend and my relationship. We had a FaceTime call with my girlfriend so my nan and my sister could talk to her. My sister started to steal my girl but it’s ok cause I know my girlfriend loves me. Embarrassing stories were told and now my girlfriend still calls me my childhood nickname- Fifi the Flowetot, So I call her Rosy Rose.
The next day, I was bored so I wanted to see my new baby cousin. It wasn’t until I looked further into my cousin who just had her baby Facebook profile when I learnt she used to be a Victoria Secret Model, and she too was gay. She posted a photo of her with a rainbow filter, tagging her Greek mother. Someone commented “you’re gay?” to which she replied “and proud🏳️🌈💖💜💙” So far I have two gay cousins on my mum’s side, that is out. My other cousin, he isn’t out yet, he doesn’t know but I saw him at the shops one week with a guy holding hands. I’m the only one that knows. But everyone suspects him of it, even his mother.
I started to post more and more photos of my girlfriend and I on my social media, particularly, Instagram. Without realising, a family friend I refer to as aunty, her kids follow me on Instagram. They’re Croatian and very catholic. As far as I was concerned, nothing that I posted was inappropriate or degrading. My family-friend aunty calls my sister one week, asking if I was gay because her daughter saw one of my posts. I blocked her and then she called again asking if I was okay because of how I blocked her daughter. A few days later, she calls my mum telling her I am posting inappropriate pictures online, apparently, we were laying on top of each other and she was looking down my shirt. The only picture that I have that she could be accused of with that is when she was resting her head on my shoulder and she had her eyes closed. I showed my sister and she even said that it wasn’t degrading or inappropriate, it was just us hugging and she posted similar things of her and her husband. That night, she tried saying to me to delete the posts. I didn’t. My grandmother comes over every Friday. The Friday before I came out to her, this Friday she walks into my parents and I arguing and my sister defending me. We were going out for dinner as a family. We continued going to dinner playing happy families.
At dinner, while my parents were outside smoking, my grandmother asks if anything got better between my parents and my girlfriend. I told her no and she said I should have done what she used to do. Break it to her slowing and with steps. Telling her I’m starting to like girls, once she’s used to that, hang out with my girlfriend a lot more and say that I’m starting to like my girlfriend to then slowly say that she is my girlfriend.
Apparently, a lot of people on my mother’s side is gay. Who else could be is my question?