After long deliberation, Supergirl One and I decided that it would be best if I broke the news to my mother, her VoVo (Portuguese for Grammy) that she is gay. We felt that this way, if my mother wanted to air any feelings or concerns she could do so without SG1 being present. We decided that the engagement would be something that would be tackled by SG1 herself after her summer session finals. As it turned out, this was a wise decision.
The conversation between my mother and me took place on Wednesday. We were sitting outside together looking at the river, when my mother asked me for the umpteenth time why SG2 didn't have a boyfriend .To the question I'd previously simply shrugged my shoulders in response to, I simply stated - she doesn't like boys. She likes girls. My mother's surprised reply was a breathless oh, my, I never would have guessed! We went into it a little further. She asked if SG1's friend from California was her girlfriend, to which I replied yes and instantly felt tremendous relief that it was finally out in the open. My mother took the news rather well but in typical My Mother fashion, began to construct her own assumptions about was going on. I know from long experience that to deter her from this process is totally pointless: she will believe what she wants to believe. So, for your inquiring minds, what follows are some of my mother's constructs on what being a lesbian is about and what SG1's relationship with her Beloved really means.
I think that SG1 must have had a traumatizing experience with a boy and that's what's made her into a lesbian. She's afraid of men. Either that or it's her bipolar disorder at work. But she seems to be doing so well!
On this, at least, I think I've managed to convince her that it's not related to bipolar disorder, which has been in check for two years now.
A few minutes later, as we stare at the boats on the river:
I'll bet you anything that this is just a phase she's going through. She'll meet a boy and forget all about being a lesbian. (pause) But she used to have boyfriends!
To this I replied that I didn't think it was a phase. That yes she did have a succession of boyfriends in high school but that it was related to experimentation with her sexuality; a sorting out of what she was and was not. This did not appear to make a dent in her conclusion that being a lesbian is a "phase".
I think she and the other girl are probably clinging to each other because they attend a woman's college and they've found affection for one another, which they may be mistaking for a romantic relationship. They probably don't even have sex!
Honestly, I don't mean to sound insensitive toward my mother, but I almost laughed out loud at this one. My poor mother. She is choosing to be in denial. I'm not surprised. She just can't wrap her head around the whole concept of two women being together as anything more than friends or companions.
What do two women do together anyway?
I did chuckle this time and replied - Mother, if you cannot use your imagination on this one, I will not provide visuals for you! To which she chuckled also, though a bit uncomfortably.
We discussed things a bit further and my dear mother concluded that she would not stop loving SG1 no matter what. But she laid down some conditions:
I hope you don't tell your brother about this.
I replied that I thought he perhaps already knew. A sigh from her. The other condition was:
I'll have to tell her not to bring any of this to Mid-Size Village, Portugal. (We have been there many times; there are many family members, friends and acquaintances). They will do nothing but gossip and poke fun at her.
And this was hard to counter because it's true and the reason my mother said it is because she doesn't want to see SG1 hurt by malicious gossip. I replied that would have to be SG1's decision to make and not ours. She looked worried.
I'm glad it's finally out in the open. I'm not surprised by my mother's reconstruction of reality, nor about her assumptions about lesbianism. I think this will continue to pain and trouble her and that is nothing I can change or control. All things considered, it could have gone a lot worse.
Stay tuned for Part Two.
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