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.
He never really cared what people thought of him and always did as he pleased. He spent afternoons at Sunday School drawing cartoons of Jesus, much to his teachers' dismay. Read more about David Hockney
221 representatives in Congress are on record supporting a U.S. partial land, sea, and air blockade of Iran. A blockade, even a partial one, is an act of war.
It's happening folks. And I don't have to tell you that we need to do everything we can to stop it. We need to organize large-scale demonstrations in major cities to voice our opposition. If anyone knows of anything happening that I can get involved with at a local level, please let me know. I have limited time in the next few weeks to look into this and I need resources.
On the home-front, things are going well; though we all wish this bloody humidity spell would break. We don't believe in AC but I have been using it in the car when my mother is with me; the heat and humidity are flattening her.
Former Ambassador Thomas Pickering calls for talks without preconditions and advocates a plan for a multinational uranium enrichment consortium in Iran. Iran has proposed a similar plan to the UN Security Council. Why aren't we considering this proposal?
As some of you may recall from this post my mother is due for a visit at my house. I'm actually picking her up at my uncle's house, 50 miles southeast from me, where she's been visiting for a couple of days.
If you read the above linked post, you may also recall that sometime during this visit my daughter, Supergirl One, will be breaking the news to her grandmother that she is gay and is planning on being married next Spring. My mother is likely to take the news very hard and we've been more than a bit anxious over it for weeks now. The moment of truth will soon arrive. Sigh. Wish us luck.
I also wanted to tell you that I'm not sure how clever I will be at juggling my mother's visit with blogging. I may do some late-night quickie blogs but I'm unsure how everything will go and how much energy I'll have at the end of each day. I will certainly let you all know how my mother, Maria, takes the news of SG1's marriage plans, as soon as I have some clarity on the whole thing. Right now, all I feel is a sort of trepidation. There are so many barriers: generational, cultural and even language is an issue, as my mother's English has steadily gone downhill since her move back to Portugal from the U.S. in 1987.
A united front is what the Supergirls and I have decided will be our tact. A united front on the issue with a lot of love, understanding and compassion toward my mother; who will need support as well. I don't know who she will talk to about this to air her own feelings. Knowing her, she will not say a word to any other family members or friends. Naturally, she will want to talk to me. I don't know how I will maintain both support for Supergirl One and support for my mother. If the players were different, it would be one thing but this is my mother, with whom I've struggled on many fronts over the years. The last thing I want to have happen is for me to get defensive and irritated with her. She deserves more from me.
I believe that the images and writing posted here fall under the "fair use" section of the U.S. copyright law http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html#107, as they are intended for educational purposes and are not in a medium that is of commercial nature.