My Secret is Out

This being Pride Month and the 2-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision on gay marriage, I thought it was an appropriate time to dust this one off from Spitfire Mom and repost it. Two years later I’m more than a little sad about our current presidential situation and do occasionally worry that the good work achieved in 2015 will be undone by this administration. But I take comfort in  knowing that the light and love shared since the decision will overcome any darkness or hate that its opponents spew.

When I was a kid, I had a secret. Not just any old secret. I’m not talking about a crush, or getting a poor grade in a class, or getting caught writing (and misspelling) several curse words to a classmate. All of those things actually happened, and I’d have liked to keep them secret. But my greatest, deepest, darkest, most terrifying secret, one that I would rather die than to tell anyone, was that my mom is gay.

You might be thinking, “what’s the big deal?” With the explosion of rainbows on our Facebook feed over the past ten days, it certainly doesn’t seem like anything of consequence in 2015. But imagine a marginally popular, awkward, brainy girl in rural Minnesota in the 1980s with such a secret. Imagine a new high school freshman girl – quiet, slightly shy, painfully out of place – at an urban high school with that secret. Imagine a smart, headstrong, young woman at one of the most liberal colleges in the nation with the same secret. They were all me, and they were all terrified to divulge my mother’s sexual orientation to anyone.

What if they make fun of me?

What if they don’t want to be my friends anymore?

What if I’m treated differently by adults, teachers – what if they pity me?

What if they are disrespectful to my mother or her partner when they see her?

What if my boyfriend doesn’t want to be with me anymore?

What if people think I’m gay? Read more

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