We continue to make great strides in Gay/SGL (Same Gender Loving) acceptance. There’s our increasing visibility in the entertainment realm. More notables have come out–including film director/producer Lee Daniels, broadcaster Don Lemon, and sports figures Michael Sam and Derrick Gordon. (And, it seems that the vast majority of Queen Latifah’s body has already “fallen outta the closet!” Just kidding, but seriously! LOL.) As well, we have the surge in marriage equality.
But even with all of THAT, feeling fully and totally “comfortable in your own skin” as a Gay/SGL man (which translates into being your authentic self) can still present challenges—which can be particularly amplified, daunting and frustrating during the holidays. Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I’ve decided to explore whether or not you should come out on “Turkey Day.”
“Thanksgiving may seem like an opportune moment to come out since you will have a captive audience,” states Ramon Johnson, African-American gay life expert. “However, you can also find yourself trapped in the situation despite the outcome.”
Johnson continues, “Your coming our scenario can play out in either one of three ways: your parents could freak out, they could love you dearly or be indifferent. We often have in our heads how our parents will react. They may have made homophobic comments in the past, sneered at a gay couple, or made innuendos about their openness to everyone. Even if you think you’re sure of how they will respond, you could be quite surprised.”
The gay life expert speaks about his coming out experience. “I was sure by me coming out that my relationship with my mom was over. Instead, she shrugs the news off with a ‘I already knew that’! It was far less dramatic than I anticipated.”
So, should you make your “Grand Announcement”, say, at the dinner table as you’re woofing down that juicy, DEE-LI-CIOUS turkey with dressing…and the rest of “dem other vittles?” Johnson weighs in.
“A parent’s feelings about homosexuality and their feelings about their child being gay could be quite different. You can’t be certain how they will respond. Also, there will be other family members around.” He adds, “Coming out doesn’t have to be a group announcement. It should be an intimate conversation and a moment with the people in your life.”
The gay life expert emphasizes the following: “Have the conversation not in the busyness of the holiday, but when you will have time to talk about your feelings and what your sexual identity really means. A big family dinner may not be the best time to have that conversation.”
(Gourmet) food for thought, eh? Well, give your decision a helluva lot of thoughtful and deliberate consideration before making…and then announcing it. And, don’t’ forget to “Git Yo’ Gobble-Gobble On!”