Yesterday the debate over same-sex marriage was moved to the Supreme Court where justices heard arguments for and against such unions nationwide. I am not about to even touch this subject for the simple fact that I don't give a rats ass about anyone else's opinion on this matter. Sorry to be so blunt and rude, but the love I share with my partner, and what we do in the privacy of our home, is not anyone else's business and doesn’t change the fact that I am a sarcastic bitch! Dislike me for that reason, but not because I’m in a same-sex relationship. No matter what the decision is, I'm still going to love my woman and I'm still going to get married. It's not up for debate. Well...perhaps she needs to propose first. Then it's not up for debate.
No, what brought this post on was that I was reading the news about this issue and reminiscing on the good times I had dealing with my sexuality all alone and at a young age. On the fun it was to wear a dress, go to the prom, slow dance with a boy and the whole time pretend he had a nice rack. And then there was my favorite experience of all which was coming out to my Mom. Now THAT was awesome!! Nothing like coming clean to a nice Irish Catholic woman! Almost as fun as coming out to my cousin who was convinced that my uncontrollable sobbing was because I was knocked up! Almost as fun....but not quite.
Silly me for thinking that this process would be easy. After all, I did leave a few subtle, albeit questionable, hints. Let's see...we had the baby carriage loaded up with GI-Joe men and those little green army guys. I was always pretending to be the single Dad looking for a nice wife. Then we had the more subtle, what I like to call "Barbie Bangin'." One Barbie had her head shaved while the other ladies all had awful bangs (minds out of the gutter people!) A hair dresser I was not. They seemed to be naked early and often, and Ken's only use was to either drive the Barbie Corvette or to take photos of the gals make-out sessions. Like I said, much more subtle than the "GI-Joe needs a baby Momma" drama. Still not convinced? Perhaps the line-up of Care Bears, all with their bellies exposed, can do the trick. Actually, that won't help. I just wanted an excuse to bring the Care Bears into the mix. I have a hard-on for the CB! No, I think the most subtle hint of them all was just me being me. Full-on, throw-down, tantrums when forced to wear a dress; dressing up in my brothers clothes and playing with toy guns; shaving the bottom of my head sans the "Jordan Knight" braid; cut-off flannel vests; and, yes, a mullet! Yet...it was still a shock to family and friends when I came flying out of that closet. Interesting.
We could be here all day so I'll share the three most memorable and exciting coming out stories. We start with my best friend from high school. I figured, what better person to share with than someone supportive? I drove to her house one evening, we played some pool, drank a few beers (not gay at all!), and I fessed up. She said all the right things, yet refused to come near me all night. I drove home a few hours later and we never spoke again. I'm not sure the friendship broke down because she was pissed I was a big ole homo, or because I was just not attracted to her. Which, by the by, is probably a perfect space for a timeout and quickie lesson for you gals out there: Just because I'm flamin' does NOT mean that I am automatically attracted to you because you have boobs! I'm not just going to stare at your naked ass in a locker room or want to hug and squeeze on you for a cheap feel. You ladies need to earn that shit! If I hug and squeeze on you it's because you're my friend and I actually like you as. a. person. If I'm busted staring at you, sweaty and/or naked after a workout, it's because you're hot and my inner man has been ignited. Still. I don't want to bed you. I have my own fine woman at home for that. Moving on....
Next up was my cousin, Celeste, whom I ADORE! I just had to tell a family member so I could gather advice on how to break the news to my Mom that she essentially had three sons (at least when dating was the topic.) I worked myself up into a fucking frenzy before Celeste got into the car. I did everything to keep my composure but the minute I saw her I broke down. In between sobs I managed to tell her that I had some news. Poor thing looked frantic and asked if I was pregnant. Had I been arrested? Am I ill? Is it cancer? The whole time I'm like "WHAT!?? Pregnant!?? Ew! I'd need a penis for that. *choke on own vomit* Hell NO!" I just blurted out "I think I might be gay!!" THINK I MIGHT be gay. Really? It was the best I could do. I remember her response like it were yesterday: "Honey, I could have told you that when you were 5 years old and playing on the soccer field. Have you told....oh look....look....it's Dykes Lumber!" (Dyke's Lumber is a store on Route 17 in New Jersey. And people say that the Universe has no sense of humor?!) We stopped for gas, a Root Beer, and the rest is history. Celeste, if you're reading this, I friggin' LOVE you!!
Assuming you're still with me at this point, I will end with the most heart-warming story of all. My Mom. I love the hell out of my Mom. Jude and I are like two peas in a pod for good, bad or indifferent. I get my mouth, my attitude, and my strength from that woman and, no matter what has ever happened between us, I would not trade her in for the world.
That being said, her reaction to my news was not exactly worthy of an episode of "Leave it to Beaver" (wink wink), however, in fairness to her, I did not deliver my news in the most lady-like of fashions either. I was home for Thanksgiving with my then girlfriend. We had been hiding our relationship for about a year at that point and it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with my own lies. Let's just say she almost walked in on us a few times too many. It's college. Young and horny. Don't act like you can't relate. It would just have been nice if Mom's surprise visits to the dorm were less of a surprise. I lost a good bra out the window one day. Supported me like no other. What a loss.
Back to Thanksgiving. Mom was unhappy that I was spending so much time with my "friend" and gave me an earful on the one drive that we had by ourselves. Again, in fairness, I was all about the love and not about the family so I can appreciate her being upset with me, but the digs about how my "friend" was dressed and carried herself were uncalled for. Looking back I think it's pretty safe to say that it was my dress (or lack thereof) and the way I carried myself (pretty badass if I do say so myself) that she could not stand. Either which way, it caused a huge shouting match in which she was screaming and asking me what it was I saw in her as a "friend" and, what came out of my mouth next, was appalling even to me! The only detail that matters at this point is that my toilet mouth shocked her so much that she took her eye off the wheel and drove head-on into a bush (there's the Universe's sense of humor again!) Without missing a beat, she put the car back in reverse, cried harder than me, and drove me straight to church to confess. Poor Mom. The poor Priest who tried to coax me out of the car. Color us all losers! There's obviously much more to it, but I'm going to stop at this point in an effort to protect the guilty.
So now, 11 Melissa Etheridge studio albums and one Melissa Etheridge tattoo later, at 40, I am in a healthy relationship with a femme, settled down in a ‘red’ state and living directly across the street from a Mormon church. I don't attend mass, my "phase" hasn't passed, and my relationship with my Mom is better than I could have ever imagined! She will call to offer (to which I will politely decline) to buy me QVC's Today's Special Value (available in 7 easy payments) of "Marsha Brady's lace-infused, blush colored, scoop necked blouse, matching purse and bonus wristlet" BUT... when I think back and can hear Momma Jude say such things to my niece as "ask Aunt Pam...", it makes me wish that blush and bashful really were my signature colors.
Just for fun, here are some photos to back up my claims. Notice how I was all smiles in my baby beater, and with my rosary beads and race car. More smiles with my guns and ammo. I'll give you one guess who the sad sack in the blue dress happens to be.
And there you have it!