Sex Ed From My Mom

Personal Bits, Queer stuff

So I’ve been schooled as a captive audience, on the mechanics and now as a 16 year old kid not wanting to grow up. In this installment, my Mom kicks some sense into my head.

When I was almost 16 I was biding my time until I could leave Brockvegas to …anywhere. I hated Brockvegas growing up. Still do, for reasons that will become obvious.

I knew I was gay and I was 99% certain I’d be like that for the rest of my life. Not exactly knowing what it was to be “gay” I expected I was headed for a life of shame, ridicule and secrecy. At that time, Dan, my oldest brother, had come out and had brought his boyfriend home for social events. Meeting his significant other was like discovering life on another planet – I could have a relationship and not have to get guys drunk behind the dumpsters at school! Dan’s brazen display of same sex affections prompted me to ask my sister 1000 questions about what it meant to be gay. That’s what sisters are for.

“You know the show Soap?” She started after my landslide of questions about Dan’s personal life.


“You know Jodi? He’s gay. Dan is Jodi. Dan is gay.” And so it went.

Meanwhile, my father and mother had started their separation proceedings and Dad had moved into his own apartment while Mom was dating a real estate agent and spent most of her time at his house. At the time I was dating a 19 year old woman nearly 3 years my senior, named Donna. I see your two warning flags: yeah it was illegal and yeah I knew I was gay but the social status and allure of being with an older woman who had her own place with no parents around was a high school level career move I could not resist. Can you say “beard”?

One day while at Donna’s place she casually mentioned that she had heard the reason my parents were divorcing was because my Dad was gay.


“What? You don’t know?”

Back and forth it went between us until Donna revealed that she had a passing conversation with an acquaintance at the local mall. When she told the friend she was dating me, my town reputation came out. So to speak. I was the “gay guy’s kid”.

Naturally, as a teen, emotions are turned up to EXTREME DRAMA proportions and I didn’t confront my father with this for two months. In fact I stopped talking to him entirely because, being an idiot, I thought that since my Dad was gay he was going to molest me. Yes. Naive and stupid and living in a small town, thanks. My behaviour spiraled down into angst-ridden teen lows and spent weeks being the most moodiest, ill-behaved son ever – staying out all night, stealing booze and finally letting slip I was dating an older woman. My mom sat me down and in the discussion about my behaviour, I confronted her with it.

There was a pause with tense glares from each other.

“Go talk to your father.”

That was all I needed. I ran from the room and holed up at Donna’s for a couple days.

After not speaking with him for two months, Mom called him and told him to “man up” as it were. I remember getting a phone call from my Dad asking me over for dinner. Despite the menu being my favorite (lasagna and the “one beer”) and Dad peppering the conversation with fun suggestions (lending me his boat some weekend, trip to Toronto, etc.) I remained the vision of stoicism. After a long quiet dinner of terse conversation Dad opened up.

He spoke of being scared. He talked a lot about love and it’s mailable, intangible forms. He talked about being sorry and mostly he talked about wasted time. I am fluffing it up, of course, because he was an Irish Catholic boy and he basically communicated his regurgitating feelings and thoughts as if they were festering gasses from a sputtering lava pool. The meaning was communicated, at least.

And yet I didn’t come out to him. More on that later.

5 thoughts on “Sex Ed From My Mom

  1. madamerouge

    I feel for what you went through. Brockvegas and Dryden sound remarkably similar. It’s not easy growing up gay in a small town… not now, and especially not during our time.

  2. furface

    My sister outed me and I moved out of the house three weeks later – at 17 – while my mother and my step-father were in Hawaii.

    They get home, I’m gone, my sister won’t say a thing and I didn’t speak to her or them for almost 4 years. What a waste of time.

  3. The Mutant

    All jokes aside, I’d really like to hear the rest of this story. I get the feeling its one of those deeply personal things that take a huge amount of effort to share with a bunch of strangers online, but I’d honestly like to hear the rest of this. As someone with straight parents, more straight siblings then they can count and nothing but straight cousins I would’ve killed to have someone, anyone to liken myself too.

    So please, go on!

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