An otherwise amazing week spent having lunch, dinner and play sessions with perverts was marred by my brave but possibly stupid decision to tell my Mother that I was queer. I've previously steered clear of revealing anything but the most unavoidable details of my sex life or sexuality with my parents, they met The Photographer once or twice very much as a "boyfriend" and were given the briefest details on polyamory because it was better than the running theory that he was married and we were "carrying on" behind her back.
As a family we're generally rather private about our private lives. But we are also honest and respectful of people's feelings and place in the world. Which meant that when I thought that Mannequin might be joining a few friends who were having drinks with my mother and I it became necessary to have a conversation. The alternatives were unpalatable. To say nothing and hope Mannequin would play along would have been cowardly. To request her to do so, would be worse. To spring it upon my mum with no warning would have been cruel and potentially embarrassing and introduce her as a "friend" when she is more than that would be an outright lie. I can't lie like that. It's a denial of who we both were and show a terrible lack of respect to her, to myself and my desires and also to my mother. Frankly I dislike introducing my pet as a girlfriend, but there are levels of public social acceptability and meaningfulness. When I say "pet" in a BDSM situation, people will understand the connection, when I say "girlfriend" in a vanilla situation they will at least appreciate the relationship as a sexual, intimate one.
So I told her that I was dating a woman. And she seemed to take it well enough, initially. I answered a few questions about bisexuality, about my potential life choices, including the fact that I see myself settling down with a man. We went out, we had a few drinks - in the end Mannequin couldn't join us, and everything seemed fine.
The next evening, after a day when there was something of a slight cloud over our Mother's Day time spent together we talked more. She wasn't happy. She was struggling with herself and her own sense of being liberal against the weight of the knowledge that I was sexually attracted to women - it not only upset her, she confessed it repulsed her and that the thought of seeing me kiss another woman made her feel sick. That hit hard. It hit hard not because of what she was saying, I knew that she was unhappy that she felt those things about me, but because I had upset her by telling her a truth about myself. That the person I was made her feel sick.
We talked long into the night. Good things and bad. About how much we loved each other. About the differences between us both, the life experience I have had compared to her. That happiness was important and she wanted to say that whatever made me happy was fine, but couldn't. That she knew she would tell no-one what I had told her, for fear that they would think badly of me. The confusion felt over how she could accept anyone else on the planet being gay. Except me. Because I am fiercely loved, like many children are. But to my mother, who is infertile, I will always be the child she struggled so hard for and never thought she could have - I am adopted and my adoption process was not easy or kind on my parents.
What I told her shocked her, and knocked her view of me off-kilter. It also made her feel bad about herself and scuppered her view of who she was. We talked and although I never really recovered from the cold, hard fist that balled in my stomach when she told me that she felt sick over my sexuality. I know that she wants to be comfortable with the situation, and that fact makes me feel immensely proud of her.
It's just as well I didn't tell her about anything else.