An unexpected visit from my father on Sunday brought back a lot of unpleasant memories of the conversation I had with my mother where I told her I was queer and dating a woman. Neither my Mum nor I have raised the topic since and I'm mentally filing it as "least said, soonest mended." No doubt we are both secretly hoping that the other person will just get over it, albeit in rather different ways.
As it turns out, and as is often the case, my Dad and I did not discuss matters personal, but concentrated on important things like going for a curry. That didn't stop me from going ahead with the necessary physical arrangements (remove kinky items from house, wear clothing that hides tattoos) and the less necessary but seemingly unstoppable emotional churn.
I hate having to lie to my family, even by omission. I feel like a Judas, albeit on a small scale, betraying my own identity and erasing those who I care about in order to safeguard the feelings of other people I care about. These vanilla lies are not white lies, though they can seem that way on the surface, and they do cause the least harm but they reveal the disparity between who I am and who my family thinks I am. Between the kind of happiness I want, and aggressively seek for myself, and the kind of happiness they think I should have.
At least we all agree on the happiness front. And on some level, there is overlap. Like them, I would like to be settled down with a loving man, a nice house and all the trimmings. But within that house, behind those closed doors the world looks very different. As Mannequin said to me last week, and I reassured her it was true: "If you get married, will your husband allow you to keep pets?"
I would have certainly thought so, but the question is where do I put them when my family comes to visit?