Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Waving the rainbow flag

Mum's just been to visit for a week. She was immeasurably helpful, doing the dishes, grocery shopping, cooking, taking us shopping for twin prams. Last night Donor Dan and his boyfriend James came over to meet her. Danny and James were great, the epitome of charming and stylish young gay boys. My mother likes gay boys. I think she likes to have attractive young men around!

She did drive Lovergirl a bit mad. It was a week, in a tiny flat, with LG home studying for exams, me lying on the couch with my bucket, and Mum talking. A Lot.

All in all she seems to be coping quite well with the non-conformist family unit we are establishing here. Lovergirl and I have had a few conversations about how much more out one has to be when having kids. All those medical appointments and hospital bookings (booking a double bedroom in the private hospital!), and people asking about my husband, and negotiating with insurance companies and real estate agents and every-bloody-body. What I realised is Mum's having to make a lot of those decisions too. She's so pleased she's going to be a grandmother she has to tell everybody, but then she gets the Questions. Is your daughter married? Do you like her partner? what does he do?

Mum says, 'I don't have a problem with it, but I don't see the need to wave the flag all the time.' She's worked out a series of answers, and discovered that skill
of avoiding the pronounwe same-sex-attracted types learn early. LG's name, when shortened, is gender neutral, so Mum has found that a handy way of dodging revelations about my family structure. Such as, 'No Mikhela isn't married. Her partner, L, is a psychologist.'

I found all this out last night when Danny courageously asked Mum how she felt about all of this (me & LG, babies, donors...mindblowing, really, when you think about Mum's childhood in 50's rural Victoria Creswick). She outlined her avoidance tactics - not with close friends, but with the more acquaintance-type people in her social circle. The ladies at Weight Watchers. People at work.

Initially I felt a bit offended - she's denying my family! But it's a big, arduous task being out, even for me. Often it's just easier to not correct assumptions, to avoid the double-take just before the person at the hotel desk/doctor's receptionist/client blinks and says, 'Oh, right, yes of course, of course,' sometimes adding, 'That's fine,' like I should be grateful that it might not be.
Up until now it's been a personal choice, but now dodging the father question means denying Lovergirl's part in our family. 'Are you married?' 'No.' 'Oh, it's going to be hard bringing up twins on your own.' And so on.

Anyway I think Mum's going to find it harder and harder, as time goes on, to stay in the closet about her daughters.

2 comments:

ThirdCat said...

Gee this is a good post. I'm glad you're finding the time to blog in between bouts of throwing up. You know that post you wrote a while ago about same or different?

'She did drive Lovergirl a bit mad': same.

'I don't see the need to wave the flag all the time': different.

JahTeh said...

I hope I'm still around for when the questions just aren't asked anymore.

Still with the up-chucking? I sympathise, truly.