Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Good Son

It's happened twice now.  Once while we were at a coffee shop and last weekend when we were in bed.  Steve gets a call and begins a serious conversation in Korean. He finishes and rolls his eyes.

It's a call from his parents.  He's not serious enough about marriage.  Why didn't he call back some girl they introduced him to three months ago?  His mom's friend has just identified some new prospects.  It won't stop!

This train is gaining momentum and the crash is impending.  He's 35 and it seems his Asian parents are in a panic over his future. 

"You didn't tell your parents about me?"  I ask.  "Are you embarrassed of me?"

Steve smiles at my joking, but it gets old fast.

Seriously....Obviously I'm telling him that he can't let this happen.  It's not like he's 25 and confused or questioning.  He's had an active gay sex life for at least a few years.  Now he's been in sort of a relationship with a guy for ten months.  There's no "question" here.

"Why can't you just tell them?" I ask. 

It seems that this is just not in the realm of possibilities.

"What if you told them and they hugged you and said we love you anyway?" I asked.  That just won't happen he told me.

I've been thinking a lot this week about the parent - adult child relationship.  Why is it that some people just CANNOT even conceive of telling their parents about their sexuality?

Please don't comment that those people are just cowards.  It's far more complex than that.  Most 35 year olds are not worried about being thrown out of the house.  But they are worried about facing the profound disappointment of their parents.

This is so hard.     


  1. Another way to look at this is that he doesn't need to tell them. At 35, he should (in theory at least) have the self-confidence to know that his parents can push girl after girl on him, but that's all they can do. He really shouldn't be losing any sleep just because they're pushy.

    My guess is that they worry or suspect he's gay. You could be right that if he came out, they might surprise him. After an initial period of disappointment, a sense of relief might kick in because they can stop badgering him.

  2. This may surprise you, but I relate to the parents. They naturally want their posterity to continue. It's tough for their son to assist with that to the extent that he's only with another guy.

    He should find a broad-minded girl who wants to be a mother enough to go into an unconventional marriage. Specifically, he should offer to marry her and be the father to their children, but with no commitments to give up his deal with you on the side.

    Children are worth whatever inconveniences this may pose.... and it would make Steve's folks happy. If he can produce the grandchildren they might even be able to accept that Steve's deepest relationship is with you.

  3. I simply don't want to tell my dad for now...

    for the fear of a heart attack. He already suffered a heart attack before, and knowing his temper, he wouldn't take a coming out confession calmly.

  4. I'm Korean and I came out to my parents when I was 17. Now I am 23 and they've accepted the fact that I'm gay

    I mean.. Koreans can be very conservative, but he should try and tell his parents. I don't think it's about disappointment; I think he is just scared.