To be fair, I've been stuck in a multi-day severe allergy attack, so I was out of it when this passed, and at this moment, only by the Grace of ibuprofen do I not have a headache though I still lack a working sense of smell, but Child did wake me up to tell me DOMA had failed.
You'd be surprised how many actual filters I have writing here, a lot of them created by instinct, but only one was created on the spot four years ago, when my son, age twelve, told me he was gay. Not 'pretty sure' or 'might be' but was, like the sun set in the west and I couldn't fool him by telling him that he really did like spinach, he just kept forgetting (worked ages 0 - 12, goddammit, how did I fail there?). Over gmail one night, and neither medium nor timing was a surprise, because this is how Child rolls.
After I'd told him it was fucking one o'clock and it was as school night, I asked him what he wanted to do about it. Coming out to my family was going to go badly, that didn't even need saying, but it was his decision if he wanted to and we'd deal with it. Real life isn't like television or even like the media--the consequences were going to be mixed either way. He wouldn't be disowned, and after the rage-surprise-horror-whatever, the pattern of acceptance would be ignore--quasi-accept--move on--accept as a thing that's happening. I don't know how it works in most families, but that's pretty much how it always goes with us, and with the families I know. My aunt's eighties marriage to an African-American man, that shit was when racism became a real thing for me, but the pattern that followed would become a script that would be repeated throughout every major social issue that could come up in a working class family, because in the end--and this is so cliched--love and being loved was the important part for acceptance, and once it's personal, I won't say it led to a social-issues-free household, but it stripped out a lot of the power out of *ism.
Leaving the entire complicated decision to a twelve year old kid isn't something any sane parent does, so I introduced the options to him, and explained that no one in the family would love him less and they'd get over it pretty fast once it was out there, but their initial reaction would suck like whoa. I also said we'd get through it. He took several days to think it over and decided against telling our immediate family but would tell his friends and gave permission for me to tell any of mine. That night, I talked to two people about it, and the second one said he would get over it because he was twelve. After that, I waited until I could talk live to friends I knew were gay or bisexual, because math now said that I had more to worry about with my very liberal friends than I did with my family; at least with family's reaction was pretty much scripted, but I didn't see that second thing coming. It's one thing for him to make that decision with his friends, people he knew and trusted, and another for me to do it with mine, who I trusted and knew, and me be wrong. My friends are adults and many of them have met him, some might see him, and I was willing to cut a huge amount of slack for good intentions and not sure what to say, but not when the baseline was 'they'll get over it'.
While Child lived his life for the last four years, I decided to work on my family the indirect way, because God knows, the worst that could happen was it wouldn't work. Strangely enough, it did work, more or less, and by now, our immediate family knows, the people important to Child know, and among the people I consider close friends, ten know, because that number two got to me. At Vividcon a few years ago, I was given a lot of advice (good advice, btw) and was repeatedly told that the important part was to make sure he was open to talking to me about anything, which if you've met Child, talking about anything that comes into his head has never been a problem. The only other thing I was advised--and this wasn't even advised so much as a possibility--was that the difference between me talking about it here and Child talking about it in his Facebook and blog was that in general, he'd be talking about himself and I'd be talking about him, and even with his permission to do so, I'd be making a conscious choice to accept that there would be unintended consequences to him that wouldn't affect me the same way. So I talked to him and told him if he thought it would feel like I was hiding him if I didn't talk about it until he was sixteen.
(Which was a mistake, since that inspired him to actually read my LJ in horror, since he knew I wrote about him, but not that he had his own tag.)
I didn't tell him--I never told him--what friend #2 said. I just told him I'd rather he was older and had more time to get comfortable with his friends and his family and with himself and when he was sixteen, he could decide or not if he was okay with me talking about it in a public forum, whereas he could do what he wanted with his own voice in his own words.
I don't know if I made the right decision, but I spent the last four years teaching him everything I could about how the internet worked, how trolling worked, reading and participating in anonymous forums, how to trace IPs and passwording what he didn't want revealed, use pseudonyms and the power of meme, and how the entire Christian right was both not very Christian and breathtakingly stupid (it was a fun pasttime on slow Sunday nights). We watched youtube videos about "It gets better" which was probably more traumatizing for me than him, since I grimly cried my way through them while he reassured me that really, he wasn't at risk at school at all, promise, and promised me the second he was he'd tell me and we'd move schools. This is Texas, and there was no way that he wasn't going to be injured, and he told me that he knew that; he also told me, looking bewildered that I'd imagine this, that he didn't care about what other people thought, because he knew what I thought, he knew what his friends thought, and that hit his limit on caring about thoughts.
At eight, at ten, at twelve, and at sixteen, Child's sense of self is bedrock solid, and what changes in him is what supports that, polishes it, allows him to be more that rather than take anything away from it.
Child dyes his hair pink because he can't find green or blue that work (twice now), will fight doing his chores to the bitter, bitter end, writes terrible (I love, but gotta be honest here) terrible Derek/Stiles fic and has a taste for Stiles the woobie, though he is getting better, and woke me up to tell me about DOMA. Today, he manfully pretended that I didn't sound nasal (Him: Really, mom, you can barely tell. Me: You're still laughing. Him: I love you. Me: Penis Jimmy is judging you. Him: ...God I hate you.) while we read over the ruling and then found someone to break it down into English from lawyerspeak, and considered this week in our lives.
1.) In Texas, a filibuster began by a woman speaking for all the women was finished by a gallery of women speaking for her. Yes, there will be a second session, and yes, there's little chance that it won't pass: surprise, this is a red state. But one night, the women of Texas filibustered the goddamn Texas Senate, and their voices killed a bill that would have otherwise passed. If you say you want a revolution, it sure helps to start one, and ten minutes to midnight on the floor of the Texas senate, that's exactly what we saw happen.
2.) The Supreme Court ruled DOMA was unconstitutional, though it has no affect on state's rights. A state that legally allows gay marriage still has gay marriage, and the states that don't allow it still don't. However, the Federal government's powers no longer enter the bedroom of a married couple to decide if they're actually married.
As it stands in Texas, Child still can't get married (were he legally able to do so anyway) and in a month, I would have one fuck of a time getting an abortion if I needed one. So everything still sucks, which trust me, I know, but you know what? It sucks less.
I would do almost anything to make my left ear work correctly in the hearing. What the hell, Texas allergies?
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