Monday, May 30, 2005

It's a Straight, Straight World

Sometimes I forget.

I forget a lot.

I forget what the real world can be like.

I ran into a friend at the BX this weekend. When I told her that we'd be going to the Cape this summer she started telling me all about her and her husband's trip to New England last year.

This is a woman who I really like. She is beyond sweet and completely selfless. When our husband's attended the same school in Alabama, she supported me tremendously.

She told me how much they love Boston and Maine. How they want to retire to a little piece of property in the Maine woods.

And then she said, "And we took a drive out to Provincetown. Nobody told us it was *dramatic whisper* gay! We were walking around and I said to my husband, 'Something isn't right here.' We just had no idea."

And my response... "Oh yeah."

God I hate myself. Think of the myriad of things I could have said to her.

She went on. "I think I was just so shocked because I'm from the South and I've never really traveled out of the South and I've just never seen that before."

I actually think she's right about that. She's a good person. A very religious one, but a good person with a good heart none the less. All she needs is a little education.

But what did I say? "Oh yeah."

God I hate myself even more.

I immersed myself in gay culture for one week and I forgot what the real world is like.

My missed opportunity conversation with my friend is only the tip of the ice burg. But the other stories aren't mine to tell. Let's just say that there is one restaurant on the Cape the I won't be patronizing ever again.

And just as I was starting to feel despair about the world I live in, I caught just a tiny ray of light.

I have a secret. I like to read romance novels. I started reading historical romance when I was about ten-years-old. Where do you think I learned all about sex?

One of my favorite authors is Suzanne Brockmann. She writes a series of novels about the Navy SEALS. But she has a recurring gay FBI agent character throughout the series. He's always been a background player before, but in her current book Hot Target, he has his own main romantic story line.

When I cracked open Ms Brockmann's book a couple of nights ago, I read her dedication to her son. Her eighteen-year-old gay son.

It was simple, and heartfelt, and sweet, and honest.

I suppose she could lose readers over her gay story line. In fact, the novel is set around a movie being made about gay soldiers in WWII. But she obviously could care a less.

She's a mom. A mom who loves her son. A mom who is proud of her son and wants to share who he is.

And she made me remember. Maybe I drop the ball sometimes, but I'm doing the most important thing I can. I'm raising my kids to be loving and accepting.

And if there comes a time when one of my kids comes out to me, well, I hope I can follow Ms. Brockmann's lead. Actually, I know I can.

But I've got to live in this straight, straight world for now. And I need to work on my responses. Because I refuse to answer, "oh yeah," again.

No comments: