Beloved has been having a hard time with his family this year which I’ve alluded to before the holidays. His parents said some things that… well, are hard to forgive. It began with some deeply unacceptable comments about Beloved being a hypothetical parent and it just escalated from there – and the fact it managed to escalate after setting the “oh you did not say that?!” standard
Your own parents implying you’re a danger to children is… not an easy thing to swallow. Especially since we were both pretty much convinced they didn’t have a problem in that area. Turns out hypothetical jokes go out the window when possible reality looms (not that it is, but they thought it was). It just got worse from there, it’s like a decade of carefully bottled bigotry broke the dam and splurged everywhere.
It was bad. His parents way of dealing with this “let’s pretend it never happened and never talk about these things again” isn’t sufficient to mend any rift – and agreeing to disagree on whether or not we’re child abusers is not on the cards either.
To rub salt in the wounds, Beloved’s sisters are working over time… to make excuses. They’re not saying what the parents said was right, but they are brushing it off, downplaying it and generally jumping on the “la la la la didn’t happen!” train to eternal family peace. I know this train, it runs regularly in my family.
It hasn’t been easy for Beloved.
To this add that I have resolved to remove things from my life that aren’t helping – urged by Beloved with his usual good sense but a whole new level of impatience for homophobic bullshit. One of those things is Not!friend who is a good friend of Fs but, frankly has had years of driving me up the wall. I could list the many times she has annoyed, offended and infuriated me but that’s a post in itself; in a nutshell, she is the epitome of the straight woman who thinks gay men (no, sorry “the gays”) are cool, fun toys and pets for her amusement, she has no sense of boundaries, is incapable of treating gay men as individuals and believes her oh-so-coolness makes her a member of the community happy to speak at length (and in judgement) of things she knows fuck all about, complete with slurs that “totally don’t matter because it’s me” - and she never ever learns no matter how many times she’s been told she’s out of line.
We dumped her which was a relief – but she still hovers around like a freaky freaky stalker and she’s been giving her friend F endless grief because of it. I sympathise, it’s not a nice situation for F to be in – but nor am I - are we - going to listen to apologetics from F about Not!friend nor am I particularly thrilled with F for basically tricking me into social situations with Not!friend. F has had a front row seat to a lot of Not!friends antics for a long time now and I am… saddened that she thinks I should brush this constant aggravation aside or that it isn’t that much of a problem.
I’m saddened because F was one of the few straight people who was in my “safe” box… now, I’m not so sure. Beloved isn’t as close to F as me but he’s similarly vexed and I spoke to him about how my trust of F had been damaged. And he asked me if he’d come out – I said she’s straight and he said, basically, that I should have known better than to consider her safe in the first place.
Which isn’t very like him. Very like me, certainly, but not so much like him.
Beloved has always had a talent for deciding someone or something is no good for him and then removing them from his life entirely; in some ways he’s always had an even lower tolerance for homophobic bullshit than I have. But he’s always been more… affable about things, less suspicious, less cynical. That’s always been my thing. I expect the worst and am grimly unsurprised when I’m inevitably right. Beloved hopes for the best and when he’s wrong, he shuts it down and moves on, hope relatively untarnished; he bounces back. He doesn’t go in expecting the worst, he doesn’t consider open trust naïve – or didn’t. But if this straight people are untrustworthy then who can he trust? I don’t have an answer for that.
I don’t know… is it weird to have wished that my husband could have remained more hopeful than me? Was it really silly to expect Beloved to be relatively untouched when I’ve always said before that it’s nearly impossible to be GBLT in this world and not have your illusions irreparably shattered? It’s not that he wasn’t painfully aware of homophobia before – far from it, like me he is no stranger to violent attack and discrimination and a whole lot of intolerable bullshit – but he came through it still bright, still positive, still open, still willing to trust and extend a vast benefit of the totally undeserved doubt. No matter what the straight world threw at either of us, he always kept his hope and a general positivity.
Are they solely responsible? No, this is very much the last straw on top of many other straws – but the camel’s back is now broken and I’m not sure it will ever be fixed.