Friday, January 9, 2009

WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN YOUR GRAN IS GAY?

Grandaughters:
What do you say when you find out your Grannie is Gay?
Do you say that she is happy and glad?
We didn’t find out what Grannies was about
until she left our Grand Dad

There were whispers and talk about the reason she came “out”
She was in the “closet”, they say
We overheard all this stuff
And as if this isn’t enough
No one will tell us what it means to be gay

Grannie said:
It means your expression of love can be free
to love some one of the same sex ---in my case a SHE
Or a gay man would prefer to love a HE
It is about love and choosing the right one for you,do you see?

Granddaughters:
It makes sense to me. Shouldn’t we all be free
to love any one we choose? But will you explain to us about
what it means to be in the “closet” and “out”
These sounds kind of strange to me?

Grannie said:
In the “closet” means you are afraid to come “out”
to tell anyone you are gay
You hide in fear and are consumed with doubt
What if family and friends turn you away?

So you stay in your “closet” afraid to come “out”
Do You understand what I mean?
Remember during a storm when thunder was about
You put your hands over your eyes so the lighting couldn’t be seen.

Now the thunder was there, the lighting was, too
Truly everything was the same
And hiding your eyes seemed a safe thing to do
But it was just a kind of a game

Covering your eyes you were safe and private
Do you see what this is about?
Covering your eyes was a kind of a “closet “
When you uncovered your eyes --you came “out”

Grandaughters:
Gran, all your life you hid that you were gay
I think that this was bad
That means you were in a “closet” for all those years
That’s like being in jail.How sad.

Grannie said:
Yes Dears, sometimes it was hard to bear
Because I could never be me
and truly there were times I didn’t care
what life did with me.

I knew I was “different when I was nine
By age 13, I told my Mother. She said,
Don’t you ever mention this again.
“You’ll get over it. It’s all in your head!”

I never mentioned “it” again
I never got over ‘it”
I married a man.
(Ffity some years later--I’m still not over “it”

But then I had babies. they filled my heart with joy
I loved raising children;they were work and fun
Sand boxes,swings,playhouses,every little toy;
They helped me get through life on the run

I ran through life in a frenzy,being “Best” at what I did
I never stopped running from the real me
I am gay, then and now who did I think I could kid?
So many times I wanted to scream”I am gay, this is me ,this is me”

But I didn’t.I acted like everything in my life was ok
I deceived friends, family and children
All the while running away, running away
Down deep inside me to my isolation

I hated my total deception. It went against everything I hold dear
I said,”I have no secrets.” What a bad thing to say.
I believe your Grandad knew and perhaps it was his fear
That I had been unfaithful and that I was gay

When I met and fell in love with a woman I had dreamed about
I knew I could no longer hide
There was no doubt in my mind that I was coming”out”
I absolutely must be true to myself before I died

This woman freed me in a way only a gay person can understand.
She gave the courage, the love and a way
And I want you to please understand
There is nothing wrong with being gay

So I went to your Granddad and told him everything
Through his anger,his disappointment and tears
He found courage to say something:
“This explains so much about you for all these years.”

He knew I had been running.
I thank your Grandad for his graciousness;
I had made him unhappy,too.

Then I went to your Mother and I told her I was gay
She said,”I never knew what it was, but I knew there was a secret unshared.”
I told her I would divorce your Grandad
I knew how deeply she cared.

But she never wavered a moment.
She looked at me straight and so true
She said,” I love you,Mom and I support you in what ever
you need to do for YOU.

Then I went to your Uncle Jeff. I told him I was gay
He too looked at me straight and true
He said ,”Mom you have been the greatest example in my life
You must do what is right for you.” He told me that he loved me.

You have to know how important this was to me
I heaved a sigh of relief and it was true
My children told me they loved me
As though what I had revealed was nothing new
.


All my life I had respected them as individuals
I basked in the love they gave me
I knew their response was the residual
of the relationship they saved for me.

Their love and support was all around
As I went to my computer to write my brother
I chose my words carefully and found
Here was a burden like no other

I pushed on as best I could explaining
Why I needed to finally come”out”
I realized the pit of my stomach was paining
And my mind was filled with doubt

His army life and church had hardened his heart agsainst gays
He used words like,”homos,fags,queers,” to me
when he tried to talk about ‘their” rights and “their” ways
I refused to be drawn into hate against people like me.

I didn’t know how I could change his mind
Perhaps his love for me would enter
And in his heart he would find
Understanding and compassion for me at the center

But no. My brother never called me and he never wrote
And he hates me for being gay
I will probably never see or speak to him again.
He chooses it to be this way.

He simply cannot understand why and how
I lived my life as a kid
And never let anyone know
That I was different--but I did---No one listened.

I wanted my brother to listen. He did not.
Who would choose to be gay?
He thinks gay is a choice.It is not.
It is painful and frightening and it never goes away.

His wife speaks of “family values” and yet
They cannot bring themselves to speak to me,
family,a sister, who is no longer set
in the mold of what they think she should be
.
And would I do it again?
YES,YES, I love being “out”.
It was frightening in that “closet”, hidden away
with my fears ,my pain, and my doubt.

I know without O’Neils love and support
I would never be free
to say,”I’m a different sort
I’m gay,I’m free,I’m me!”

When I think of her gift to me
And I think of it each day
I know were in each other’s life
In a very special way.

Thank you, O”Neil.

I fought being gay and myself for 50 years.

Yes, I risked everything to be able to admit I was gay.
I lost my closet and fifty pounds. You see,
there was no need for me to be eating away
at what was eating at me.

Grandaughter:
Is it true what they say about women that are gay
That they really can live without men?
Women that love women know another way
To make love ,to make love without men?

Oh,Yes my Dears it is true
What they say about women that are gay
They are definitely happy and glad
Women love to make love with a woman they love
They are very happy, not sad.

So what do you say about Grannie being gay?
You say she is happy and glad
Grannie loves women and she always wlll
And she was true to herself in every way
---Finally!
My Dears,always be true to yourself. I love you.
As ever,
Gran

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