Cracked's 30 Second Guide too How Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You

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?
princessofgeeks: (BN3inBlack by heartagram)

2013-06-27 05:58 pm (UTC)
I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for posting this.
lillian13: (french taunting)

2013-06-27 06:00 pm (UTC)
No, he won't grow out of it. :-)

I have a lot of uber-cool geeky gay male friends if he ever wants to get in contact.

I thought his One True Love was Dean? I'm so behind.

When you get a spare evening call me and we'll go out.
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)

2013-06-27 06:19 pm (UTC)
To be fair, Child is 16 and terrible fic is sort of mandatory. Also, woobies. I mean: see the popularity of Vanyel with teenagers. (No, okay, I love Vanyel, and Lackey. But the Last Herald-Mage is some of the most ridiculous hurt/hurt/what-comfort you will ever see.)

I am so glad DOMA got struck down. I haven't been able to talk about it because everything else is awful this week and not just politics, but: it's been my bright spot. Among the shitshow, it's something that's made things better for many people. (Many of them dear to me, but that wouldn't even matter.)
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)

2013-06-27 06:43 pm (UTC)
Aww. That's adorable! (I remember getting frustrated with Vanyel, too, when I read them. I just was enjoying the wallow too much not to keep going. *g*)

I wish I could dig up my incredibly INCREDIBLY terrible self-insert fic from when I was 14. Like, I wrote some stuff that wasn't as terrible when I was that age, but oh god that really was. I wish I had a copy, not to mock it, but to share it because -- I actually have a lot of generosity and fondness, now, towards my terrible teenage poetry and writing, (where I didn't just a few years after). Like, whatever on the whole everyone goes through this stage of writing thing I don't care that it was practice and that that practice meant I got better (I mean, okay, I do, I am glad I improved as a write but -- even if I hadn't, it would've been just as important and wonderful). Baby me needed it because it was her escape and her coping mechanism and I am so happy she had that because god she was pretty miserable, and I want people to know that it's okay. It's okay to write terrible fic, it doesn't matter, if it makes you happy that is the most important thing.

And I mean, it really was terrible. Even at the time I knew it and wouldn't have claimed it was good (there's a reason I've lost to the mists of time and jump drives the terrible old fic). But I can say that with love, it's not a condemnation! Being really terrible is not the worst thing fic could be. Which, I mean, I figure you know. I just. Yeah, was reminded how much affection I have for teenagers who write terrible fic.

(er. so, i might have feelings or something. whoops.)
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (Default)

2013-06-27 06:25 pm (UTC)
I have to say, you are one of the most amazing women and best mothers that I have ever had the privilege of knowing here in this virtual fannish world of ours.

Sometimes sucking less is a good enough starting point.
blueraccoon: (Default)

2013-06-27 06:27 pm (UTC)
Child telling you went better than my telling my parents, and the thing is I knew my parents would be cool with it and I was still terrified and broke down in tears when I admitted to my mom I was gay (yeah, later changed to bisexual since, uh, I married a man) and I think you handled it perfectly. Also, friend who said he'd grow out of it? Is an idiot and I cannot believe you had to deal with that.

In retrospect I think my parents knew I was queer before *I* did, but they waited for me to come to them, and my mom was very confused as to why I was so scared of telling her. (these are the parents that put a lesbian couple as my guardians in case they died, for the record.)

You are an awesome mom, and Child sounds like an awesome kid (I can't believe he's sixteen, holy crap, have I known you on LJ that long?) and yeah, today things do suck a bit less.
edited at 2013-06-27 06:27 pm (UTC)
batdina: (harvey!)

2013-06-27 06:31 pm (UTC)
your son is a very lucky person.

you're not so bad yourself ...

reginagiraffe: Stick figure of me with long wavy hair and giraffe on shirt. (Default)

2013-06-27 06:43 pm (UTC)
You're a good mom. Seriously, an excellent excellent mom.

And Child is too cool for school.
domarzione: (Default)

2013-06-27 06:45 pm (UTC)
One of my high school cohort grew out of her heterosexuality, so you never know. ;)

I'm not a parent, so I speak like the nun teaching sex ed here, but... I'm just impressed with how you've taken on what is becoming the biggest threat to our kids' mental well-being (and, tragically, their physical well-being) and so thoroughly preparing him for the Battle Royale of social media and how to be able to express himself happily and safely and without fear or shame. It's got a wider applicability, of course, but nobody realizes that when they're a teenager, right?

As long as Child keeps the pink hair for himself and not for his purple-eyed, quaintly-named, universally-adored original character, he'll be fine. Probably.

via_ostiense: Eun Chan eating, yellow background (Default)

2013-06-27 08:32 pm (UTC)
I'm just impressed with how you've taken on what is becoming the biggest threat to our kids' mental well-being (and, tragically, their physical well-being) and so thoroughly preparing him for the Battle Royale of social media and how to be able to express himself happily and safely and without fear or shame.

*nod nod* When I think about how to raise a kid these days and teach them how to deal with the web, it seems an overwhelming task, and I'm constantly impressed with how well [personal profile] seperis and Child do it.
kass: "let love be your engine," image of Kaylee and of Serenity (let love be your engine)

2013-06-27 06:57 pm (UTC)
You are the best mom.

Also, your son is awesome, and this whole post makes me a little bit sniffly.
bkwyrm: (Default)

2013-06-27 08:06 pm (UTC)
the_shoshanna: Bert and Ernice, with text "Baby's first gay couple" (baby's first gay couple)

2013-06-27 10:53 pm (UTC)
+2, because I am so incredibly impressed with you and with him right now.
nagasvoice: lj default (Default)

2013-06-28 01:11 am (UTC)
+3, because comments have said it for me. Just...AWESOME.
laurajv: Don't give me any wild ideas! (Default)

2013-06-27 09:11 pm (UTC)
Child is 16 already?!?!?!?!??? This is almost as bad as when Livvie Monteith told me her daughter was in college, because what the actual hell is that, linear progress of time or something?
ilyena_sylph: picture of masked woman with bisexual-triangle colors in gradient background (Bi masked)

2013-06-27 09:18 pm (UTC)
Is there any way to put enough pressure on some members of the Texas House or Senate to kill this damned bill?
cathexys: dark sphinx (default icon) (Default)

2013-06-27 09:28 pm (UTC)
I so wish you'd live closer bc I would love to meet Child, and while mine's pretty cool, yours is way cooler, and I think mine would totally think he's the best thing ever!

Thanks for trusting us enough!!!

(And yes, I would rather have the how to put on a condom conversation again than ever read mine's MLP fic--knowing that it exists is enough :)

{{{hugs to both of you}}}
scy: (Default)

[personal profile] scy
2013-06-27 10:10 pm (UTC)
*hugs* I've told you what I was told by people *adults) when I was around his age 'no, you're not bisexual, you'll get over it.'

Yesterday when I talked to my dad about DOMA:

Me: It's nice to know I can get married to anybody I fall in love with.
Dad: Yes.
Me: Because I want to fall in love again.
Dad: I want that for you too.

My family knows, friends, and if anybody can't deal with it, they can go away.

Btw, we need to talk about CA and SD in particular.

And ask Child if I can read his fic. Or, wait, should I write him some. *g*
scrollgirl: pink, purple, and blue bisexual pride flag (misc bi pride)

2013-06-27 10:39 pm (UTC)
Whoa, your son is *sixteen* already? Time sure flies!

You, dear lady, are a fantastic mother. I love my parents and know they have the best of intentions, and maybe I'm not giving them enough credit (and not doing enough to push them to actually think about things), but I'm 30+ years old and I'm still in the closet to all my family. So I really really admire this wonderful, open, talkative relationship you have with your son. He's a lucky kid.
malkingrey: (Default)

2013-06-28 12:02 am (UTC)
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.

Texas women are tough. They have to be, living in a state that was once described as "heaven for men and dogs, but hell for horses and women."

What all the people who comprehensively mean-mouth Texas and Texans often fail to understand is that those women on the floor and in the gallery -- they're all Texans, too.

My mama was from Texas -- Depression-era, dirt-poor, hitch-the-mule-to-the-wagon-to-drive-into-town Texas -- and a New Deal Democrat all her life, and if she were still alive today she would have been cheering for Wendy Davis like there was no tomorrow.

edited at (formatting) 2013-06-28 12:04 am (UTC)
akacat: A cute cat holding a computer mice by the cord. (Default)

2013-06-28 12:38 am (UTC)
I think Child is lucky to have you as a mom. :)
out_there: B-Day Present '05 (: Out_There box by Delurker)

2013-06-28 01:10 am (UTC)

I really wish the "it's a phase/he'll grow out of it" reaction actually surprised me, but I remember hitting it from Mum as a teen (and nodding along and verbally agreeing because I was 15 and she's always been the most reliable thing in my life), and people who are open-minded and liberal and humanistic can still have these attitudes and deep-down believe that life is much easier if you're straight (and if a little encouragement to live that way can sway the balance, it's best for everyone).

I mean, Mum's changed and adjusted her attitudes, and when I definitively came out to her at 20-ish, the reaction was far more supportive. But I've never bothered coming out to the rest of my immediate family -- they're interstate and we see them maybe once a year (twice on a good year, not at all on a bad year), and working through that initial reaction feels like too much work for too little outcome.

I think it says something really good about him and your parenting that he had the strong sense of self to be sure of it at such a young age. You supported Child to have his own voice, to be able to talk about it without feeling judged (or feeling that sense of disappointing a parent which is usually much more subtle but just as hurtful), and gave him the practical skills and know-how of how to do it safely online.
seekergeek: (thumbs up)

2013-06-28 01:12 am (UTC)
Whatever your decisions were, they were made with the care and safety of Child in mind. Therefore, you rock as a mom. No, really, you do. That is some awesome parenting and I stand here amazed and inspired.
iadorespike: (John Awesome by sazzat)

2013-06-28 01:17 am (UTC)
I think that you and the Child are lucky to have each other. Cool.

green_grrl: (Default)

2013-06-28 01:41 am (UTC)
♥ ♥ ♥ for you

♥ ♥ ♥ for Child

♥ ♥ ♥ for Wendy Davis

♥ ♥ ♥ for five Supreme Court justices

And Rick Perry and Scalia can go to hell.
raincitygirl: (Default)

2013-06-28 01:59 am (UTC)
This is a beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing.
fox1013: robot with a heart of gold (Rock Out With Your Hard Drive Out)

2013-06-28 02:20 am (UTC)
I think I want to be your son when I grow up.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

2013-06-28 04:15 am (UTC)
Your parenting is really inspiring, and I wish your kid had a better world (or even state) to support him as well as you have.
metaphortunate: (Default)

2013-06-28 05:31 am (UTC)
I'm so happy for you and Child that you have each other.

Man, this internet thing is going to be hard to teach. It's great that he could get a head start from you.

It is seriously hard to find green or blue dye that actually looks good and lasts!
amalthia: Children of Dune Leto Ghanima sitting together (Children of Dune Leto Ghanima)

2013-06-28 06:26 am (UTC)
Wish all kids coming out had supportive parents like you. Hugs! I also can't believe your kid is 16...
northern: JC Chasez's hand with some drawn-in-Photoshop colorful fire beneath it. (Default)

2013-06-28 09:08 am (UTC)
I love reading about you and Child. Thank you for sharing.
parhelion: (Aqua)

2013-06-28 02:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you for posting, and best of continued luck to Child as he continues on his aesthetically-haired way. He's already begun with great luck by having you as a mom.

I had to pause and be wistful for a moment before I continued typing that I'm quite serious about his luck. I would have given ten years of my life for my parents to have responded -- been able to respond -- like you did, let alone at one in the frippin' morning.

Also, in genuine if undemanding curiosity, is purple a no-go hair color for him?
dragojustine: (Default)

2013-06-28 04:51 pm (UTC)
Child sounds like an incredible human being. And you sound like an incredible mother. Take it from someone who didn't come out to her mother until age 26- he's got it good.
fanofall: avatar of me (Default)

2013-06-29 12:24 am (UTC)
Your summary sentence of the filibuster ("In Texas, a filibuster began by a woman speaking for all the women was finished by a gallery of women speaking for her") is the most beautiful description I have read so far of what was already an amazingly powerful, beautiful act.

And then nine hours later DOMA went away.

That one day was a *good* day.

Thank you for sharing your discussion with Child -- for reasons I cannot discuss because it is not my story to tell, it resonates with me.
happydork: A graph-theoretic tree in the shape of a dog, with the caption "Tree (with bark)" (Default)

2013-08-19 08:06 pm (UTC)
I was bored and journal-hopping and fell into your "child" tag, and now I'm wiping tears from my eyes and so, so happy for you, person-I-don't-know-at-all-apart-from-vague-fannish-name-recognition-because-I-think-I-read-one-of-your-SV-fics-once-unless-that-was-someone-else?, for the relationship you and your son have built with each other. Thank you for posting this publicly -- I am very glad I stumbled across it.


seperis: (Default)



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