The way things are

Life is a really hard game. The pieces keep falling out of those teeny little cars!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Telling Mom about Evergreen

I called my mom today and decided it was time to let her know that I'm going to the EG Conference. I didn't really expect her to fully understand but I did expect her to be supportive. She was not.

She asked why I wanted to go. I told her I have some close friends that are going, that I've wanted to go since last year, that I want to meet some new people, and that I think it might be a good experience for me. She said she wasn't sure how she felt about me going and that she'd "run it past Dad."

I could tell by her voice that she didn't want me to go. It was really surprising--she reacted really well when I told her the Native and some of my other friends are gay. I didn't understand why she was suddenly so against me going to the EG Conference.

There was silence on both ends for a moment, and then she spoke up: "I just don't know how I feel about all this. You know, Brother T just left his family and declared that he's gay." So there it was. My freshman year seminary teacher is gay. To be honest, it didn't surprise me in the least. I had always thought he was. The fact that he left his young wife and two little kids is incredibly sad though.

There was a pause while I thought about these things, and then she said, "It just isn't right."

Her statement really caught me off guard. No, it certainly isn't right that a man completely abandoned his family. But I couldn't help but think of the other possible meaning of the statement. Did she mean that being gay isn't right? I didn't want to believe that's what she meant. She couldn't really think that. She couldn't really believe this is something people choose or ask for. We've talked about this before. I know she understands better than that.

It occurred to me that she might just be upset by the news about Brother T. She knows several women and families that were abandoned by men who chose to go lead gay lifestyles. Maybe this last piece of news was the last straw. Maybe she's just tired of hearing these stories. I tried to look at it from her perspective.

I quickly ensured her that the EG Conference is put on by the Church. I made it clear that it's supposed to help gay members of the Church, and that there would be a GA speaking. Granted, I probably made Evergreen sound much more fabulous than it is in reality, but I wanted to make sure she knew this isn't a gay pride parade. This seemed to make her feel a little better about me going and she again said she'd run it by my dad.

By the end of the conversation she sounded resigned to the fact that I'm going. She said something like, "Well let us know what they say," and we trailed into Labor Day plans, then said goodbye.

But it still sort of made me sad.


Blogger MustacheBoy said...

Yeah, my dad's really upset about Bro T too. When he got home from his golf trip, he asked me if I'd heard what happened, then harangued me to see if I'd ever even spoken with him. When I told him that I hadn't been in T's seminary class, my dad visibly relaxed.

To quote the Simpsons, episode Homer's Phobia:

Homer: He didn't give you gay, did he? Did he?!

9:15 AM  
Blogger Stephalumpagus said...

You know though, Brother T was actually an awesome seminary teacher. He was fun and nice, everyone adored him, and he always seemed rock solid in the Gospel. In fact, I remember we used to joke that even though he was short, he was a "spiritual giant." I guess that just makes it sadder (more sad?)...

2:11 PM  
Blogger Samantha said...

I hope you'll talk to your parents about the good things of the conference (you can leave out Febreeze and telephone booth references, and I'd also omit the fact that you spent the majority of your time with an old lesbian--just sounds sort of weird--and by the way, I had a ball, and I'd do it again!). Some of the addresses and workshop stuff will be posted on the EG site--I still haven't signed a release giving them permission to post my testimony, but I'm thinking about it.

9:06 AM  

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