Friday, December 19, 2008
Whatever happened to being the *black* sheep?!
It's a blight most people probably wouldn't call a blight. The out gay man's family. You'd think that'd be so cool, wouldn't it? To have a family who's totally cool about you being gay and include you in every family occasion, birthdays, thanksgivings, christmases, whatchamacallits...! And if you're seeing such a gay man who's got such a happy-happy family, you'd think that'd be perfect, too.

So what do you do, when your boyfriend is this total family-nut and you're not?

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Warning: this is a post where I play the Evil Scrooge Incarnate. Worse yet, I'm going to argue that I have a right to feel the way I do and ESI is actually much maligned. I'm not one to spit "Bah, humbug!" at Christmas - it's just this whole "we love our gay family-member" crap which gets to me. Why, do you ask? Well, frankly, because I'm not used to it.

I suppose I never thought of it from this angle before: the thing about being gay and fabulous in Bombay (or anywhere else in India really) is that you rarely come into contact with the family - the real blood-ties family, I mean, not the gaggle of gay gals your guy (and you have your own, of course!) hangs around with. Family outings then meant you getting your 4 gay friends and him getting his 5, and then all of you hitting the club Saturday night, moving onto someone's house at 3 a.m. for the after-party, some giddy fondling on the couch, followed by some mindblowing sex back at either his or your place. Brunch next morning is optional, but speaks volumes to the dgree of intimacy between your families. That I could handle, that I'm used to, that I like.

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But what do you do when you're hoping to go away to your boyfriend's house for Winter Break, and your boyfriend can't do that because he's in another frikkin' city doing odd jobs for some much-loved family member? There's a part of me which cautions me against feeling all-too angry or indignant because blood is thicker than water (or so they say), and there's another part of me which feels... lonely. And honestly speaking, that second part is winning out right now.

Sure, I know the script. There's supposed to be laughter and moldy family-jokes around the dinner table, great food and nice people - and yes, Irish Coffee's family has been pretty nice to me, really. I know they're nice people who might be a little flummoxed at the new gay son-in-law (well, not really that new anymore!) but they're doing their best...! But what happens when the new gay son-in-law (yours truly) is not really used to this whole thing? My idea of a great Christmas season with my boyfriend is the two of us cozying on the couch, watching a great movie, sipping wine, eating some fabulous dessert, watching the snow flakes outside, and some log-burning sex. It's not my present situation: me growsing and grumbling at home, making coffee for one, doing my laundry, brushing out my tiny christmas tree from the hall closet, and expecting to be alone for the coming weekend... while he's doing house-projects in Timbuktoo. No, I'll still be spending Christmas Day with him, but that's not the point. Christmas is not just a day, it's a frikkin' season, a whole week (or more), and I'm stuck doing thesis work at home and grumbling to myself. (And no, just because I have plenty of thesis work to do doesn't particularly mollify me, either!)

No, the point, quite simply, is this: why did families have to get all "we accept you, come join the mundane-activities fold again, dear gay son" and why couldn't they just step away into the shadows surfacing for the odd lunch or two?

Yes, I'm needy. Bugger off!

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