Saturday, October 31, 2009

This one's a knee-slapper.

Hey Mom and Dad,

This is going to be an interesting letter, and probably includes a lot of information that shouldn't be shared in letter format. But, despite many urges and attempts in the past to share this with you over personally, I have not yet been able to. So I am trying a new format, and hoping it will lead to some success.
I think all three of us could agree that our relationship has changed considerably over the past year, and largely for the worse. I'm become more cold, biting, and disconnected from both of you. I have caused both of you a lot of frustration, and a lot of pain - and this is entirely unacceptable to me. I'm hoping that this letter can redirect that trajectory that we have been on for far too long.
Mom and Dad. I'm gay.

I know that you already know this, and that I am merely confirming your suspicions, so hopefully this isn't too much of a shock for you.

Please know that, even though I am gay, and even though I am aware of it now more than ever, and even though some of my friends (and you) are aware of it now more than ever, I am still me. One of the most challenging parts of me realizing my own sexuality (and accepting it) has been trying to relate to homosexuals that I can imagine or that I see in the media. This has been largely impossible for me, until quite recently. I've lately come to the conclusion that I am not going to become "gay", but that being Neal Adolph is being "gay." I am beginning to understand that I have not become gay since starting the "coming out" process, but that I have always been gay and I am merely letting people in on the news. This is an enormous part of my life, and an enormous part of my future. I sincerely look forward to a future of being comfortable in my own skin.
I understand that, even if you have suspected this for a long time, this process of learning of your son's homosexuality can be quite difficult. I have no idea what that kind of struggle is like. But I can promise you that my sexuality has not been a simple reality to accept for me either. This would be most difficult for you if you had no idea that my sexuality was less-than-typical. I know that this is going to challenge a lot of your images of what I am to accomplish in life. You may even become fearful. And, though I doubt it, you may react with sincere concern and negativity to this reality. You will react in some way, and I am going to accept your reaction regardless of what it may be.
There are a few things that I would like from you two. First, don't call me right away. Part of the reason that I am doing this in a letter is so that I don't have to face your initial reactions. I want to give the two of you some time to seriously consider this admission of myself. And one evening will not be enough, so, secondly, when I come home tonight, I would really like for it to not be overly emotional. I would ideally like for it to be just as it is every other night when I come home, though I know this isn't likely. I know that this will take time to process, and that it is going to affect our relationship in some way, and I want you two to think about what having a gay son means. I don't want to be barraged with enormously personal questions just yet, because I'm not ready to discuss this with you. Just acknowledge its existence, so that, in the near future, when we sense that it is time, we can have a sincere dialogue about this. Thirdly, I would ask that you not inform anybody else of this. I am slowly releasing control of my sexuality, but I have not done so enough to have knowledge of it widespread. Most people won't be surprised. Most people will respond positively. Some people won't. I want to pretend I have some control over this. In particular, don't tell Keith, as I really would prefer to tell him myself in the near future.
At this point, my fear of your reaction has largely abetted. I trust the two of you immensely, and love you both. My failure to say this to your face reflects the challenge of admitting one's homosexuality to their parents, and nothing more. Please, accept my apology for presenting this information with this format. Writing words is sometimes easier than saying them, and "GAY" is a big, three-letter word that is a little hard to pronounce at times.
I really, really look forward to when my sexuality can be discussed openly with you two (and, much to my dismay, it may be good for you to raise it when I am not entirely ready but you are. I need to start giving up a bit of control over this). I have been waiting 22 years for this.

Have a Happy Halloween.

With love...


Sometimes you send letters that will change your life.