I've mentioned our young nephew before. The one who we knew was gay and was just waiting for him to realize it. He's thirteen now but we've known since he was four. No exaggeration. And we're all TOTALLY FINE with it. Our only irritation was the giant, feather boa'd elephant in the room that no one could talk about.
Kevin had to work on Saturday so at 5:30 in the morning I'm blearily scrolling through my social media. My nephew had posted on his page earlier in the evening with his friends. As you can imagine, I scrolled right past it because giggling teenagers showing off for the camera can be a bit much, regardless of what time it is.
Then there was another video, of just him, and posted much later. Curious, I did click on this one. It just had a different feel and weight to it.
He came out. Finally, he did it. Actually, he admitted to being bi-sexual, to be accurate but he said the words "I like boys" (followed by a muttered "and girls..." but BABY STEPS)
The relief I felt surprised me. I mean, we've known for YEARS. It's been a running joke of how he was going to finally come out. No one is surprised, no one is upset. I just wanted to post "We KNOW, Dude."
Thank God for social media because the response can be immediate. His first comment was from his dad. His dad is blunt and makes me look like a diplomat sometimes. It was a perfect response:
"You be you. The only problem I have is you being on Facebook at 0230. Go to sleep lol"
Then adult friends/parent figures commented, then his mom, then me:
I used the Dr. Seuss quote of "Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" followed by "I'm gonna go with dr. Seuss here. We just want you happy, safe, and healthy. We don't care who you love."
Slowly, comments trickled in during the day. All positive. Hooray progressive family and friends! Thank you for a world where this is normal now. His cousins, his aunties, his great grandma even.
It's funny because I asked his older cousin if he was seeing anyone at Sweet Baby's First Birthday if he was seeing anyone. (yes, her name is Kendra) and then he deflected attention to one of the Littles, who will be ELEVEN in three months. ELEVEN.
I asked him if he has a girlfriend, the amended it to "or a boyfriend, either way is cool." He said he likes girls but shrugged it off because these kind of questions are NOTHING these days.
When I was his age, one hundred fifteen years ago, I didn't really have an awareness but even if I did, no one ever talked about it. It was considered impolite and even put the person in jeopardy because you didn't talk about it then.
What a relief for it to be "easier" now. Not to imply for one hot second that it will be easy for him. He will have his challenges, for sure. But I'm not worried about it, not like I would have even when I was his age.
And what a new world that someone can just make a video and post it and it's totally normal and acceptable. It seems so efficient. But also risky. People could have bombarded him with negative comments for sure. I'm sure he had moments of sheer panic waiting for everyone to respond. But he had to know that we were all fine.
So, it's a whole new world. No longer do I have to hear about Demi Lovato's hair (well, not as much). Hopefully we will learn about what young men he finds attractive and if he's seeing someone. Finally, we can have honest conversations.
Welcome to this new world, young man. May it greet you as openly and positively as your family and friends did.