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Good as Gay: Coming out to grandma

I posted rather publicly on FB that I had come out to my grandmother yesterday. I had called her and she had asked me if I had still been in touch with my friend Ashley. I said I call her every couple of months even though it’s actually every couple of weeks because I didn’t want grandma to think we had something more than a friendship going on. Then, we proceeded to talk about how grandpa, before he had passed away, had forced my grandmother into hunting one year. When she was talking about her close relationship with the man she loved her whole life, I decided it was time to come out to her.

I asked her if I could share something personal with her and I warned her that what I shared with her could change our relationship. I proceeded to tell her that Ashley and I were not a thing. (This was done over the phone btw.)

She responded, “Oh no no no, I didn’t mean to imply that at all. I figured if you liked her that way you’d be calling her every day.”

I said, “Yes well, there’s that and I am gay and I am not interested in dating people of the opposite sex. I sort of know where you stand on the issue, but I was still interested in knowing what you thought of that because I feel that a relationship should be not simply about a man and a woman and I know that you listen to Bill O’reilly a lot,” (Gay Marriage: Darren Spedale vs. Bill O’Reilly)

My voice shook out of control, I was nervous, “And you shared that you were hunting with Grandpa and I think that’s what a relationship is really about and I am really excited to have a niece and I love my little nephew from my brother and sister in law.”

I couldn’t stop talking, “And the Lutherans in Minnesota are actually really supportive and I have told everyone else in the family and I wanted you to know that they all love and support me. And, I was wondering what you thought about that.” (Many Lutherans have been recognized for their advocacy for same sex marriage across the state. Lutherans Concerned.)

She said, “Oh, I don’t think you want to hear what I think.”

“No, it’s ok, I want to know.”

“It’s an abomination.”

After the conversation proceeded through some rough waters, without debate but thorough listening, I posted the end result of the conversation on Facebook. And I didn’t realize all that I had accomplished until after 20 individuals liked the status and several more gave reaffirming comments. Below is what friends and family had to say.

Jacob Woods: Just came out to my grandma, she loves me, but, men aren’t suppose to be more than friends with other men. I am thankful still, it could have gone worse.
  • Aunt, Iron Range friend, Fellow from Berkeley and 19 others like this.
  • Cousin, – I am totally proud of you!!!!!!!!!
  • (My secret internet crush.) Did you ask her why?
  • Jacob Woods I didn’t need to ask, the Bible , I am an abomination, I told her to pray and reflect on it. That and to read the Bible really closely in leviticus to see what else is an abomination. I told her what love and family meant to me, then she said we shouldn’t talk about it any more haha. Ha. Ha. – Covers up emotions.
  • I personally believe its a gift not an abomination take it as a gift
  • (Writer friend.) I’m sorry. I’m sure she’ll come around eventually. She loves you.
  • (The Oracle of My Life- Also known as the wise one!) You’re courageous – and you are a precious friend of God – just the way you have been created. I suspect that, deep down in her heart, your grandma knows that. I also suspect that she needs time to come to terms with who you are – given the crap that had been drilled into her mind by the mainstream culture of the 1940’s and 1950’s. And, as you know already, “Abomination” and “moral failure” are two separate categories in the Old Testament.
  • Well if you’re not married then isn’t it just a friend ? With benefits ?
  • (Good friend’s mother.) You did a good thing, and your grandmother did as well as she could, too. Good for you, Jacob.
  • (Good friend from University) ♥ Always know that your friends are there for you if you ever need to talk. This took a lot of courage, and I hope she can see that.
  • Jacob Woods I love you all very much, thanks for all your support and encouragement and kind words. I couldn’t ask for a better turnout! Thank you. I will be sure to tell my grandmother about all of you and how that gay, straight, ace, and the religious to the non-religious have liked this status and made comments on it. Thank you all. You are all so very beautiful minded people and I can’t express how much I am touched by all of your support!
  • (My aunt on my dad’s side) Now it is clear sailing from here on out 🙂
  • (Internet friend.) Beautiful thoughts from everyone. Jacob, give your grandma some time. She loves you, always remember that.

What I realized was that even though there were gays, straights, atheists, males, females, Christians, asexuals, and even a good friend who lives in China, there were no heated debates. Just love and support and total understanding! Thanks everyone!

This post was written by Jacob Woods and originally published on Good as Gay.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/28/2011 - 01:37 pm.

    The best shorthand challenge for the “abomination” accusation comes from within Leviticus itself, Chapter 14, verse 3, “You shall not eat any abhorrent thing.” Immediately there follow the rules upon which the practice of Kosher is based.

    The Hebrew word there translated “abhorrent” is the SAME word translated as “abomination” in the verse taken to prohibit men fully and physically loving other men.

    In other words, if those who challenge you don’t keep a kosher kitchen, themselves, don’t follow the rules of kosher, and eat such routine things as cheeseburgers, cheesy pastas with meat (lasagna or Alfredo), lobster, oysters, clams, and shrimp, they, themselves are as guilty of “abominations” as gay people ever are.

    To insist others abide by one Levitical prohibition while ignoring the other is to demonstrate either disrespect for the Bible or ignorance of what it actually says (or both).

    Such things are extremely common, even among Christians and Jews, but at least we should be honest about how we’re using scripture, namely finding a verse here and there which we can use to back up what we already believe,…

    rather than starting from a consistent approach to the Bible, then basing our lives on what we actually find there,…

    which, if we’re using it properly and appropriately, inevitably challenges us and our own living as much, if not more, than it challenges anyone else,…

    (helping us find the plentiful “logs in our own eyes” before we dare inspect our neighbor’s eyes for “specks” which might need attention).

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