Oh But He’s Not Gay!
By: Selina Boquet
One bright, peaceful day, I was effortlessly frolicking through a field of daisies, the wind in my hair, petals at my fingertips, the sun drenching my upturned face when suddenly, I heard a strange sound. It was a rhythm, so faint I had to stop and listen. It was getting louder. It sounded so strange and out of place…my cell phone. Someone was calling.
I sat up out of my lovely dream with a jolt, gasping for air and blindly answering my phone. Before I could even say hello, reality instantly hit my body. Like watching a movie in fast forward mode, flashes of San Francisco, the road trip and all of the walking we had done that weekend was summed up in one tired, mumbled word, as I put the phone up to my ear. Ouch.
“Hello?” I managed to utter, still trying to separate dream from reality.
I’m not sure how I got that nickname from my Dad. It used to drive me crazy, but now it’s endearing. Some things become more precious to you as you grow up. At least it’s better than the nickname they had tried to place on me. I had one little potty accident at the store when I was about six years old and they started calling me “Li li a la tee tee”. I turned into a little green hulk whenever they called me by that name.
“Hey, I’m flying in on Southwuhwuh on flight woahwoahwaoh. Do you have a pen?” English was not quite making sense yet at this point. Then, a faint knocking at the door. Am I being woken up from another dream?
“Dad, hold on, I think someone’s knocking at my door.” I stumbled to the door and winced at the bright sun from the outside world.
Surprise. The kids were home early.
“Mommy!” I was bombarded with hugs as a somber-faced baby daddy looked on.
“Can we talk?” was his profound request.
Really?! Right now? Why NOW?! Can’t you see that I just woke up? Besides, I hate that question at any time! Difficult and awkward conversations always follow.
“What? What do you want to talk about?” was my confused reply as I tried to keep my composure. With one hand, I unsuccessfully attempted to tame my sleep-induced Mohawk and with the other hand, I rubbed my eyes to see if I was hearing correctly. My hair sprang back into its upright position as he stated,“I want to apologize.”
Great. Gay Boy wants to talk about his feelings. Can’t close the door in his face after those words. Besides, this might be interesting. He might have had a change of heart.
Sigh. “Come in.”
I finished grabbing my dad’s flight information for his nearing visit, and sat down to talk with Omar. He explained that he had never had a chance to apologize for all of the pain he had caused me in our marriage and in the break up. He said that he’s not trying to get me back; he just wanted to know if I had forgiven him. I replied that I had forgiven him for the past, yet the present was still very unpleasant, especially with the way that he hated me and all gay people. When he replied with his usual response that he doesn’t hate me, he just doesn’t agree with being gay, I decided it was a good time to break the more than obvious news to him.
“Omar, you are gay.”
“I’m WHAT? Now how do you figure that? How do you know?”
“Ummm…the biggest clue would be the guys you slept with before and during our marriage. Besides that, you can see it in the way you walk, talk, and dress. You are gay. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and the sooner you can accept that the happier you will be.”
“Wow, I’ve never had this conversation with someone before! I’m not gay! I’m attracted to women and if I was attracted to men, I would fight it with everything I have.”
“I know, and that is exactly what you are doing.” I couldn’t believe we were having this conversation at this moment. I wished my head was clearer. Coffee. I needed coffee. Instead, I talked on. I went into a lecture on authenticity, acceptance, and the joy of living in the truth and loving yourself for who you are. When I finished my speech, I observed his confused expression.
“I hear what you’re saying but I’m having a difficult time following you,” was his earnest reply. Perhaps it was a combination of my sleepiness and his denial that was making my communication unclear.
“What I’m trying to say is, Omar, you’re gay.” We both laughed at my blunt repetition. I was surprised by his relaxed mood. Maybe he is changing. Maybe there is hope. Being able to sit down and have a civil conversation was a big transformation from the beginning days of our break up three years ago.
Back then, our interactions consisted of him peering at me from behind bushes, and driving slowly by my house late at night. Once he even broke into my house to steal a picture of me with my girlfriend at the time and threatened to send it to all of the parents of my students. Considering the fact that most all of our interactions over the last three years had been regulated by a judge, this simple, relaxed conversation was truly a break-through. I know that he’ll come out of the closet soon and I choose to see his improved attitude as a step in this direction. We’ll just wait and see if he remains this friendly when he finds out that I’m sending the state after him for the child support he owes! Until then, I’ll just enjoy the increased level of peace in our required current interactions. Sometimes the universe throws us the smallest of miracles at the most unexpected of times.