The eighth installment of January guest blogs: “Your scary, crazy, amazing goal you would accomplish in 2015 if you could do absolutely ANTHING!” If you would like to participate find me on Facebook– I would love to share your story!
January 9th: Ian: Homophobia
This past year, I resolved to cut out the people and things from my life that acted as a saboteur. I actively chose to surround myself with people that are achieving, thoughtful and that can empower me as much as I would like to empower them. The one thing I didn’t realize until now is that apparently I can’t cut out family… But they can definitely cut themselves out!
For those who don’t know me, I am the brother of the Modern Mom herself (The modern uncle maybe?). We have many cousins, but the particular cousin that inspired this guest blog came from the quirky, uncommonly Christian side of our family. Let’s just call him “Ryan, Protector of Family Values”, or RPFV for short. Throughout the past few years, I have been receiving concerned Facebook messages from RPFV warning me that I will eventually be gnashing my teeth in Hell and to avoid “atypical” things like doing it up the butt with my husband (RPFV must be a germophobe). Most recently, he requested that I inform him when my husband and I will be attending family gatherings. That way, he can adjust his schedule and not take his family to the same event. My husband is a handsome ginger, so I figure RPFV’s children must be allergic to freckles or something.
All jokes aside, my cousin is wildly homophobic and an ass. If it’s gay, he doesn’t want it touching him with its ten inch pole… See what I did there?
I never initiated these Facebook conversations. Every time I read a new message from him, it upsets me. They make me nettled, wrathful and indignant. I have written him back long, considered responses about my thoughts on the Bible and my life decisions. My fingers fly across the keyboard as I attempt to defend myself from the internet tirades of someone I see twice a year.
The moment after I opened his most recent sermon, I gave up on trying to reason with him. His message was sickly sweet and very clear. If The Gays are at family events, he doesn’t want to be at that family event. This message was him launching the nuclear bomb in our mini Cold War and drawing a very clear line on where he stands.
For all of that build up, I don’t really know what to write next. I want to write something about how childish he sounds and how I’m so over it. I want to write something about going to pride parades and being an example for all of the kids out there with asshole parents like him. I want to write about how you should be ashamed of yourself if you agree with him. I want to give links to PFLAG and beg you for donations.
The Memoirs blog is about writing from the heart and being unconventionally honest. I feel incredibly sheltered and it bothers me that I am letting this affect me so much. I feel sad and angry that kids have to grow up with assholes like him and I feel slightly guilty that I didn’t. Mostly though, I am overwhelmed by the amount of gratitude I have for my everyday life and the people in it.
This past year Brantley and I have both been steadily employed, bought a car and have an apartment with a new washer and dryer (THAT WE OWN!!). Ryan has since been blocked and I have taken another saboteur off my list. My next scary, crazy, necessary goal is to learn how to be comfortable being still. To toss aside Facebook and learn to disconnect from the everyday swarm… if just for 15 minutes.