All in the Family: The Lesbian Black Sheep

I saw some of my family last weekend and I was once again reminded of what a weirdo I've become as an adult. Have I always been so different? I guess I have. If you look at a photo of my family you will see the following...

- My Grandparents.
Both looking quite lovely still, even in their 80's. Gram reminds me of a sassier and cuter Angela Lansbury. They enjoy Sunday evenings at the local Hometown Buffet where staff knows them on a first name basis.

- My mother.
Shops via JC Penny's mail order catalogue. Will walk out of a movie if they say "God Damn". Recently discovered the Internet.

- My Sister.
The average 5'8 blond with a minivan type. Went to college, fell in love had babies kinda of a gal. Teaches music. Has had the same 2 best friends her whole life. Church on Sundays.

- My Dad.
A surfer (?) now as a retired gentlemen (?) Drives a Hummer, lives and dies by Starbucks. He and his wife send out a photo greeting card every year with a picture their dog's latest fashion.

Then there is Me.
An overfed, god-less queer who believes in progressive politics and the whole sex/drugs/rockandroll thing. I like hanging out at gay coffee shops, playing pool at leather bars, banging on my guitar and screaming in some dive bar or having sex-a-thon 2008 in my empty cold apartment. I shop in thrift stores. I have 1 pair of wearable shoes.

I sit at thanksgiving dinner next to my family, who, bless them are SO accepting and loving no matter how creepy they think I am, and I wonder where I came from. Who did my mother sleep with? The mailman? We did have the same mailman my whole life. He also had blue eyes and black hair. Hmmm.

I like 6 Feet Under and Absolutely Fabulous.
They like Family Feud and Star Trek.

I want sushi or thai for dinner.
They must consume vast amounts of camp tacos.

I can bet money that no one in my family has ever been to a sex party or done more than smoked pot. No one else in my family has been beaten up for being different like me. No one at the table in my house knows about NPR or my favorite holiday Day of the Dead. I wish they did, because frankly we could use a little more diversity in our dinner conversations.

The point is moot really, but I'd like to discuss anyways. My family is normal and I am strange. It's just the way it is. Shoot, its the way it has been ever since I can remember. Like when my sister busted in on me trying to hover over the toilet to pee like a boy. Or my fun "Vanilla Ice" hair cut, steps and all when I was 10. Who could ever forget my science experiment with human teeth that I snagged from my dentist?

I've always been different, and more than just a gay kid being different from the straight family. I am just plain strange and I've always been drawn to the morose, the odd and the queerer parts of the world.

I suppose there has forever been a sense of Me vs Them mentality. I wonder if they feel the same way? Who knows. They love me and I love them no matter how strange THEY ARE to me.

Maybe we ARE related? Gasp.
Afterall, they're weird on the inside.
Weird like me deep down beaneath their typical lives.
Maybe I just never learned how to hide it.

What the hell are Camp Tacos you ask?
Get ready to feel like white trash!
Camp Tacos= Fritos chips, ground beef, sour cream, salsa.
Add refried beans if you are feeling adventurous.


Anonymous said...

I can relate!

Anonymous said...

Don't Change!!! xoxo

Paula the Surf Mom said...

Me too....

Dad is an Air Force General, mom is the church lady. sis is the virgin mother, and me... while I can't hear the drummer because I am deaf... I march to a very different beat.

~Julie Phineas~ said...

Mr. Leigh... this post is something that I relate to very much, and my wife does as well. If you've ever seen the show 'Rick and Steve: The Happiest Gay Couple in The Whole Wide World', there is a scene where they come out to one of the mom's and all she can say is "I don't understand. I don't understand." My wife and I have come to accept that there are people in this world who 'get it' and some who don't. Whether we are the ones who 'don't get it' or they are is the question! In any case, as long as we respect each others choices to live a life of liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we should all be able to get along and build relationships on common interests such as family ties. This is easier said than done I know, but in theory this should help the black sheep and the white sheep co-exist as equals. It sounds like you are on the right track, and if you continue to show love and respect you should inspire them to do the same at some point. It sounds like you have a pretty supportive family, but if they are giving off the feeling that they feel you are creepy, I say it's all just a big mis-understanding. I really enjoyed reading your post and thank you for sharing your feelings about being the lesbian black sheep, because I have been there myself and I am sure many others have too. Take care!

Mr Leigh said...

<3 thanks for reading and for the sweet comment!!

Leah said...

Absolutely true for me, too!
I'm still in high school so my parents just think I'm being rebellious or something. I've always been a little "queer". Coming up with insane ideas ever since I was a toddler. My dad recently told me that he knew I was a lesbian the first time my parents took me swimming and I spent the whole afternoon gawking at the girls in bikinis. =]
I'm a black sheep, too.

Sei said...

If I'm a black sheep, I come from a family of black sheep. Except for feeling upset that I had trouble confiding about my gender/sexuality issues growing up, my parents never really did the 'it's a phase', or 'I don't understand' routine. My entire family has loved me, supported me, and been there through it all. That is, except for one aunt who I basically don't speak to anymore.

Anonymous said...