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.. next weekend, to her partner of nearly 8 years. Gay marriage was legalised in my country at the end of 2006, and I'm thrilled for her that she's finally able to stand up in front of a group of people and say her vows to the woman she loves.

I'm just battling so with our mother, who has never come to terms with one of her daughters being gay, and has a deep and burning resentment to this wedding. I've found myself being the punchbag for all her views on this, down to minute issues such as the fact that there's going to be a wedding cake!

I applauded the new government legislation. I celebrate the fact that gay people in this country finally have the rights that have always been due to them. But I despair at having it shoved in my face that there will always be people who will harbour a fundamental ill will and ugliness towards this, and that one of these people is my own mother. Who is going to wear black to her own daughter's wedding (yes, really).

As I said to some friends earlier, I'm going be there all dressed up, in a colourful pretty outfit, hair put up, make up and earrings on and celebrating the love my sister and her partner are declaring for each other! I just wish I could wipe away the black cloud that our mother will be dragging along with her.

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Do you think your mother will ever come to terms with this? Maybe if she sees how much they love each other, and sees what a beautiful wedding it is and all the support they're getting, her anti-gay stance will soften at least a little bit? Has she spent any time with your sister recently? Has she met your sister's partner/spent any time with her? If not, maybe she can meet her at the wedding and see that she's not some monster?

I know how hard this must be =( My uncle was gay (he died in 1992) and some members in my family were definitely not OK with it. It was very, very, very sad. He was a wonderful person and so was his partner.

I wish you and your sister and her partner the very, very best =)

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But I despair at having it shoved in my face that there will always be people who will harbour a fundamental ill will and ugliness towards this, and that one of these people is my own mother.

There will always be some, but I suspect that as time passes there will be fewer. A lot of people who grew up when it was socially acceptable to openly hate people for things like that never change, but as more people are born and live with it being normal for it to be ok for gay people to be married (or for interracial marriages or for women to vote or just being used to having cell phones and computers around), the more the people who are openly opposed to it will get strange looks for their views or openly rebuked for them. It'll probably take a while (and those other changes aren't exactly all complete in the world as a whole), but I suspect that eventually you'll be in the majority. I've seen noticeable, significant changes in people's attitudes where I am just during my fairly short lifetime.

Of course, that doesn't help anything right now. It sucks a whole lot that she's taking it all out on you, and just because it'll probably eventually become unacceptable (in general, not just to people like you) for her to say stuff like that in the future, that won't get her to shut up about it now. It would be nice if there were some simple way to at least get her to tolerate it, even if she doesn't like it, but I'm not really sure how to convince someone to do that when they seem so determined not to, like she sounds from your description. Hopefully you and everyone else who's there respectfully and to celebrate won't let her get you too down, and it'll otherwise be a success.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks so much both of you - I'm sorry I took so long to respond.

Has she met your sister's partner/spent any time with her?

Frequently! She's been coming to family occasions (birthdays, easter, Xmas etc etc) for YEARS. My mother's very good at being insincerely friendly -- I think only those who know her very well can see what's really going on. The wedding pulled the rug out from under her feet because she's never told any of her friends or extended family that her eldest daughter's gay. It messes with her need to pretend to the rest of the world that her 4 children are perfect (oops, 2 of us are divorced (brother and me), one is a nutcase (me), one is a virtual recluse (other brother) and so on) She severely underestimates people's intelligence, however.

interracial marriages

The irony is that my parents were part of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and fought long and hard for change and equal rights in this country... in my mother's mind, that change shouldn't extend to same sex relationships, however.

the more the people who are openly opposed to it will get strange looks for their views or openly rebuked for them

thank you - I really like this thought.

The wedding was on Saturday, and it was a very special occasion - a very loving and honest ceremony and the couple radiated happiness. My mother, however, was pretty impossible, down to refusing to speak to the minister. I managed to enjoy and participate in the evening to a fair extent, but I also spent a lot of time keeping an eye on her and making sure that what she was saying wasn't reaching my sister and new sister-in-law. My tdoc said last week that one day I should tell my sister what really happened in the weeks leading up to the wedding and on the night itself, but you know, I don't think it's worth it - I can't see what good it would do, and I don't want to risk tainting good and happy memories.

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i wouldn't tell your sister *right away* but sometime, if the time is right? i think she'd like to know what a gift you gave her by running interference between her and your mother. i think it would touch her very much AND her partner too, because, well, it was showing acceptance and love towards her chosen partner.

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