Privilege…Reprised

Last post I talked about a conversation about privilege that my brother and I had last Saturday. Because it was at a table full of people, we didn’t really get in-depth, but I said some things that really stirred thoughts & emotions for both of us.

So, during dinner with just my bro and sis-in-law last night, we revisited the conversation. Bro actually brought it up, which surprised me. Long story short, we each took the time to listen to each other and actively try to understand the other’s point of view. It was the most adult conversation I’ve had with him since I was an 18 year old college freshman, believe it or not.

We certainly didn’t solve the world’s problems and I still have a lot to think about before I’ll feel ready to come out to him. But last night’s chat gave me the critical key, the opening I needed to broach the topic. And, importantly, it gave me hope about my greatest fear in coming out to him: losing his love and companionship.

Here’s what happened:

During the course of the discussion we covered all sorts of issues related to the general topic of privilege. But the best bit came from him spontaneously. He brought up homosexuality as an example of a point he was making about being “forced” into a community. I turned it around, and used it to make my own point on privilege, by discussing marriage equality. He took the opening, as I’d hoped, and posed a hypothetical about his own kids. He boldly declared that if one of his kids came out to him, it wouldn’t change his love for them, because he is their dad regardless. He stated that he believes that homosexuality is an issue “between the person and their maker” and it’s not for him to judge any person right or wrong on that basis.

!!!

Now, admittedly, there’s still HUGE room for improvement in that attitude, and despite his assertion, there’s judgement inherent in the statement. But, taking the tiny victories as and where I find them, I’m choosing to celebrate the fact that he’s even willing to entertain the discussion and the possibility of a gay person in our immediate family.

As I said, it’s a good opening for a talk and gives me hope I won’t be immediately shunned and disavowed.

Now…to work on banking some courage to have that talk.

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