So, here's the lowdown:

For the first time in about two or three years, my family is having a family reunion over Thanksgiving. My parents are flying me out specifically for this reason. Let me break down the family dynamics for you:

--Grandma and Grandpa
Grandma is Nazarene and Grandpa is Lutheran. Grandma is far too sweet to ever say anything outright bad about Mormons, but she showed visible relief once when I told her I was exploring other options. Grandpa thinks Mormons are stupid.

--Aunt and Uncle Cool
Aunt and Uncle cool are agnostic and athiest respectively, and both know my full situation, and have even met my girlfriend. My aunt is a very successful lawyer, and loves arguing, and my uncle...well, I'm actually not sure what he does for a living, but it involves lots of traveling outside the country. He, too, loves arguing.

--Uncle Laidback
I actually have not ever discussed religion with this guy, mostly because I haven't seen him in a good six or seven years. But he'll be there!

--My family
My younger sister is an in-the-closet lesbian (seriously, she's told me), my older sister is super crazy devout, her husband is really laidback (and is mostly okay with me being a big ole lesbian), my mom's sanity depends on the church, and my dad uses the church as one big, holier-than-thou ego trip.

Now that you have the groundwork, let me explain why I'm feeling a little panicky about next week.

I've received word that the Saturday after Thanksgiving, once the extended family has left, my family will be going to the temple to do my maternal grandmother's work. Of course, they are fully expecting me to go with them. Because I think my older sister is deluding herself into thinking that I am still going to church even though I'm living that wretched "homosexual" lifestyle, and my parents have no idea, although I believe they may suspect that I don't go to church.

Anyhow, the moment I tell them that not only will I not be going, but I couldn't go even if I wanted to, because I don't hold a temple recommend, all hell will break loose. My dad, with his wonderful priesthood authority, will demand to know why, and if I try to leave it at, "I haven't been attending church," he won't let it be. He'll demand to know why I haven't been going to church, and then he'll exhort, command, and bully me into going again, along with paying my tithing. And then, he might threaten me financially. Not that it'll do much, because every time I ask for money--which is maybe once or twice a year--he gets all wishy-washy and tells me that he doesn't really have any money either, and can't help me out. Buuut, still.

My mom will probably cry. I'm not sure if she'll do much else. And my older sister will demonize me, and potentially out me. Maybe.

I'm definitely not ready to have either conversation with my parents: the first being that I don't believe in the church, and the second being that I am, in fact, gay.

Last night I was considering my options, and it is pretty much inevitable that I have at least one of the two conversations with them, since the temple thing basically forces the issue. But, do I have the conversation in the middle of the week--when numbers of support are on my side--or wait until Saturday and let them complain about how I've driven the spirit away and they can't enjoy their time spent as a family doing my grandmother's work?

If I do it in the middle of the week, people might accuse me of trying to make the week all about me, and trying to manipulate people to my side and so on and so forth. But then at least I'll have support, and my dad won't be able to try anything. It's not like I'd have the conversation in front of the whole family, but if things got out of hand, I could simply walk out to the living room and sit with my aunt, uncle, and grandparents.

I dunno. I'm just really worried.

1 comment: