Growing up I was raised that all people should be treated the same. People were just that, people. So when I realized in middle school that I was not only attracted to boys but girls too it never crossed my mind that I should tell someone. I mean, I didn’t go up to my mom one day and say “mom. I think boys are cute” so why would I do that over girls right?
I am not one who took a lot of people around my family anyway so the few girls I dated it was never really a huge public thing. Social media hadn’t blasted through with it’s huge presence yet so everyone’s personal business wasn’t out there for everyone in the world to know. I mean, it never crossed my mind that me being bi-sexual would ever be an issue, with my family anyway. I wasn’t blinded to the judgment of the world. But then, almost two years ago, I started dating Ashley. I realized that this was going to turn into something serious. Serious enough that I wanted her to meet my family, sounds so old fashioned doesn’t it haha. My mom and my sister were the first to meet her and immediately fell in love with her as well.
My grandfathers house is where we host all of our family get-togethers, birthdays, holidays (big and small) and sometimes just occasionally large family gatherings for no reason at all. My grandpa, or Gandaddy as I call him, and I have always been extremely close. My mom was young when she had me so he helped raise me and was more like a dad than anything. When I got married he walked me down the isle on one arm and my dad on the other. When he found out about me dating Ashley it turned into a huge ordeal. He let it be known that I was not allowed at family functions if I had the intentions of bringing Ashley because he would not allow such sin in his house. I was put in an impossible situation. One that even at 30 years old I wasn’t emotionally prepared to have to deal with.
I had to choose. Not so much between someone I loved and my family that I loved, but I had to choose between standing up for what I believe in or cowering behind fear and pretending to be someone that I am not. I have always been a huge advocate for equality for all humans! So I made the choice, the choice to be true to myself and what I believe in with the hopes that he would come around and that I wouldn’t lose more of my family. Thankfully, all of the rest of my family stood behind us. Some said it was hard for them to understand but that they love me and nothing would change that. They have all gotten to know Ashley and love her.
Unfortunately I can not say the same for my grandparents. I missed the first Holiday season with my family in 31 years this past year. I didn’t get to see all my Aunts and Uncles and little cousins. I didn’t get to drink the punch and eat all my favorite foods that are always prepared at the holidays. There was a hole. Something missing. But, I have a child of my own, and we will start our own traditions. Traditions that will continue for years and years to come, long after I am gone. Traditions that will not be broken by hate and judgement. Traditions that will equally bring all the joy the world has to offer to anyone who wants to join. I am still hopeful that one day, one day things will be different. Not just for me and my grandpas relationship, but for the world as a whole.