Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Late Night Thoughts on the Downtown 1 Train

The trip from 207th Street to 14th Street on the downtown 1 train at 3 a.m. is often mercilessly long. I fortunately caught it within two minutes of arriving at the station after leaving the Escandalo Nights party in Inwood very early this morning, but I inevitably had nearly 45 minutes to think as I struggled to stay awake on the nearly empty train.

The reality that I have yet to come out to my grandmother consumed my mind as the train slowly traveled downtown. She is a conservative, bigoted and overtly homophobic Roman Catholic widow who lives in Southwest Florida. This reality obviously poses a number of potentially critical questions and concerns for me: What would happen if I formally came out to her? How would she react? Would she speak with me again? Millions of LGBT people around the world inherently face these questions as they consider coming out to various loved ones. And they face the consequences for better or for worse.

I've had conversations about this possibility with my mother, and the response has been less than enthusiastic. It seems rather ridiculous to say to her son that she doesn't want your grandmother to love you less than she does already. Indeed. The temporary solace comes in the fact I see her once a year at most, but the obvious issue remains that I am not 100 percent honest about who I am as an openly gay man who feels proud of this gift. Nothing in live is ever black or white. There are always shades of gray that tend to complicate our not so perfect world... and unfortunately this fact is one that muddied my thoughts during the long trek back to Bushwick at 3 a.m.

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