My sons are both 10. Our family tradition follows that of many others, a jolly old man with reindeer arrives mysteriously to our house late Christmas Eve and leaves wonderful gifts for them under our tree.
It is magical. It is wonderful. It is life as they would want it to be. Except… it isn’t real.
I have been more than a participant in this happy charade. I have been the mastermind. Granted, I had the help of the whole world around us, all of society and the collusion of modern media.
So, why is it, now that we are getting to the age of “the truth comes out” that I am feeling like I am in strangely familiar territory… and territory that I never wanted to be in again? Why? Because again, as I just said…this is another coming out.
I am flashing back almost three decades. I was lock step in another family tradition, the one that said the eldest son would go find a girl and date her, and marry her. The feelings to do so would enter mysteriously into my consciousness, and leave little grand babies under my parent’s tree… err, in the nursery. It would be magical, wonderful and life as my parents would want it to be. But of course, it was not real either.
I worked very hard back then on my subterfuge. Everything, of course, was at stake. If they found out, they would not love me anymore and all that would be left was a life of shame and loneliness.
It is no wonder that this current subterfuge came so naturally then. I was deeply comfortable with creating an alternate reality and making a great case for it for the casual observer. Back then, I cruised attractive women in the presence of my parents and feigned embarrassment when they noticed me doing it. Awww, how embarrassing… you saw me look at the pretty lady that I have absolutely no interest in.. In the current version I upped my game by leaving foot prints, having the exact last minute requested gift they muttered hours before under the tree the next morning and photoshopped evidence of a surprised Santa in front of our very tree. My evidence has been so good that my sons have actually recently started to realize The Truth, only to remind them selves of The Proof, and faith has taken over again.
So here I am, looking out from the closet , part two. This time, the hangers are doing a jingle bells clanging thing.
My first step needs to be answering the ultimate coming out question. Do I bring it up first? Or do I drop hints and let them bring it up when they start to figure it out? I employed the latter with my parents. That did not go very well. Have you gone gay? That was the question my sloppy behavior lead them to ask. Has Santa gone non existent? No, I can’t face that coming from my sons.
This time I have to bite the bullet. I need to be the one to bring it up. That would make the parallel dialogues go something like this:
Mom and Dad, I have something to tell you./ Jess, Jase, I have something to tell you.
What’s that son? / What’s that Daddy?
It is about my sexuality. / It is about Santa.
Oh? What is it? / Oh? What is it?
I have not been honest with you / I have not been honest with you
You’re…not……gg..ggg / Whhh…what do you mean?
It’s not real. / Santa is gay.
Huh? / Oh…. Cool! We thought so!
Yeah. Yeah. That is a much better approach. Thank you all very much. This has helped a lot!
Merry Christmas…and Happy Holidays!
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