Up to this point, I haven’t told anyone in my family, except for one cousin who’s been my go-to female buddy since we were teens, because I was waiting for the perfect timing. You know, when everything’s stable or when the mood is so right I don’t have to wait for me and my girlfriend to be stable. There were instances when the feeling was too strong I thought I had to say it—moments with my mom, dad, brothers, and aunts—but didn’t. And I was both glad and sorry for losing the courage to do so.
I was at dinner this evening with my dad, two of my aunts, and two younger cousins. One of my cousins asked me the same question she threw me yesterday, in front of the same people.
“Ate, why are you still single? Why don’t you have a boyfriend yet?”
Dayum. The question I dreaded and tried to dismiss yesterday is hunting me today, I thought. I flushed upon hearing the word ‘boyfriend’ and that it’s an interrogative statement she’s saying. I knew I turned red, but pretended to be calm and light-hearted. When she asked me this yesterday, I flippantly answered, “I have but I still have to draw him.” This time, I said, “Oh, right! Sorry, I forgot to bring the drawing.” Everyone on the table laughed following my response.
It’s very awkward when my innocent cousins ask me these things especially in front of adults in our family. If I was out of my mind, I might’ve told them straight out that I have a girlfriend, but thank God my sanity remained intact. There was a 75% chance I could have been disowned and left homeless.
Kidding aside, it’s easy to lie to my family and make up stories to cover up my real sexuality and the fact that I’ve been in a relationship with a woman for some years now. Nobody’s doubting anyway (or so, I think) no matter how hard I try to make things obvious. Yes, obvious—she always comes over our house, we would lock ourselves in my room the entire time she’s around, I mention her name to my mom often, I tell my family (in individual conversations) how wonderful and gifted she is, we sometimes pick my mom up from work, and stuff like that. But the thing is, they always thought she was my best friend because that was what I told them before.
Again, it’s easy to lie, but it pains me every time I had to do it. I want to be true to myself. I want to be as normal as my other cousins who can introduce their girlfriend or boyfriend to our family. I want to be able to talk about her openly not as my best friend, but as my lover. I want my family to feel happy for us as they feel happy for my other cousins who are also in love. I want them to comfort me and tell me that we’ll be okay whenever we fight. I want to bring my girlfriend to our family gatherings just like my other cousins can invite theirs. I’m so tired of putting up a show, but no, I can’t come out yet.