Dear Closeted Millennial and Gen Z,
I’m watching the end of an I.D. Discovery show with my parents when a commercial about the impeachment comes on. I get up to leave when my mom says, “What? Mad Trump didn’t get impeached?”
This is nothing new; people like to start debates, sometimes in your own house. For others, it’s exhausting, especially when you’re a broke millennial trying to scrape up enough money to move out.
But for more than a few, it’s threatening.
This is the case when you’re LGBT and closeted in your own home.
A lot of the time, I see people vent these frustrations as adults online. “When I was a kid, my parents were crazy!” Other times, I see upset teens looking for advice through Reddit from supporting adults when their parents aren’t. But what about those of us who can’t leave? Those of us that aren’t children that the world more often than not can take pity on?
We’re the lazy generation, right?
We’ve all heard it before: there’s the uncomfortable holidays, there’s the occasional jab at gay marriage or transgender bathroom issues, and there’s the “I don’t get it’s”. But this becomes so much more exacerbated when it’s your own parents saying these things to your face. Sometimes even, asking you to agree.
As someone who’s bi, I always get the “can’t they just pick one?” classic comment from my mom. And she wonders why I avoid her.
I realize how fortunate that I am that that’s the full extent of it: occasional jabs and backhanded comments to get on my nerves. But none of it is intentional because they don’t know.
Yet how can they expect me to be honest with them if their honesty about these issues terrifies me?
The same day I’m writing this, my best friends threw me a surprise party for my birthday. Yet, I was always told growing up that “friends are temporary, family/blood is forever.” But as I’ve grown older, I realize that with technology better than ever — and despite our ever-growing schedules and to-do lists — that it’s easier to stay in touch than ever before. And tonight, my point was proven correct.
You can’t change where you come from, but you can change who you surround yourself with.
Starting with once or twice, to eventually becoming a regular thought in my head, I try to picture what my relationship with my parents will be someday. It’s something that bothers me because I think that deep down, no matter the hard times, the pain they put you through, or the burden they make you believe you are, you can’t change who your parents are. We have an innate desire to want that validation, respect, love, or something else from them. It disgusts me that I feel that way, but I can’t escape it, and I’m learning to accept that. But what I can change is the control I’ll have of that relationship. Once I’m moved out, I’ll get to decide how often I see them, when I pick up the phone, and when I don’t.
So, as someone going through these motions, waiting and working hard for that day I pack my bags, I’m telling you this: you are not alone. You are allowed to feel conflicted. You are allowed to feel lonely and suffocated at the same time. You are allowed to let those tears out or scream about how life isn’t fair because it’s often not. But that day you can choose who your family is will come. That day you can say you’re free will happen. And I support you.
You are not alone. And neither am I.
Closeted Millennial Bi Disaster