Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Mom Complex

I've been visiting my family for about a week and after talking to some of my friends I've discovered there is a distinct Mom Complex that we as queer people have.  What is the Mom Complex?  It's this undeniable fear of our moms rejecting us, judging us or being disappointed in us.  This consists of the actual "coming out" to them as well as sharing our lives openly and authentically, no matter how long we have been out.  Now, while I agree that it can be really scary to come out to parents, there is this mindset of "if you're out to your mom then you're out."  (Stepping on my soapbox) Well all of that is fine and dandy, but what about our dads?  No one ever seems to mention having a complex about coming out, or living out, to dads.  It's always "I don't know how to tell my mom" or "I'm scared to tell my mom" or "how will my mom react?"  If you don't believe me simply go to your local Barnes and Noble, Borders, or local gay bookstore and look in the GLBT section.  There are tons of books for/by moms who have gay children, yet how many books do you see for/by dads?  Why are our feelings so much more flippant when it comes to our dads?   For me personally I was nervous about telling my mom, but I was terrified of telling my dad.  While my mom and I talk often, have a strong bond and her expression of loving me were always present.  My dad was a different story, he's reserved, quiet, and rarely do we have long conversations.  At least if my mom has something to say she says it, where as my dad will just think it and not tell you.  Sometimes I feel like we put our dads on the back burner and concentrate so much on our moms that it creates an even bigger divide.  Say your dad went to the store to get a book to help him understand (because he's supposed to be "a man" and doesn't want to talk), what is he bombarded with?  Books for/by/about mother-child relationships which reiterates to him that his relationship with you and his feelings are second-rate.  Let's end this ridiculous divide and instead of having a Mom Complex, simply have a Parent Complex where you care about both of your parents feelings equally.

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