Sunday, March 11, 2012


My mother has a bad habit of driving me crazy sometimes.  She has always been terribly embarrassed that I am gay, and she certainly doesn't like it because she thinks that I will go to hell because of it.  One day last week, she asked me if a friend of mine knew I was gay.  I told her that she did.  My mother was very upset because she believes that if one person knows, then it will get out.  She doesn't understand what it means to keep a secret.  She's never been very good at it herself, but that is a different point.  The discussion, however, led to an interesting point.  I told her that if she understood what the Bible actually says about homosexuality, then she would understand what I believe better.  You know that I believe that what the Bible says does not pertain to modern understandings of homosexuality, and therefore, I don't think it should be applied.  I asked her if she would read a book about the subject, if I gave it to her.  I am in the middle of reading God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality, and I want her to read it when I am finished reading it myself.  She has a tremendous interest in understanding and studying the Bible: how the Bible was written? who wrote it? when and how were the books of the Bible chosen? what is the history of the Bible? etc. God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality, from what I have read of it so far, lays out a well researched and logical argument that there is not a conflict between God and gays.  I do hope that she will read it, and that it will help her to see that I am not doomed to Hell for my homosexuality.  I am a good person, the person who she reared me to be, and I want her to understand that.  I think all of our mothers make us mad at one time or another, but I want a better relationship with my mother. Since I came out to her several years ago, our relationship has always been a bit strained, and I don't like that.

By the way, even though my blog is called The Closet Professor, I do not actually consider myself in the closet.  I do not change the way I act around people, and those who I feel have the right to know, do know, and those who I feel have no right to know, do not know.  Most of those at the school I teach do not know that I am gay, simply because they would not allow me to teach there if certain people knew.  I can do more work teaching tolerance without publicly proclaiming my sexuality then not having a job and not having the chance to do so. I work each day to teach these kids tolerance.  In the rural South, teaching tolerance is not always an easy job, and it takes time, but with persistence, it will be done.


fan of casey said...

Joe: Do you think your mother is embarrassed for you or for her? I wonder whether she is worried more about your eternal soul or perhaps people would blame her for "making" you gay.

silvereagle said...

Your statement that you work each day to teach the kids tollerance, which you can do with a job, and which you could not effectively do without a job. os telling of your mother's influence. She 'raised a good un for shore" and we know she is really proud of you...just as your readers! I'll bet the book might open, at just a little bir, her thoughts!!!

Will said...

That all truth was established at one particular time, or in a specific time period, within only one culture and can never change makes absolutely no sense. Even the Catholic Church within which I grew up and was educated doesn't practice that although they say they do.

I was taught in Catholic school that to eat meat on Friday was a mortal sin, that babies who died without being baptized went to Limbo and couldn't enter Heaven, that we should wear St. Christopher medals to protect us and pray to Saints like St. Philomena.

Then one day, Poof!, it was OK to eat meat on Friday; Limbo didn't exist, never had, and all the babies were with Jesus; and Saints like Christopher and Philomena had been invented to foster devotion and really didn't exist, so don't pray to them any more. Made me wonder what else was a lie, and pushed me further toward getting away from religion altogether.

I hope your mother does read the book and that it helps her see that the Bible was put together in a very political manner meant to suppress other genuine gospels that didn't support what had become the "party line." Hopefully, she'll see the importance of Jesus NEVER having said a word against homosexuality and will understand your full value, unclouded by irrelevant 4000 year old prejudices .

Anonymous said...

I saw an interesting comment on another blog concerning a young man coming out. The commenter mentioned that there are TWO comings out when you do so: you and your parents - they have to get used to being the parents of a gay kid. So perhaps that is part of her problem, too. She herself is embarrassed or ashamed or whatever to be the mother of a gay kid. For many of her generation, being gay is caused by how you were raised or at least that is what many believe. I hope she reads the book and takes it to heart.

Peace <3

Unknown said...

I think everyone's mother is a little like that when they come out. My mother doesn't understand it, but because of how my family works, we don't discuss anything. I've had a partner for almost 8 years, and I still feel like we're less than in her eyes.

Anonymous said...

That you are a good personn is obvious. That you live your sexuality in a honnest and decent way seems, as far as I may perceive you through your blog, clear. That your way of living has nothing to do with evil or something like what religions say is bad, you don't seem, at all in this way. Your homosexuality is a part of you inner you, and you live it in a poetic , politically way, culurally, way - and I hope, also, with feelings and flesh. So...You are a big boy, aren't you ? What your mother thinks...and even she is your mother and your link with her is strong, because, sure, you are also a good child......This is her problem. Is'nt it ? Your life is your life. They are so many things of your life, your mother is not concerned with. And why be so upset because of what she thinks or feels ? And why sharing with her things that are completely yours ?

Hoping for you, more confort for the life you chose.


| said...

I'm an only child and I sometimes I wish that a sibling. Why? So my mom would have someone else to bug the crap out of. (:

I think my mother suspects... but I haven't told her yet. I'm sure my parents will have questions but I don't really want to talk about it. Some stuff I don't think I can answer.