My parents found out I was gay after finding porn on my computer. I was about 15/16 years old and my Dad had asked to use my computer to search something on Google. Not even 5 minutes later I could hear him screaming downstairs, “OMG, WTF IS THIS!?” Completely unaware, I just figured he was watching another football game or something but nope, a few seconds later my mother walked into her room. There I was laying across her bed, cool, calm, collected. As I was flicking through the channels she interrupted, “Bam (that’s my nickname)…are you gay?”
I GAGGED! My body froze, a million thoughts ran through my mind, the world stopped, my life was over and I was scrambling to figure out how to answer. I hesitantly answered back, “No, but why do you ask?” I could feel the sweat leaving the pores of my body and my hands started shaking. I always thought I was good at keeping secrets, but my biggest secret of all had just been smacked right in my face and I was completely unprepared.
My mother simply told me, “Well, your father saw some things on your computer just now and they were pretty revealing. Even if you are gay I just want you to know you’re my son, my only child, I will always love you” and with that she simply walked out. Moments like that are why I really love my mother. Straight to the point, yet always with a caring and supportive heart.
Needless to say, I was beyond embarrassed for at least the following couple of months. I would try my hardest to erase that crippling memory from my brain and it ironically didn’t help that neither my dad or mom brought it up again. It just made me think about it more and more. My parents grew up in strict Christian homes so I know they weren’t as accepting as I would have liked, but to their credit they did make efforts to show that they still loved me. At the time I wasn’t ready to confront the issue head on or officially “come out” to them. It’s this weird, complicated intersection of appreciating the silence but also that silence hurting my soul. At times it feels like I can’t connect to my parents completely because I feel they simply don’t understand me and my journey through life as a black gay man. With that being said however, as I sit here at Draper U readying my pitch for a business to empower black gay men, I feel more ready than ever to break the ice with my parents.