Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Generation Gap?

So, this week, my parents came up from our home base southern California. You know, they passed through, ate lunch with me, dropped off my best friend Kim and met my half-asian.

Expected reactions vs. Actual Reactions

Kim: General quietness so I can, respectfully, talk with my parents.
Actual: Same.

Dad: Largely ignore half-asian (except to ask what his job is) and let my mother dictate her happiness. Actual: I was wrong. He didn't ignore half-asian. Instead, he gave him disgusted looks THREE times while he thought no one was looking. And that was just how many times I saw those looks.

Mom: Dictate her happiness.
Actual: Same.

Half-asian: Talk a lot, try to talk about cars, get to know parents, let them know who he is.
Actual: Didn't say a word and manages to shift uncomfortably whenever he is looked at.

I've been thinking about this one for a while. And I can only think it is a generational change. I went to a fairly conservative high school (maybe not Utah level, but defiantly conservative for California). Yet, despite this conservatism, there was a good sized GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance). The club might have even been a bit popular. Most high schools I know have one (except in Utah, where people are not okay if you are gay). Yet, ten years ago when my pseudoscience-major brother was going to high school, a GSA was unheard of. Being gay was not acceptable. It wasn't on tv. It wasn't talked about. I don't even know if it was thought about in all honesty. Gay people were just queers and that was that.

And my half-asian is as old as my brother. He doesn't have the four kids my brother has, nor a lovely spouse like my brother has, but they are roughly the same age: 30. And so I think half-asian is use to that world. That world where being gay doesn't exist because it wasn't in people's minds. I'm not saying that gay people now where diamond-studded thongs and demand that sort of attention, but people in high schools now are different, more accepting. (Surprisingly, 21st Jump Street got that concept surprisingly accurate.)

I'm not mad at half-asian. Not over something as silly as him being embarrassed. But I am a bit mad at myself. I should have been more careful when asking him to step further out of his closet. I didn't realize it was that big of a deal for him. Don't get me wrong. It is a big deal for me too but, for me, it is mainly because I'm at BYU. Once I get away from here, I will probably still be a bit hesitant to tell people I'm, you know, gay, but I will be further out then I am than ever (and I have at least a foot in my closet door).

Tomorrow will be 16 weeks for me and my half-asian. Also 17 weeks since my (painless) breakup with Jay. Interesting, right? Didn't think I was the person who needed/wanted a relationship. And yet, here I am, in college, proving myself wrong. Oh well. I like this thing I have going with my beautiful half-asian.


  1. I'm late 20's, from Arizona, and I think you're definitely right about the generation gap. I have several younger siblings each going down about a year, and we've talked about the difference and our experiences about how homosexuality is treated and responded to, and it's amazing how quickly it changes as you go down just every few years.

  2. First: there is a GSA at Provo High
    Second: Diamond studded thongs would be hella painful.
    Third: congrats on 16 weeks :)