This really crazy thing happened when I outed myself on my blog, and I'm not sure if you noticed, but it blew up everywhere, and now it feels like my life will never be the same.
Let me just take you through a few of the new experiences that have happened since Friday and a couple of the funny moments.
First, on Friday when things started spreading and spreading and we realized suddenly that not only would our friends and family know I am gay, but pretty much everyone in the whole dang state of Utah and beyond, we got a call from Gawker.com. Gawker.com!
Now, when you get a call from someone at Gawker.com, you should probably not do what I did, which was stutter and speak so haltingly that the poor guy who wanted to reprint your blog post literally thought his phone was cutting out. He was like "Oh, I'm so sorry, I get horrible reception here in my apartment."
Yeah, Mr. Gawker Writer. That's what's happening. You have bad reception. It's definitely not that my hand is shaking as I hold the phone and my brain is so overwhelmed by IAMGOINGTOBEREPRINTEDONGAWKER that I sound like I have a mix of turrets and dementia. Perhaps you should switch cell-phone carriers, even. Or next time call someone that can actually have a telephone conversation. Either one.
But that wasn't the worst phone call. (This was before we had Lolly take over the phone duties, because she is better at not sounding like an idiot than me on the phone.) And granted, I had a reason to be FREAKING OUT because as I was working out in the hotel's fitness center I got a call from New York and I was being asked about appearing on a national TV show. A big one. (Not finalized, we'll see if it happens. Looks like it probably will.)
But here's the thing about me: as the above example demonstrates, I completely suck at talking on the phone. I'm always running over people's sentences and saying weird crap and talking at all the wrong moments and laughing at inappropriate things. The conversation with this guy went pretty well overall, but then as the call was winding down, I failed to realize that the call was coming to a close, and so in the precise moment that he said the word "goodbye" I spastically blurted something like "Because the thing I really want to communicate is that love is the clarion call of our post and what we hope to help share with the world..."
Really Weed? Phone etiquette 101 says "at this point, you cordially say 'goodbye' to the recipient of your telephonic communication." Yet instead of that, you decide to utter the cheesiest, most hippy-sounding sentence you may have ever said in your life. AS he's saying goodbye. And then you sit there awkwardly, hoping he'll pick up the conversation. And he doesn't.
Oh, also, it's really interesting to have a post with nearly 3,000 comments, most of which are breathtakingly poignant. So, so many of them are absolutely beautiful--people pouring out their hearts and souls and sharing deep and meaningful things--things that sometimes make Lolly and me tear up with the bigness of what's happening. We'll be reading through, holding hands, tearing up and feeling so much love and joy and gratitude, and then we get to a comment that's like "Hey satan, why don't you stop being all satanic and torturing kittens for fun and eating spider sandwiches because you like the taste. Oh and I HATE you." and it's really jarring. Like, it's just so incredibly incongruent. "Rainbows, unicorns, flowers, lambs, DECAPITATED BABY, clouds, sunshine." <--------- It's kind of like that.
We have decided to not take these comments personally and to really heed what the post originally said. It's okay. It's okay to feel strong feelings. Seriously. We get it. And we love you anyway. And actually mean that.
In closing a couple of photos:
This blurry photo is the moment right before we got home and saw that our post started going viral. Inside my head at this moment I was thinking, "I can't believe I posted that. Now every single one of my Facebook friends knows I'm gay." Little did we know...
These pools were amazing. It's a shame we spent 80% of our time in our room reading (incredible) responses! We're definitely coming back another time to spend 80% of our vacation in those pools though.
Oh yeah. This totally happened. Twice.
This brings us to the first question we want to answer, and it's a really good one. (We'll try to answer one of the common questions we get in every post.)
What about your girls? When will you tell them?
This is such a good question, and one that we have thought about a lot. It was with great trepidation about them that we went forward with this information, and we fully recognize that we have changed their lives by being public about ours. Our hope is that this stuff will have minimal impact on them, and that people will never judge them or treat them differently because their dad is gay. But you never know. One thing is for certain, our focus in any difficult moment that arises will be to help them process their emotions appropriately, and use difficult circumstances to help them learn life lessons about loving others, being charitable, and forgiving anyone who judges or criticizes. As Brene Brown says, "kids are wired for struggle." (That quote is coming from my memory. Sorry if it's a little off.) We can't protect them from struggle, but we can be a pillar of support and strength, no matter what they're facing. And this issue will be no exception.
As far as telling them about my homosexuality, my gut as well as my training as a therapist tells me that eight years old is probably the developmental age to talk to them about sexuality and sex. So I would imagine that letting them know about this might be part of that conversation. We're going to have to see. I do know, for certain, that our oldest will want to know as early as possible. She is incredibly curious about interpersonal information (as you can see here), and I am positive that finding out as a late teen (which is probably impossible now--let's face it, Google will still exist then) would be really traumatizing for her, and she would probably feel very betrayed that we hadn't been more open with her. The other girls aren't old enough to get a read on.
As with all parenting decisions, we'll be following our instincts, following the spirit, and waiting for the perfect moment as we play it by ear, responding appropriately to their cues. But our stance is one of openness and love. We want to model the kind of communication we hope they feel able to have with us so that our girls grow up knowing that in the Weed household, we are allowed to talk about hard things, and then we process them together, and then we love each other. Vulnerability, openness, honesty and love are better than secrecy, shame, fear and ignorance every time, at least in my book.
Anna, Tessa and Viva