It was a balmy August day and one that will be permanently etched into my mind. My 30 year old brother was visiting us from the East Coast. He walked into our courtyard and it was the day at age 30 he decided to tell me for the first time that he was gay. I’ll never forget it, he walked through the gate and suddenly had a cast on his arm (don’t worry, no one hurt him) I demanded an explanation, so long story short, first he asks for a glass of wine, then he explains the reason he had traveled to Seattle was to play with his Softball team who was in the area for the World Series of Softball, the Gay World Series of Softball and he hurt himself sliding into home plate…
He stared at me, eyes burning, and I just said, ”John, I don’t care.” Not probably my most articulate response, but the way that I truly felt/feel. I don’t care. He is the same wonderful person and brother as he was before he walked through the gate. We hugged and cried and waited for my husband to get home who was picking up a pizza. I told him he had to tell Aaron too. So we sat outside, eating our pizza (I had suggested shots, yes sometimes I am awkward in big moments, and Aaron looked at me like I was crazy and was sufficiently puzzled. So my husband asks in his typical relaxed non-challant manner, “So what happened to your arm?” He told him, and as we together took in the revelation and announcement we suddenly knew that everything would be different and unchanged in the same breath.
We continued the visit laughing and eating and drinking like we always would. We talked about silly things and serious things, like his desire for a family, when he knew, why it took so long to tell us…we took a beautiful summertime flight over Seattle, his 30th Bday present from us, and enjoyed the 30,000 foot view of the world. (OK, maybe not quite that high)
Again, nothing changed yet everything did. He was and is the same guy we have always loved with basically all the same dreams and aspirations that we hold.
This was five years ago. So much has happened. Telling our parents and family, life-long friends, (probably a lot a people still don’t know, but we don’t exactly care either) meeting gay friends and partners, learning and discovering and watching the world try to catch up. This is why I’ve decided to share this today; A day that the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits. Whether or not it was my brother isn’t really relevant, as everyone is someone’s brother or sister, son or daughter and deserve the same equality of treatment under the law and all the same rights.
My brother is happy and content living his life and the only thing that made me sad about John coming out at age 30, was why it took so long for him to tell us. I can’t speak for him there, so I won’t. But as I sigh a bit of relief of the progress made today in the Supreme Court I also have to wonder, what took so long?
13 and counting…