A Christmas Affair To Remember

, , , , , | Related | December 25, 2020

It’s Christmas Day and my family is together at my house for dinner. My grandmother has been vocal about her disdain for homosexuality, especially after I came out six months ago, often using religion and obsolete laws — which she describes as “proper” laws — as justification.

My mum has no patience for it; she sees it as hypocritical given how open and proud my grandmother is about the affairs she has had in her life. She has told me repeatedly not to take any of the abuse. I’ve told her I’m willing to put up with it if it keeps the family together. I also don’t see my grandmother often, so I have never really seen the full extent of her diatribes.

When my grandmother arrives and sees me, she immediately goes into a long rant about how they should bring back chemical castration for homosexuals, and that they should refuse treatments for homosexuals with STIs — namely HIV/AIDS. She continues this throughout dinner, making it awkward for many and slowly filling me with simmering rage. My mum keeps telling her to shut up or she’ll throw her out, but as she’s the only one making the threat, it falls on deaf ears.

While waiting for dessert, my grandmother addresses me directly, with my mum glaring daggers at her the entire time.

Grandmother: “[My Name], you need to try being straight. It would make your family happy. It would make me happy, and you want me to be happy, don’t you? You’re going against my wishes being a [slur]. It’s not Christian. Won’t you try being straight? Have you ever tried?”

Me: *Sarcastically* “I have. Have you ever tried not having an affair?”

The room goes completely silent before my mum snorts and bursts out laughing. Several other family members do so while others stare in shock. My grandmother blushes and excuses herself.

After dessert, my mum and dad are cleaning up in the kitchen. My grandmother is in the corner of the lounge smoking while I’m playing on my phone. A loud crashing of pans comes from the kitchen, followed by my mum looking like she could kill, and her cousin shortly after.

Mum: “If anyone in this family thinks my mum deserves an apology because she’s ‘upset’ after being called out on her infidelity, and not her 16-year-old grandson after being told he should be castrated and thrown in prison for life for something he has no control over, then you do not belong in this house, and you do not belong in my life.”

With that, she stormed back into the kitchen. The rest of the evening had a mute calm, with my mum repeatedly glaring at her mum and cousin every time they moved. The morning after, I asked what had happened in the kitchen, but she only told me her cousin wouldn’t be welcome at our house anymore after she “picked her side.”

Admittedly, my response was childish and petty, and I probably should have just kept my mouth shut instead of letting her get to me. My family feels pretty broken right now, and although my mum keeps telling me it isn’t my fault, I can’t help but feel that it is.

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