Churchgirlgonegay’s Blog

{August 19, 2009}   My Dad’s No Dick

It’s been a while…so this is long…you’ve been forewarned

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster. It all started when I got a call from my mom. A week prior, she found a lump in her pelvic area that she had not noticed before while she was in Vancouver helping her sister with some stuff. Thankfully she was coming home to San Jose before heading back to China to work at the orphanage. She had her doctor check out the lump and the doctor said it was most likely ovarian cancer. 15 years ago, my mom had breast cancer and had a mastectomy and chemo but has been cancer free since then. So the news that she may have cancer again was a bit alarming. A few days later, she met with the surgeon and found out that she had a massive tumor of almost 6 in in size. A few days after that discovery, she had the tumor removed and a complete hysterectomy done. I flew home the night before the surgery to help with her recovery in the hospital (she stayed for 4 days) and to help my dad, who also wasn’t feeling 100% well. The good news is the surgery went well, all the cancer was removed, and, after chemo, she has 100% chance of a full recovery.

The bad news was how torn I felt when I was there. As I was preparing to go back home, my girlfriend and I couldn’t help but think perhaps this would be an opportunity for me to come out to them. The reasoning being that I RARELY go home and it’s even rarer to be home with them at the same time. Since Christmas, I’ve seen them 2 times before (Christmas – for my dad’s mom’s 80th bday family cruise – and for my mom’s 60th birthday). Of course, it wasn’t the right timing. My parents obviously had to handle the cancer situation and I was there to help – not make things even more difficult. But while I was at home, I hated feeling like I was keeping something from them and that they only know half my story. I would sit by my mom’s bed in the hospital and hold her hand while she was still loopy from the drugs. Every so often I’d lean over and kiss her forehead and she’d stir and see me. I had to hold back my tears. I love her and my dad so incredibly much but I felt like my heart was breaking b/c I am scared that I’ll lose them in order to stay true to myself.

I’m scared b/c I’ve come out before. About 3 years ago, I wanted to come out to my parents. I’m not sure what compelled me – I think it was b/c I felt like I was lying to them and I wanted them to know about a very important aspect of my life. We are very close as I’m the only child and my parents are pretty freaking cool. Since we rarely are in the same city at the same time I asked if we could do a family vaca in a neutral location. If you know my parents and me, we NEVER take vacations. I think the last one we took as a whole family, I may have still been in elementary school. Don’t get me wrong – we travel…A LOT. But it’s mainly to do ministry. They preach, I lead worship. It’s a family business and we work well together. We’ve been all over the country and world together – but never for vacation. My mom’s pretty perceptive (Christians would call it discerning or prophetic). She could tell I wanted to tell them something b/c I requested to have some time together. We met in Miami. For the first 2 days or so I was so dang nervous. I knew everything would change once I tell them and I had no idea how. I’m not sure WHAT I was thinking…that my parents would be fine with me being gay?? I didn’t have much of a game plan, but the days were passing by. On the second to the last night, we have a nice dinner and my mom asks me straight out – so what’s up? Why did you want us to go away together? So I proceed to tell them that I like girls (quickly adding that I like boys as well – but I just haven’t met any I liked as more than a friend). I specifically did NOT mention my girlfriend at the time. I’m not sure if it was b/c we were in a nice restaurant or if my parents were just in shock, but they don’t really say much. There was no yelling, no crying, just a few questions here and there. I honestly don’t remember the entire conversation. I remember going to bed that night thinking, “wow, that went well. Maybe they WILL be ok with it.” I’m an idiot.

The next morning I wake up and my parents were already up and out of the room (yes, we were sharing a room). I wasn’t surprised b/c they wake up early to read the Bible and pray together every day (when they’re in the same city). I remember getting dressed and heading downstairs to grab some breakfast. I saw my mom through a window walking quickly through the alleyway by the hotel and I saw my dad following her. They looked upset. I headed back to the room after eating and found them in the room. My mom suggested going to the beach and lying out for a bit (which is WEIRD…my parents never do stuff like that – walk along the beach – yes, sit on a towel and just sit – no). We head down to the beach and sit on our own towels in a row. My dad starts off the conversation and says “Serena, I’m not Dick Cheney. I can’t be in ministry while you live a gay lifestyle. If you don’t pray and repent with us before we leave, I will retire from the church, mom and I will sell the house, and we will move to New York to help you through this.” I just about shat in my bikini bottoms right there. I was completely blindsided and speechless. Then my mom continues and asks me point blank if I had a girlfriend. See! My mom is so freggin perceptive. I think she noticed that I was texting and talking on the phone regularly. I couldn’t lie so I said yes. She asked me if I was in love with her, if we have sex, if I climax with her – VERY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS. To be fair, if you knew my parents and what sort of ministry they’re in (healing and deliverance), you’ll know that these questions are necessary for the healing and deliverance process. So even though I didn’t want to answer her questions, I wasn’t completely taken aback by them. My mom added that I must break up with my girlfriend when I return to New York. By the time my parents laid all this out to me, I felt cornered – literally. I was on a tiny corner of my towel and they had moved in on me with 2.5 towels behind them. I wanted to run into the ocean and never come back. I had NO idea what to do. I NEVER would’ve imagined that they would go to such desperate measures to keep me from being gay. Of course, I realized (through the help of my friend back at home whom I called afterwards desperate for help) that this is all my parents know to do. They saw that my soul was in jeopardy and their only course of action is to make me pray.

So what did I do? I ended up praying the most insincere prayer in my life. I think that was the first (and only) time I did it. After I flew back to NYC, I did not all of a sudden become straight and I did not break up with my girlfriend. How would it look as a 28 year old telling my girlfriend I had to break up with her b/c my mommy told me to? Pre-Miami, I was concerned about lying to my parents by hiding from them. Post-Miami, I was overtly lying to their faces. I felt like I put myself in a worse position.

This is mostly why I have been scared to resurface from the closet that my parents so abruptly shoved me back into. But as I approach my 31st birthday and I want to marry the love of my life, coming out to them is becoming more and more necessary. But when? And how? What will happen?? Will they follow through with their initial threat? A wise friend told me that perhaps it’s not such a terrible idea that they come out to NYC – b/c then they can see how my life is now and really get to know me – ALL of me. And, plus, maybe they need to slow down as both of them are having health issues. I’m just afraid I’ll make their health worse. Although, maybe the first blow is really the hardest and the second time I come out it won’t be the same.

Even as I type, I really don’t know how to go about coming out again. I hate how much fear i feel. If I come out, I’m afraid of what my parents will say/do. I’m afraid of what the church and the thousands of people my parents minister to will do – will they no longer respect my parents? Am I opening room for them to be attacked in their community? But if I don’t come out, I’m afraid of either having to live a lie for the rest of my life or having to hide and be miserable. I want my parents to know me – ALL of me. I want us to be close again.

On the second day that my mom was in the hospital, one of the pastors from our church and his wife came to visit. My mom was still pretty out of it, but they prayed words over her that were prayed during a prayer session with other intercessors. Some of the words were also for me and my dad. One thing that stuck out was “Love conquers all fear. Let there be no fear in you.” I don’t know if my parents will move to follow me to NY to help me pray the gay away or if they’ll disown me. But I know that they will always love me and I know that God has, does and will ALWAYS love me. God hasn’t forsaken me, so I know in my heart my parents won’t. At least I hope they won’t.

To prepare for my second coming out, I’ve been researching about being gay and christian. I’ll save what I’ve learned for other posts as this one has gotten insanely long. If you pray, please pray for me. If you don’t pray, please send good thoughts (and cookies – they always make me feel better).


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