13. My mother once flat out asked me if I’m gay. Then a couple of days later, I went into the city the same day as the Gay Pride Parade. When I saw my mother again, she said “So, what did you do in the city on Sunday?”
The summer after graduation from NYU, I would head back into the city and hang out with Kerwin, my old roommate, and some other NYU friends for this Sunday brunch in the Village. We did this for about a month. It was great deal. $12 for an entrée and unlimited mimosas or bloody Marys (apparently, the deal was too good because by summer’s end, the deal changed into $12 for an entrée and ONE mimosa or bloody Mary. We never went back). Apparently, my mother became suspicious of these constant jaunts into the Village.
One Saturday, I walked into the house and my mother called me into her room. She was laying on her bed watching television. I can honestly say I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying in the beginning. I assumed this was another conversation about the state of my room or that I hadn’t picked up my laundry from the basement. I don’t remember what was the word that sent a chill down my spine like “Wait, what is she talking about?”
“…so you know that we’ll love you no matter what you do…”
I started to get warm with rage which was impressive because the air conditioner stayed on when my mother was in her room in the summer.
I finally chimed in, “What are you talking about?”
She replied quickly as if glossing over the statement would make it better, “I’m just saying that it’s okay if you’re gay, Sean. I mean, your cousin Richard’s gay…”
“I’M NOT GAY, M…wait…Richard’s gay?!?”
“Yes, you didn’t know?”
“No! But that’s besides the point. Why would you think I’m gay?”
“I don’t know. You haven’t in the girlfriend in a long time and you’re always going to the Village…”
“Oh my GOD!” I couldn’t even stand to finish this conversation and I stormed out of her room and went to mine.
Later that night, I told my brother what happened and he laughed. He confessed that he may have, for humorous purposes, led her down this path*.
A few weeks later, I headed into the city for brunch with my friends. We started walking towards Fifth Avenue and there was a huge parade going on. It was the Gay and Lesbian parade. In my mind, I was like, “Oh. Fuck.” I got home and my mother didn’t say anything. Honestly, we didn’t speak much after the initial conversation. The next day, I came home from work and could hear the CBS news on my mother’s TV, “Coming up next, hundreds take to the city for the Gay and Lesbian parade”
My mother yells from her room, “Sean, what were you doing in the city yesterday.”
I turned into an angry child and screamed, “I WASN’T AT THE PARADE!!!” I went into my bedroom, slammed the door and that was the last time it was ever brought up.