Defining 'open mind'
Its Sunday night and my mother and I are watching some random show on WTN(Women's Television Network)-
Mom: "Do you know Ellen (pronounced Allen)?"
Me: Err... "yeah"
Mom: "You know? She is very funny and talks really nice, has a show on TV."
Me: "Yes mom, I know who Ellen is. She is a comedian."
Mom: "Do you know she's gay?"
*pin drops and Tazzy realizes her mother actually knows what homosexuality is! Sure she's not on the ball with the lingo but wow she's actually mentioned the word. Am so proud. *
Me: "Yeah. She just got married to a woman recently"
Mom: "Yes. I know. I used to really like her and her show. She was so happy and outgoing and talked so well. Then I saw her wedding pictures on a magazine. Why would she do that? She used to be such a nice person"
*Tazzy realizes pin is actually to burst bubbles*
*Mom is looking confused, but thankfully not upset or disgusted*
Me: "Mom, just because she is gay doesn't mean she isn't a nice person or can't run a great show."
Mom: "No, she isn't normal. That isn't normal. Why would she want to be that? I use to like watching her show!! "
*Now at that point, Tazzy could tell her that being gay isn't what someone chooses, its what someone is, but I didn't want to preach or argue. But rather have her reason it out on her own time. A couple of young guys are going to 'come out' soon enough in our community, she needs to be prepared, and not with sticks and stones*
Me: "You can still like her show and her, Mom. Even if she's gay. She is still the same person."
*Mom gives a dubious look and goes back to her stitching*
Wow, not bad.
I had heard of homosexuality 14 years ago living in the Middle East and I took three years after that to accept that its perfectly 'normal'.
I'd say mom is making progress.
PS: Don't be hating my mom now. Her reaction is probably generic of most South-Asian parents. Not just parents, in some cases.