No matter how much we try and deny it, we have formed family, those of us far flung and away from our roots. New York is the melting pot. Relationships are the glue; that make this city work. Phone numbers, cocktails, dinner parties and drinks. The dysfunctional closeness. The need for people to divulge their deepest sins to random waiters or waitresses, the shear loneliness, in a city surrounded by millions.
I’m often struck by how many truly powerful people I meet; they are alone and take pride in their solitude. They mention that they want more; they mention their desire for more. Yet can’t come to terms with it. Not understanding, the individuality that can happen in a relationship, most are afraid of loosing themselves to someone.
For gay people, I’ve come to realize, that very few of us have actually been accepted, truly accepted by our own biological families, we also have never actually experienced a working family relationship.
It finally dawned on me, that while dating, the biggest taboo that one can mention on a date, even for many months, is to mention anything about family, or growing up. I’m forthright about my dysfunctional past, yet when I ask my potential lovers, about theirs, they are vague. Scared. Like they must take full responsibility for the sins of their parents; they act as though they caused the dysfunction in their early world.
Inevitably, the lover will mention, that they “love their parents and that they did the best they could”. I have the same tag, nailed down. Then they go on to mention that their father was never there, that he worked a lot, that one of the parents was alcoholic, that they grew up in a town full of bigotry and hate toward gay men, that they can never tell their parents, that they are gay. “But the parents know, they just don’t ask, we don’t talk about these things.”
I relate; I feel their pain because it is my own. Yet not one of these lovers, who assures me; of the love they have of family, ever acts as though they know how to forgive.