I had kind of an eye-opening moment not long ago when I was showing my Mom Courage Campaign's "Please Don't Divorce Us" video which I've posted here in my blog. It got us talking about Prop 8 and marriage rights in general, and I was a little taken aback at how much she didn't know. She had heard of Prop 8, and had some idea that it had to do with gay rights in California, but that was about it.
So, I took the opportunity to do a little education. We talked about the fact that the courts in Cali had granted gay people the right to get married back in May, how Prop 8 got added to the ballot and just barely passed through pressure and funding in large part from the Mormon Church, how the measure actively sought to take rights away from people, and what it meant for gay people going forward. Then we got to chatting about gay civil rights here in Canada, and she really blew me out of the water: my Mom had no idea that equal marriage rights were already granted by law in our country. So again, I explained how Paul Martin's Liberal government had granted the right back in 2005 with the passing of Bill C-38.
Anyway, I guess I was a little shocked by the ignorance that my Mom --liberal at heart, mother to a gay son-- showed in matters that were near to my heart and deeply affect my own life. And I place the blame here squarely on my own shoulders.
I came out to my family about five years ago and they accepted it pretty easily. Mom was shocked for all of two minutes; it took Dad a little longer but but he came around pretty quickly. My family has always been close and we stayed that way through the process of my coming out. But even though we're still very close, the issue of my sexuality doesn't really get discussed a lot. Again, this is mostly my own fault; I've always been a pretty private person, a fact that often drives my mother nuts.
My point --and I do have one-- is that I feel I've been a little derelict in my duties here. I have a willing audience in the form of my very accepting family, but except for a few rare instances I've never taken the initiative to discuss GLBT issues with them. I'm going to endeavor to take that initiative from now on whenever the opportunity arises.