My Uncle Jim and Dena
A woman I know told me that her daughter, who is 16 , recently noted at a family lunch that she was, in fact, asexual.
Another relative, a man in his fifties apparently chirped up with the question " A sexual what?" And had to be patiently educated by his niece, who calmly explained that she had no sexual attraction to men or women .
I asked what was the family reaction to such news and my friend proudly shared that it was in fact a positive one, as the family apparently accepted the news with some interest coupled with slight indifference.
Perhaps that is a sign of the times....who knows, I am not privy to my friend's family dynamics.
When I was a child my uncle Jim divorced his wife and went to live with a woman from South Yorkshire ! The woman was twenty five years (?) his junior and hailed from a family that was colourfully working class and I remember so vividly just how shamed my grandparents felt at the news as they talked in hushed tones and cried together in the privacy of their bedroom.
I still love my grandparents so very much and it's nearly four decades after they died, but I know that they could not have coped with me being gay, not in the early 1980s. They thought and were shamed by things that shamed and upset people from another era........we don't live in that world anymore .
Having said this, my grandparents eventually came around to my Uncle's new life, much younger wife and bonny baby grandson. They did this because my new aunt was and is a decent woman with a warm personality. My cousin was a delightful little boy and my Uncle was loved so very much.
Loving him, for them, finally out weighed any prejudice they felt.
I would have liked to have come out to my grandparents. I would have liked to have come out to my
mother and father too, but it was never to be and it was never the right time........ c'est la vie as they say in Frenchland.......
When I told Auntie Gladys that The Prof was my partner ( before we all met up for one of my first Flower Show Meetings) I was acutely aware that in some small way I was "re-living" a moment I
wanted so much to have had with the matriarchs of my old family all now deceased .
It wasn't rocket science....in homespun psychology terms!
I said the words that I really didn't have to say and waited with winced eyes for the reaction.
Gladys was 86 back then.
"Will he be coming to the meeting too? " She asked me, her eyes were bright and interested
" I don't think it's his cup of tea" I told her
" Right O " she said busying herself with a tea towel " " I'll wrap up some scones for him to have later"
And she left him scones, tied in a bag to our front door for the next ten years!