In my last post I shared an email that I wrote to my siblings where I outed myself. It was literally days before I would be boarding a plane for my sister's wedding. It was the first time my entire family would be together in 5 years.
After I pushed send, I felt a huge weight lifted from my chest. I felt I could breathe and relax. Like I was no longer hiding anything.
Lyn called me literally 10 minutes after I had sent the email. She and her (now) husband were on the phone. She wanted me to know that what I had told them didn't change anything. They were surprised, but they loved me just the same. They said they didn't hold any judgement towards me, they actually held more respect for having the courage to tell the whole family and then choose to stay in the Church. Lyn also asked me about my heartbreak and how I deal with that.
My sister Lindsay who had up to then been texting me about a friend of ours who had decided to leave the Church and lead a gay lifestyle. She would always use words like "queer, fag, disgusting". I think my email shook her. She sent me a single text that said "I love you".
My older brother James never said anything about it to me, though in his defense his wife just miscarried twins. And it's the only time that they've been able to get pregnant since they've been married. My mother did say though that he was indifferent about it.
My little brother Joseph (he's only 18) sent me a message letting me know that he loved me and to stay strong. My mother told me later though that he actually had a hard time with it for the rest of the day. He was hurting because his older brother had to go through this. He wouldn't talk to my parents about it, he just kept to himself.
My sister Ashtyn sent me a wonderful email back that got me to shed a tear or two:
"I love you GMSW! I know you are scared about judgement, but I am holding my little boy on my chest and thinking of my love for him and mom and dad's love for you. We all struggle, everyone has trials. The most important thing is not giving up. You could have given up and been done with the church so many times, it would have been easier that way you know. But you keep fighting and that says a lot about who you are. Satan always attacks the strongest, he does not attack the weak because he knows they will attack themselves. I was thinking today about Eva. The church is either true and I will see her again or it's not; It's true. It's worth the fight. We all have demons to fight, but it's worth the fight. I love you, my little family loves you, and I feel to tell you Eva loves you and watches over you. Time for me to try to sleep before Jared wakes up again. See you soon, and so excited to see you! Keep fighting cuz you got the eye of the tiger and we're gonna hear you roar! Sorry, I don't know Taylor Swift lyrics so the choices was the one Katy Perry song I know or The Wheels On The Bus. The people on the bus go up and down did not work as well. I love you! It will be alright in the end, trust God and in good things to come."
I feel so overwhelmingly grateful for my wonderful siblings. Their reactions could not have been better. Things have changed between us, but in a good way. The weekend was short, but the time spent together was wonderful. Their was no tension, no fighting, just the usual stresses of a wedding. We all wanted to spend as much time as possible with each other. I was able to play with all my nieces and nephews. They were as sweet as anything.
My siblings kept pouring on me love. My little brother Joseph saw that I was still the same brother he knew before I told him I was gay. We shared a suite together and had a lot of fun.
It was really hard to say goodbye to my family. But what wonderful loving, healing weekend.