Tuesday, September 28, 2010


My dad loves to brag about his kids. It can be a challenge for him at times, I'm sure, as we are far from perfect. This doesn't stop him -- and is perhaps what encourages him -- to take every opportunity he has to talk up our achievements.

So here's the deal. We have relatives in the more conservative part of the state. My dad's sister and her kids and grandkids, to be precise. I don't see enough of them to know them well (my own damned fault) but when I do see them, I like them. One cousin, particularly, is supportive about my attempts at publication. Note I said "attempts." I haven't told them about my published books or about what genre(s) they are. Specifically because of what genres they are. This goes back to not knowing them as well as I should or would like. Would they be cool that I've written and published gay erotic romance? I don't know. … But I guess I'll find out because at a large family gathering the other week, my dad (I have to assume it was him.) told them I had these books out there. That's right. My dad outed me. Now, he may know something I don't. He grew up with his sister. He's seen this batch of relatives much more than I have over recent years. He may know that they'll be perfectly cool with it. I certainly hope he's right. In the meantime, I wait to see what the fallout is. If nothing else, I know he means well. He's just so proud of his "Number One Daughter."

So, have you ever had to deal with something like this? A well-meaning friend or family member who let the cat out of the bag when you'd been trying so diligently to keep it safe and happy in that bag? What happened? How did you deal with it? Apprehensive minds want to know.


Pia Veleno said...

Oh yes. Been there.

I was outed at the office, and the culprit did it in the middle of a meeting, trying to make a joke about me. That resulted in a twenty minute discussion of questions like "How do you know what gay men do?"

One girl came to my rescue and kept answering for me, making up responses like, "She has gay friends."

I laugh at it now, but it was not the way I wanted to let people know I write! There was a sunny side to it though. The same girl who came to my rescue also said she'd be interested in reading my stories. Another fan!

Anonymous said...

A friend/coworker outed me at work when I sold my first book. I wasn't too upset since we're a small office and I know way more than necessary about all of them too. It squiked a few out, but we just don't talk about it. I did get two readers out of it, though.

My mother outed me to the rest of the family by telling my cousin, who told her mother, who must have put out a memo to everyone else. A few questions, a couple of whys, and one great big "are you gay too?" later and we're all still alive.

I expected far worse than I got and thank God for that! :)

Maia Strong said...

Thanks for this, both of you! It's nice to know that happy (or at worst neutral) endings came out of your experiences. Fingers crossed I'm equally lucky! :)

Kate Davies said...

Oh, dear. Been there, done that. Not with family, per se, but my youngest outed me to the kindergarten teacher, who has quite the mouth. So, yeah. We're still at a "don't ask, don't tell" stage, where I know that they know but we don't talk about it.

Hang in there, and if you need a sounding board once you hear the response, you know where to find me! :)

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