Tag Archives: Not The Biologicals

National Coming Out Day, and the Siblings

Today, October 11, is National Coming Out Day:

National Coming Out Day is an internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and discussion about gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

Timely enough, I was recently asked by Calvin:

Erik, you may have already talked about this in another post and if so, please excuse the question. I know that your parents haven’t come to terms yet with you being gay, but how do your siblings act around you? Are they fully accepting of the fact that you’re gay or do they feel as your parents do?

I briefly touched on my coming out to my siblings back in September 2011, but I’ll expand upon that here.

The first person I came out to in my family was Oldest Younger Brother. Somewhere between 1999 and 2000, he came to visit me in Arkansas. The Husbear and I were living together and had been since 1997. I was scared as Hell to tell him, but knew I needed to for my own sanity and mental health, and he was sort of my “testing ground” to gauge how the family would react. So Oldest Younger Brother and I went for a drive. And nervously I told him.

He took it surprisingly well. Add to that the fact I called the Husbear “hon” in front of him before that probably clued him in a little. He and his wife treat us well to this day. But we have never spoken directly about the who, where, what, and why of my being gay.

I told Sister in writing at the same time as I told my parents in August 2001, which occurred after I told Oldest Younger Brother. She never responded to the letter, nor have we ever spoken of it directly. To her credit, she does ask about the Husbear and myself when we talk, and she treats us well the couple times we have seen her in person. The Husbear even did her hair for her wedding back in 2005. 😉

As for Youngest Younger Brother, I have never told him directly that I was gay. I’m fairly certain the rest of the immediate family has done that for me. But he also treats the Husbear and I pleasantly when we talk or see him.

So does this mean I’m out to my siblings? I personally would say I am. Being gay really isn’t something that comes up in conversation with them. I don’t hide the fact that the Husbear and I are a couple to them, and have been so for over 15 years. When we are in Florida, we visit them together (except for that one time). If they had questions, I’d answer them. Just like I answer all the questions they ask about me being a tattooist. Or when I did computer work. As long as they are respectful to me, my beliefs, and those around me, I’ll extend that same courtesy to them.

Which is really how the world should work.

Until next time...

The more things change…

I stumbled upon this picture I had taken of a picture when I was going through the family hoarding pictures I posted earlier.

La familia, in what I’m guessing to be either the end of 1984 or beginning of 1985 (I’m guessing because of how small my Youngest Younger Brother looks, and the 1984 World’s Fair shirt my Oldest Younger Brother is wearing. My mom probably has the exact date written on the back of the photo. She tends to do that.):

Sister, Me, Father, Oldest Younger Brother, Mom, Youngest Younger Brother

La familia, 27 years later, in June 2011 (the last time we have all been together in the same place at the same time):

Mom, Youngest Younger Brother, Sister, Me, Oldest Younger Brother, Father

I think I look either drunk or baked in that picture, of which I was neither. But probably needed to be right after.

Until next time...

The Oncoming Hoard

I briefly wrote about my family’s predilection to being pack-rats in February 2008. As a child I don’t remember stuff being everywhere, with the exception of one “storage” room. I don’t remember the house ever being dirty, because as kids we were always vacuuming and cleaning as part of our weekly chores. But I started noticing on visits after I moved away that it was becoming both increasingly cluttered and dirty.

Thanks to Netflix, over the last few weeks I’ve watched every episode of TLC’s “Hoarding: Buried Alive”, A&E’s “Hoarders”, and Animal Planet’s “Confessions: Animal Hoarding”. Watching the shows I definitely think there’s a difference between hoarders: some can’t let go of things for some mental reason, some just seem to be lazy, and some hoarders are a combination of both.

I definitely wouldn’t say either of my parental unit’s are lazy. My father owns and runs his own business, and is always working on equipment for it or making deliveries. My mom would be the classic “homemaker”. She’s always taken care of people. Us kids growing up. Then she took care of her and my father’s parents in the last years of their lives. Now she helps watch my sibling’s children at their respective homes.

I’m sure my father would actually call himself a “collector” and I do admit he definitely does collect some specific—and very nice—things. But there’s so many of them that they’ve taken over almost every wall of their house.

Then there’s my mom. Oy! There are paper bags full of mail, magazines, and who knows what else all over the house. Things my mom keeps saying she’ll go through one day. As new things come in each day. She’s also saved all sorts of who knows what “to put in scrapbooks for us” to have. All our childhood crafts and clothing. Piles of stuff.

I’m really not looking forward to that day where I will have to go through their stuff after they die. I guess it will all be just a little bit of history repeating….

I could easily be a hoarder. And I probably have been from time to time in a small way. Mentally I have a difficult time letting objects go. The thought “I need to keep this because I could use it later” goes through my brain a lot. I’m not sure where that thought that continually lingers in the back of my brain comes from either. But it’s there, and I deal with it.

I’d say I have gotten better about it than I used to be. Or at least I hope I have. I’m not sure what the Husbear would say about it, but I’m hoping he would agree. Luckily I have him to help remind me of this when I struggle from time to time.

After re-reading the draft of this post over and over, it’s really not my intent to call my parental units out with this. Nor would I consider this “airing dirty laundry”. But for as much as I am unwillingly turning into my parental units, I don’t want this to happen to me.

The parental unit’s formal entry room, not that you could actually enter through the front door.
The parental unit’s formal living and dining room. The formal dining room was the original “storage” room that I mentioned previously.
The kitchen.
The garage in 2008.
The garage again, but in 2011. The piles have increased.
The kids’ bathroom in 2008.
The kids’ bathroom, in 2011. Again, an increase in stuff, and the bathroom is mostly unusable.
My old bedroom in 2008. Totally filled with stuff.
My brother’s bedroom.
My sister’s old bedroom.
Dust in the hallway.
My parental unit’s bathroom counter.
My mom’s dresser.

I guess I should at least be happy they haven’t hoarded animals.

Until next time...

And… we’re back.

Actually, we’ve been back since late Thursday evening. But there was laundry and paperwork and other stuffs to do. Then playing catch up on blog reading. Then work Friday. Then playing catch up on blog reading. And work today (today being Saturday). And then there was the unplanned visit from my parental units. And then there was me trying to figure out how to import the photos I posted/post on my phone to Instagram to post to my blog. Then playing catch up on blog reading. And then there was me writing this post. Finally.

The Husbear and I drove a total of 2,070 miles from here through east and south Texas and back again. Actually, I drove. He was Ms. Daisy. That’s how we do. We pretty much went from here, to Dallas, to Galveston, to Padre Island/Corpus Christi, back to Galveston, then back home. It was a nice little anniversary get-away. And something we needed. “Us” time. If you scroll back through the posts on my blog, you’ll see some of the pictures I posted via Instagram. Or you can click that link I just posted. See, I’m not entirely lazy.

Back to that parental units thing I mentioned previously. Some of you on Facebook probably saw this status update on Wednesday, July 4:

Nice. Mom called. Her and dad are 2 hours away from Pea Ridge and wanted a surprise visit–only their third visit from Florida in the 20 years I’ve lived in Arkansas. Surprise! I’m vacationing 16 hours away in south Texas.

Funny how that works.

But alas, the parental units managed a visit today for about 3 hours, on their way back home to Florida from some antique auction in Missouri.

After which I posted this update today (Saturday):

My parental units just left, then the temperature just dropped from near 100 down to 74. And for the first time ever they didn’t bring up their issues with me being gay. Hell just froze over apparently.

The temperature actually did drop here. A storm–the first rain we’ve had in a month–rolled through the area.

I was dreading their visit. There’s usually some sort of verbal confrontation that occurs when we’re alone together. This time that didn’t happen.

Which has left me pondering….

But now I’m tired, and going to bed. It’s been a long day.

Until next time...

Burning… Bridges


Today is the father-unit’s birthday. It’s his 70th. I think.

It’s been almost 4 years since the accusation occurred, and I still haven’t gotten over it. I haven’t called him on his birthday since then, and I think I’ve only sent one card as well.

I’m not really sure where I was going with this. That’s what this situation does to my brain.


On a happier note, yesterday I was able to go to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with Sandy of The Banal Chew, the fabulous GypsyBiscuit, and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Just-Because. A nice time was had by all.

For some reason I only took a few pictures, none of which Sandy happened to be in. 🙁

But here’s the ones I took.

Pamphlets lying around. I re-arranged them. And I laughed. Because I’m 12 years old.

I tried a Salted Caramel Latte. Not a fan. But the top of it was pretty.

It was a pretty day. The sun was shining and it was slightly warm out.

The fabulous GypsyBiscuit. With her cooking t-shirt of awesomeness.

And now that I’ve written this post, I think I know exactly which “family” is really important to me.

Until next time...