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«  Tue.12.26.2000  »
11:47 pm EST        17°F (-8°C) in Dearborn
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It's been an eventful day in the life of your beloved webmaster. My sister and I ran around spending our Christmas gift cards like mad this morning; I picked up some much-needed clothing items, including a pair of "sleeping pants" that will hopefully keep me a bit warmer in this 40° basement.

After the much-anticipated chat with my parents, moved forward five hours at their insistence, I went to Metro Airport to greet my friend Eric as he got off of his flight. (More on the parental chat in a bit.) We didn't get much of a chance to talk, but we're going to see each other on January 9, so we'll have some time to hang out, or do lunch, or whatever then.

Tomorrow will, in all likelihood, be a similarly busy day. I'm headed out to Ann Arbor in the afternoon; I'm going to visit one friend at his job before doing dinner with another good friend, and then I'm considering spending the night in my less-than-complete dorm room.

As I promised, here are some of the gory details of the chat with my parents. I tried to lay down some basic guidelines as to how I want to live — better guarantees of privacy, less intrusion into every detail of my life, and a rapprochement with my homosexuality — and I met either outright rejection or a statement of how much more perfect my parents are than I am. They seemed to agree with me in regards to the privacy issues, since their attempts at hypocrisy on that point were so blatant that even they could see their stupidity, but they will continue to insist on micromanaging my life.

A large part of my parents' problem with me seems to stem from my less-than-stellar academic performance of late and my homosexuality. My mother's big issue with me is that to her, I appear to be rejecting everything they ever taught me out of hand; that is, I chose to be gay, reject Roman Catholicism, and perform poorly in school, simply because it's the opposite of what their values are. As my loyal readers know, this is not the case. Quite frankly, my mother's assertion is absolutely ludicrous.

Let me speak for myself here: I am gay not because my parents are straight; I am gay because that's how I was born. I rejected Roman Catholicism not because my parents are committed to it, but because I personally have found that many of the teachings of the faith conflict with my core values, and I've seen how hypocritically my parents go about living a supposedly "Catholic" lifestyle. Quite frankly, my parents' hypocrisy has turned me off to not only Roman Catholicism, but organized religion in general; dare I mention that to them, though, I'll subsequently find myself in Mt. Kelly Cemetery here in beautiful suburban Dearborn (clearing my throat ). Finally, I performed poorly in school not because my parents both have degrees and want me to have one; I made some mistakes in one semester that I couldn't completely overcome under the rules in subsequent semesters.

My father's big worry is that the mere fact that I am gay means I'm going to go out and contract every sexually transmitted disease in the book. "Larry, you should be celibate, just like a priest," he said. Let me ask my readers a rhetorical question: Isn't a denial of your sexual desire also a denial of the very thing that makes you human? Think about that. No matter the circumstances, sexual activity is always a celebration of life, of being alive; under the right conditions, it can result in new life. The celebratory aspect is as true for solitary masturbation as it is for intercourse between two people (be they straight or gay) who love each other. I'll grant that in the case of masturbation, you're celebrating only your own life, but you are still celebrating life in a way. Sex is a beautiful thing, and in my mind, the greatest gift we as a human race have been given — the desire to reproduce. Hell, if I wanted to have a child badly enough — although right now, I wouldn't have the means to adequately support one — I'd figuratively "hold my nose" and have sex with a woman at the right time of her cycle, or at least provide my sperm for artificial insemination. Just because I am gay doesn't mean I have no respect for life. In a way, it can be argued that clerics who take a vow of celibacy are the ones who have no respect for life, or at least the human condition. Divinity may be a wonderful thing to strive toward, but I personally am unable to envision how any mere human being can reject the very thing that gave them their life in the first place.

Jeez, that paragraph went on forever. To my father's defense, it also is not proper in any civilized society — human or otherwise — to drop one's pants and impregnate every person one sees. What I am seeking in my life is a committed, life-long, loving relationship; my straight friends around my age are looking for exactly the same thing. Again, I am no different than anybody else in this regard. Yet, to come back around to my point (having gone from Detroit to Chicago by way of Los Angeles), according to my father, I want a life of promiscuous one-time sexual encounters with thousands of partners merely because I am attracted to the male members of our species. Can you, loyal readers, help me find the logic there? I'm digging for it ... even a shred ...

About all that I was able to accomplish in the conversation was to get my father to see that we need some kind of family counseling to break down our communication barriers. At this, my mother hinted that she would refuse to participate, suggesting that she has no problem with me and the way I've done things. When I respectfully suggested that she was wrong to say that, she replied: "I've given up 21 years of my life. I gave my all. Hell, I had a stroke in April because I gave too much. It's in God's hands now, and I'm going to worry more about my own health." A real motherly thing to say, don't you think? (In case you're as obtuse as she is, the "it's in God's hands" remark was a not-so-subtle way of blasting my rejection of Catholicism. She is well-known for her failed attempts at subtlety in cutting people down.)

I want a better relationship with them, but our chat of today made it clear that only my father is willing to budge, and even then only by an inch or two. They cannot in good faith expect me to stress myself to the limit to kowtow to them, only to receive nothing in return. That said, if things continue this way, I won't be giving them my new address when I move out.

I just wanted to say that I have written all of this about my parents not in a depressed state of mind (like two weeks ago), but rather out of exasperation with the situation. If I were depressed about it, I would have taken the comments to heart and probably done something harmful to myself by now. I'm not really that mad about it either; that stems from my lack of surprise at their behavior after my nearly 21 years on this planet. As much as I should just throw my hands in the air and give up, I'm going to keep fighting to make things better between us.

I've finished several e-mails I needed to send out, so I'm uploading this and going to bed. Goodnight, everyone.