Shortly after returning from my mission I attended a big family party. It was a nice BBQ in the park. I chatted with several people and caught up on 18 months of family affairs and then had a really awkward conversation with my uncle Kirk. I have always liked my uncle Kirk though sometimes he is really weird and a bit annoying but what uncle isn’t? We both love Star Trek (hence his moniker, I think he would love the moniker) so I have always had a special place in my heart for him. (Trekies are often misunderstood…)
He started the conversation off with your normal small talk about how things had been going since the mission, how did I like living in Provo, what I was going to study at BYU, etc. Then of course the dreaded question comes up: “So are you dating anyone down there in Provo?” **CRINGE** I replied that I had been on a few dates, but that I was really busy. He then followed up my response with, “Busy hiding in the closet.” Uhm…Wow. It was one of those moments where you just sit there stunned thinking, “Did he really just say that? Really?”
I was so mad at him. He had put into words, albeit somewhat indirectly, everything that I was trying to hide from myself and others. I seriously avoided him at family parties for the next year and half. I got over the comment finally and we have had some good chats in the many years since that awkward conversation, but as I look back I wonder how many people knew before I had even put it all together myself?
I blame it on the cargo shorts that I am fond of wearing…. Though women wearing cargo shorts is not uncommon in Utah since they are really long and hide the knee length Mormon underwear…
I have not seen most of my extended family now for two years mostly due to living in Louisiana. With the summer approaching I will be spending some time in Utah. I find myself getting excited to go home for a few weeks and catch up with people that I have missed. I then remember that I am not really “out” to many people at home. I am not really all that worried about my mom’s side of the family… Most of them are apostate right along with me and I think some of those cousins may actually read this blog. (If you are family and reading this email me. I am curious.)
I don’t plan on hiding, but I am also not going to show up waving the rainbow flag (or maybe I should...) I will simply answer questions honestly when they come up. Questions always come up…
I can hear the conversation right now:
Relative: “How is church going down there on the bayou?"
Kiley: “Well, I have not gone in about two years…"
Relative: “Are you dating anyone?”
Kiley: “No, but I am trying to get the guts up to go to the lesbian bar and I am volunteering at the Baton Rouge Pride Festival. Fingers crossed I will meet the right girl!”