In December, right around the time of final exams, I asked my family if it would be okay for me to invite my boyfriend to stay at our house during winter break. I explained that since he is an international student, he wouldn’t have anywhere else to go unless he chose to travel.
But would my parents allow it? If he spent Christmas with us, what would I tell my extended family? Would he be my boyfriend? Would he be my best friend? I could tell the truth and say he’s an international student staying with us during winter break. (Remember- I’m not explicitly “out” to all of my family and the ones who know now didn’t find out until after the New Year!)
I don’t know what I expected my parents to say to all of this. Though they’ve made exceptional progress since the time when I first came out to them, I know they still struggle a bit with accepting my sexuality as it is. Could they handle seeing me together with a guy? Were they ready for that? Maybe it would be easier for them to just say no to me. Except, they didn’t. They’re too loving and welcoming. When I asked, they expressed the same concerns I predicted but ultimately said yes.
During the time after Christmas and before New Years’, my boyfriend moved in. Our stay together was shorter than I first anticipated but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. We spent one day in New York City where we saw the Christmas Tree and went ice skating in the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. Other days we kept busy with other stuff like shopping at the mall, watching movies, and playing board games at home.
My sister has been dying to meet him so having him come over finally created the perfect opportunity for the two of them to hang out. My parents thought he was a great guy. Sometimes I would walk into my kitchen and find him talking with my parents – and they love that. They told me afterward that seeing me with him made everything “more real” for them. They also said they saw an affectionate side of me they’ve never really seen before.
Being able to openly share a relationship with loved ones is such a freeing feeling after having to hide it from them for so long.