I did this activity with both of my parents, each separately because I know they would each have a very different reaction. I decided to do this on my dad first because he is usually very close-minded when it comes to these things. I called my dad after he got off work and told him that I was queer. My dad was quiet for about two minutes before he asked “Are you gay or just weird?” I responded back with “I’m weird” and then proceeded to tell him about the activity. We discussed how when people hear the word “queer” they automatically think someone is gay. As you can see, this didn’t go exactly how I thought it was going to, but I was shocked at how my dad responded. I thought for sure he was going start freaking out and not going to let me talk, but in the end we had a interesting discussion on how people react.
I then decided to do the exact same thing on my mom, who is more open-minded when it comes to these things. I told my dad not to mention anything to my mom so she would not have any prior knowledge. I waited to do this in person rather then on the phone so I could see my mom’s physical reaction. She arrived in Alabama this past Wednesday for A- Day. When we got back to my apartment I told her to sit down because I had something very important to tell her. My mom’s usually happy air about her soon disappeared as soon as I said “I’m queer.” It went completely silent and it was extremely awkward… for the both us I imagine! After about four or five minutes my mom finally spoke up. She asked what exactly did I mean. I explained to her that queer just meant I was weird/strange, not gay like what most people think. My mom found this to be interesting and it lead to us talking about how some people just assume things.
At first I was scared to do this activity, but I actually found it to be fun and it sparked an interesting conversation between both my parents and I. I think overall we both learned something from this activity.