Disappointing: I Came Out to My Parents, and They Said It’s Fine

Marisa Winckowski
Marisa Winckowski
September 3, 2021

Look, I wasn’t raised in the Bible Belt. Nobody in my family, on either side, identifies as particularly religious in any way, shape or form. My dad is “fiscally conservative,” but truthfully, that just means he still clips coupons. I had tons of different friends in grade school, but my parents never cared that they weren’t cookie-cutter. In fact, my parents cut a lot of cookies with the goth crowd at that school bake sale, now that I’m remembering. I was raised in an all-musical-theatre-and-no-sports household with parents who love me unconditionally. You could say my life was perfect…

UNTIL the day I finally worked up the courage to come out to my parents.

I was devastated by their response: “Great, thanks for sharing that. Love you.”

“Great”? “Love you”? WHAT am I supposed to do with that? Grow into a well-rounded, healthy adult?? I don’t think so, honey!!!

Where’s the passion? Where’s the drama? In the movies, when someone comes out to their parents, there should be two to three people in tears and an Oscar nom. And in this house? No Oscar nomination, and not a single tear was shed. I don’t think I’m asking for much here. Let’s just give this reaction a little “oomph,” huh, people? After all, this is a Sondheim home!

Maybe this is my fault. Maybe I should’ve stirred the pot more and met them halfway. I should’ve gotten a gay tattoo! Yeah! Like, of a tropical bird or something. That would’ve sent the message. Then my parents would finally be mad about something, and this house would feel some heat, some emotional friction, some flames! Not to mention, I have an allergy to tattoo ink, so… there would’ve been a couple things to get upset about.

If I can’t get tears, I’d at least like a sharp gasp, you know? I mean, how am I supposed to sell my autobiography? The opening chapter where I describe coming out to my family should’ve been the longest and most intense. But my coming out story doesn’t even warrant a full page, let alone an entire chapter.

Some sense of shock was also missing from the situation. They barely flinched; they weren’t even a little bit surprised. Am I that predictable? Is it that obvious that I was closeted? Did they figure it out long ago with my love of DIY culture and Hot Topic and just not say anything because they didn’t want to put any pressure on me before I was ready? God, my parents suck. Guess I’ll have to re-do that book pitch. Do you think they’d just let me write a cookbook instead?