Originally Posted by Jamie McDaniel
Now, what Ellen was referring to when she wrote "Jamie has a good one!" is a story I shared on the Monday morning Soulforce staff call. I'm actually going to write an article on it after the holidays, but the situation is that my boyfriend of five months wants to spend Thanksgiving with me. Well, Thanksgiving dinner is over at my aunt's house this year and my uncle is a very conservative Southern Baptist pastor.
Why, I never posted what happened. Oops.
Well, my boyfriend (his name is Chris) wanted to spend Thanksgiving with me and all the family was getting together at my aunt and uncle's home. My parents had yet to meet Chris, but I had told them about him several times. My younger brother and his wife live here in Lexington, and they had met him when we all went out to a restaurant one night.
I told my mom I wanted to bring Chris along and mom was particularly interested in how I planned to introduce him. My parents have come a long way in five years, but they're still not quite there yet. (Although they both voted "no" on our state amendment, which I was just thrilled about.) Mom initially suggested I introduce him as my friend. I told her that wouldn't be right and besides, would my brother ever had introduced my sister-in-law as his friend back when they were dating.
So I decided I would just call up my relatives and ask if they were ok with me bringing my boyfriend. (If they were not, I would not have attended alone because that would mean I would had to ask Chris to stay behind.
Two years ago I had sent all the members of my extended family a coming out letter
I must admit I was a little anxious about calling my aunt and uncle. In hindsight, it turns out that "worrying" over that initial call was the worst part of the whole experience.
My aunt answered the phone and after about 5 minutes of chit-chat, she asked if I was coming for Thanksgiving.
"Well, that's kind'a why I'm calling. I sort'a have a question I want to ask you and if you need time to think about it and talk with (my uncle) then that's ok. You see, I have a boyfriend now, we've been dating about 5 monthes, and well, he's not going home to his family for Thanksgiving. He wants to spend it with me and I want to spend Thanksgiving with you all. I know people don't generally ask if it is ok if they bring their date, but I didn't want to spring anything on you... just wanted to be courteous and all."
A pause. Then my aunt replied with, "Did you hear your cousin had a baby?"
So after talking about my cousin's news, I had to bring her back to the question.
After another minute or two, my aunt said she didn't have to ask my uncle, that we could come on.
So we did and everyone treated Chris and I the same as everyone else. I guess we did kind'a keep a low profile for this initial visit. I only brought up my work for gay rights once. But everyone knew what the deal was.
My aunt noticed that Chris was eating turkey and ham and said, "I see you're not a vegetarian like Jamie is."
My uncle took us on a tour of his little church, which was on the other side of the street from their house.
Oh, I'm not so naive to think that all my relatives will vote for equality now, but then again, all journeys have a starting point. And my cousin in high school said she wants to either be a politician or a teacher.