Jeremy didn’t put on socks when his sister and her boyfriend came over for their visit. Which was fine, except he was wearing bright red nail polish on his toes.
That was fine too, except when his sister mentioned he had polish on, his immediate response was…
“Mom made me wear it. She forced me to put it on.”
I pulled him aside and reminded him he’s a foot taller than me. I can’t force him to put on nail polish. He smiled sheepishly and apologized.
Then came his counseling appointment on Thursday. The counselor had me come in so we could sort out a few issues and figure out what goals we were all working toward. Then she mentioned Jeremy had something important to tell me.
“Your son wants you to know he’s straight. Completely, 100% straight.”
Jeremy nodded. “I’ve been trying to tell you this but you won’t listen to me and you keep bringing it up.”
I stared at him in astonishment then assured him I do listen but it’s hard when he keeps telling me different things. He glared.
“You put words in my mouth. I never said any of those things, you did.”
I was quiet for the rest of the session, mostly because I was furious.
“Fine, you’re straight,” I snapped once we got outside. “I won’t mention anything to do with sexual orientation again. But first I want a couple of answers. Why did you tell me you weren’t out anywhere?”
“Because I’m not,” he replied. “I don’t need to be out because I’m straight.”
“And when you told me you were bisexual? That wasn’t me putting words into your mouth.”
“I don’t know,” Jeremy wailed. “You keep saying I’m gay and I don’t know who I’m interested in.”
I restrained myself from hitting my head on the bus shelter wall, mostly because I ran out of pain medication and that would hurt.
“Jeremy, I have never said you were gay. I said you might be straight or bisexual, because those are the labels you mentioned, but I never once claimed you were anything else. And I’ve been after you for ages not to pin a label on yourself if you don’t know who you’re interested in. That if you feel you have to label yourself to stick with something like questioning for now.”
“Oh,” he said quietly.
“And can you please stop blaming me,” I added.
He nodded then he pulled on his headphones and proceeded to ignore me the rest of the way home.
So that’s where we are right now. Jeremy’s straight, well as straight as someone who has no idea who they’re interested in can get. And I’m scared to say anything in case it’s misconstrued. Fun times.