In 1991, my little brother called me. He was living 800 miles away from me at the time. As we talked, I realized he was “saying good-bye” to me, on the phone. I didn’t know why, but I said, “You are not going to do this. Pack up your stuff, drive to our home and live with us, until you feel better.” My husband and I had 2 little girls at the time. My brother arrived and stayed with us for 4-1/2 months.
He was only with us for one week when I figured it out. I suspected my brother was gay and he needed to tell someone in his family. I was the least scary one. I also became aware that it was important that he tell me—not that I share my idea with him. So, I waited.
He told me he was going to leave about a week before he went. Still he had not said anything. So the day before he left, I sat with him at our ktichen table and I said, “You can’t go until you tell me what you came here to say.” He was terrified, and could not speak. Finally I said, “I promise no matter what you tell me, I will love you.” It took several hours for him to say to me he was gay.
Without the United Church and 1988, I would not have been ready to be there for my brother.
I know our journey with LGBTQ2 people is imperfect but I give thanks for being on the road together, and I’m committed to do more.
(Shared with permission. Photo: Wix.)