Back when I was in the process of coming out, I remember talking to Mom about how best to break the news to her side of my family. I had come out to my immediate family, but in my mind, the rest of the clan would be a tougher sell.
Mom’s suggestion was to let her Brother and Sister-in-Law know first – to let my Uncle and Aunt be the test case. She thought they would be the most receptive to it.
I was unconvinced.
Yes, I always felt love from the two of them, but I didn’t know if that love extended to acceptance of me as a gay man. I hemmed and hawed a bit, but ultimately agreed and let Mom break the news.
I needn’t have worried; Paul and Judy were absolutely wonderful. The first time I saw them afterwards, they pulled me aside and told me that it didn’t matter one bit!
Looking back, I guess that should not have been a surprise.
I believe strongly that the people who are most accepting and the most understanding are the people who have love in their lives. Those people recognize how powerful and positive love is and would never want to limit that feeling in any other human being, for any reason.
Paul and Judy have love in their lives – that’s obvious. I see it in the love they have for their children, and the love for their extended family. And at the root of it all, I see it in their love for one other.
One thing that would NEVER surprise me is that they’ve made it together to 50 years of marriage. I can’t imagine a world without the two of them tackling it together.
Congratulations Uncle Paul and Aunt Judy, to an amazing couple, and thank you for setting such a wonderful example of love and acceptance for me to follow!