About 20 years ago I came out to my parents, and I have to say that they surprised me. I had prepared myself for the possibility that they might disown me and want nothing to do with me, but that could not have been further from the truth. They told me that they loved me and that all that mattered to them was my happiness. Were things perfect from the very beginning? Not at all, but over time we all worked on our relationships, and I can proudly say that my relationship with my parents was strongest after I came out of the closet.
I honestly feel that being in the closet prevented me from connecting with my parents as I got older and started realizing that I'm gay. I wish that I had told them from the very beginning, when I was confused, for lack of a better word. Doing that could have prevented me from allowing someone else to convince me that my parents would react poorly to who I am. But that's in the past now, and all we can do is learn and move forward.
Sadly, though, I forgot that lesson until this past weekend, when I finally told my family that my husband is a drag queen and has been for the last three years. When Vivian was first created, I think I was once again afraid of how my parents would react. For the seven years before Vivian, my relationship with my parents had been amazing, and I was afraid to lose that.
Then the unthinkable happened: My dad passed away unexpectedly from complications from prostate cancer. After my dad's death I didn't feel that it would be fair to tell my mom about Vivian; my dad's death hit us all quite hard, but it hit my mom the hardest, so I really didn't want to add anything else for her to deal with.
Well, three years later, I started blogging here on The Huffington Post, which made me start thinking to myself, "What happens if one of these blog posts gets picked up and goes viral and is all over the news?" I know exactly how my mom would react: She would be furious that I hadn't told her myself and that she'd found out that way.
So I made the decision to tell my mom about Vivian, and once again my mom was completely amazing. After I told her, she said, "OK. I can't say I understand it, but OK." I was shocked. I wasn't expecting her to be so nonchalant about it, but I was relieved that she was. I made sure that I explained to my mom that this doesn't change who Jeff is as a person, that it doesn't mean he wants to be a woman (a widely believed myth), and that it is just a hobby for him. Her response: "As long as he enjoys it, that is what matters." My 66-year-old mother was being so cool about her son-in-law the drag queen. I couldn't believe it.
After I told her about Vivian, I told her about my personal blog and the HuffPost blog posts and and explained why I'd felt the need to tell her. It turned out that I'd been 100-percent right about my mom: She told me that she would have been furious if she'd only learned about Vivian and my blogging through the news. I do know my mom!
My mom's reaction made me realize that I should have told my parents about Vivian from the very beginning. That way, my dad would have known, and maybe they would have been able to see Jeff perform. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.
I have some amazing parents, and I'm extremely grateful for them. I read the horror stories about how some parents treat their LGBTQ children, and I can't comprehend it. There is nothing that my parents wouldn't do for their children, and I believe that that would even mean going to see their son's husband perform in drag if they had the chance.
So I guess the House of Von Brokenhymen has grown over this past weekend, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Here's to all the amazing parents like mine who support and love their LGBTQ children. It is because of your love and support that we are changing this world for the better.
This blog post originally appeared on Diary of a Drag Queen's Husband.