This past weekend I was up in Utah for my youngest sister's wedding. It was a really good wedding - much better than I had anticipated. I ran into a lot of people I have not seen for a long time. And, I learned a few things.
Learned Thing #1:
Now my dad's side of the family knows that I'm gay. I recently added a few of my cousins to my list of friends on Facebook. Their oldest brother is my gay cousin that I've referenced in the past. Well, turns out that he and I share several mutual gay friends in Utah. So my cousins, being the smart and observant people they are, put 2 and 2 together. My uncle asked my parents about it. They were a little surprised, but confirmed it to him.
Learned Thing #2:
Being gay can bring estranged families together. My dad's side of the family has also become quite estranged over the last few years, due to certain aunts and uncles taking offense at stupid things that other aunts/uncles/parents did and holding lame grudges. It would appear that seeing how my gay cousin separated himself from the entire family due to the way he was poorly treated when he came out, led my aunts/uncles to reconcile with my parents in order to be able to be closer to my family and show love and support to me. My uncle, who has NEVER shown any resemblance of affection to any person on the planet as far as I can tell, came directly up to me at the wedding reception and gave me a huge hug and told me how glad he was to see me. It was a shocker that I will not soon forget.
Learned Thing #3:
If you wear a clean suit and hold a child under the age of 2, your suit will be dirty when you put them down - and usually from something sticky.
Learned Thing #4 (and the most important one):
Don't judge other people. The whole time my sister has been dating her husband, I haven't really liked him. He's a goober. He's not that type of person that I would ever really choose to be my friend or to hang out with. But, I have never been rude or mean to him because I could always see that he truly loved my sister and treated her like a goddess. My brothers who have seen him on a regular basis have not been so kind. And in spite of all of that, according to his mom, he loves my family more than anything on the planet. I couldn't figure out why until I heard his background story.
When he was a toddler, his biological father left his biological mother and started living the flaming homosexual lifestyle. He died from AIDS a few years later. Around the time the father left, his biological mother became schizophrenic and disappeared. Nobody knows where she is. His aunt and uncle adopted him and his brother and sister and raised him. His adopted father is a jerk and treats him like crap. He does nothing but cut him down and tell him what a worthless person he is.
I could go on, but I won't. When I heard about his past and witnessed how he was treated by his a$$hole adopted father, I felt really sorry for him. I was finally glad that he was becoming my brother-in-law. He's a good man. A little goofy, but good.