I want to share a bit more about my, er, our extended family. Our respective in-laws. Guess I will explain as we go along the reason.
Ok, I am a gay man. An African, and Ugandan. Got that?
I have lived with another man, a gay man, an African too. Hope you got that too.
Now, because we are both Africans, we do not come alone to each other. We have our extended families to consider. My lover’s is big, extensive. He is the eldest boy, heir presumptive to his dad. He has the requisite responsibilities of the elder son. Look after the family issues, mediate parents’ quarrels, judge between the siblings, present a tough official family face to his bako (sisters’ husbands), and of course, when there are problems in the marriages of his sisters (younger and older) he is the one to talk to the in-laws and show his and the family displeasure at the men’s heavy handedness. In the literal sense, you know.
Then there is me. I must admit I am a bit of a disconnect. A long journey it has been, but still, I am. My family is more ‘urbanite’. Yes, I am the son, till a short while ago, heir presumptive to my dad. (don’t think it is still in the works, not until a heir I present, my son, understood?).
Most of my brothers are married, with children. Kind of decreases my worth as a heir-less heir! My sisters too. And they are all pretty independent. Less work for me, protecting them from heavy handed husbands. Less likely to mediate in marital conflicts.
Oh, we are different tribes, me and my mate. Differences in assumed duties for the male of the family. Small, but they are there.
Anyway, after years of living together, we decided to adopt our extended families into our own family. Translation, we know that they are our parents, instead of just one guy’s parents. Our unit is very odd, irregular to say the least. But I do have a mum and a dad living, meaning that my lover has a mother in law, and a father in law. And also sisters, and brothers, and cousins, etc.
I have been ‘outed’ very openly in the last few months. So, I discovered that many in my family knew about what has been happening with me. That is, they knew about my relationship with another, err, man!
I don’t know how they reacted when they found out. I know my elder brother was ok with it. He carries more weight with me than most of the others. He is a pastor, but we are good together. And he welcomed my lover into the family, with words and actions which warmed my heart.
I have also noticed that my ‘full’ brother and one of my ‘full’ sisters have acted, a bit cold over the last few years? They are born again, Pentecostals, so maybe I am the one who is suspicious. I have not yet got the guts to talk to them, face to face. Gosh, it takes more guts than I do have at the moment. The others, ‘half’-sibs, (a distinction lost to me, but pretty important to my lover), they have not shown much running away from me. At least I have not noticed it.
For my lover, he was out to his mother. He told her years ago. At first I thought it was because they are very close. Later, I discovered that it was a chance meeting with a cousin of his (also gay!) in a 'gay' bar which made him rush off to tell his mom. He did not want her surprised by ‘rumours’. He thought she would be devastated if it was someone else who told her that her beloved son was gay. So he did. And he also told her about me.
She has accepted us.
So has my dad, who is a surprise that I am still appreciating. We are still to talk; shows how much a coward I am.
Anyway, that is my, our extended family, in reasonable detail, uh?
Now the reason, the bomb.My mother-in-law is coming to stay for a week or so.