The other day was an important anniversary for me. On August 14th, 2011 I told my parents that I was gay. It was an extremely difficult day for all of us. While I my parents told me they loved me and would never cut me off, they cried a lot and had a very difficult time grasping the game changing news.
For me it was the point of no return. I was out of the closet and going to live my life as an openly gay man. My parents knew and I was hoping that there was a way that we could be as close as ever in spite of all that had just happened. So as shocking, scary and difficult as that day was, I really hoped that things would eventually improve.
For a while it was difficult. The subject often felt like the pink elephant in the room that no one wanted to talk about. When the subject did come up, my parents approached it in a very somber and sad way. Of course I understood - I had really shaken up their world.
But the good news is that things did improve. A few months ago my mom called me to tell me that she had read a good review about a café in Tel Aviv that was known as a popular hangout for gay guys in the city. This was a huge step! Not only did she recommend a gay hang out to me, it was a non-Kosher restaurant. Just a year earlier, when I was in Vietnam and I posted pictures of good food I had been eating, my dad called me saying that they could not handle seeing pictures on non-Kosher food that I ate. Now, my mom was recommending this café. Why? Because she loves me and thought I would enjoy it.
A few months later, after there was a sudden wave ofhomophobic comments being made by a few Israeli politicians, my mom called me and we discussed how she and my dad thought what was being said was horrible. A year earlier, I am not sure my parents would have disagreed with the statement that gays should be banned from serving in the army. Now my parents said to me that they think gays should be allowed to serve. What a turnaround!
Over the last year I have learned that my parents love for me is great enough and strong enough that they can learn to accept that I am gay and even change some of their preconceived ideas about gays. Are things perfect? No. But they are better and I am sure things will continue to improve. I am very lucky to have such great, loving parents and I love them very much.