On Parents and Paradoxes
“Then I guess it’s a shame that we got thrown together”, I told them.
It was 12:30am and we’d been talking for over two hours. Just your typical parent-son conversation about sexuality and religion and disappointment. I don’t believe in God and they voted no in the plebiscite. Enough said, right?
And the general conclusion we came to after two hours of debating whether or not I was born gay; and whether or not I should be allowed to marry; and whether or not god exists — was that our opinions are too solidified to be changed, and too different for us to be able to live together freely. The dynamic is no longer the same between us and I don’t think it ever will be. There are things that a son should be able to talk to their parents about that I will never feel comfortable enough to bring into conversation.
But I don’t blame them. They’re as much a product of their time as I am. They’re not bad people, or homophobes or bigots. They’re just people, like the rest of us.
But the fact still remains: we cannot see eye to eye. Our opinions on religion and sexuality will never align, and this, I believe, is our paradox. The three of us have been thrown together in this life, accidentally connected by genetics, a random selection of cells, and now we have to live together while we fundamentally disagree with the people we are. And this is where the paradox lies. This is where we must live — somewhere in the middle. Between agreement and disagreement, between love and indifference, between comfort and compromise. Because now I can only ever feel comfortable being a fraction of myself around them; existing somewhere in the middle.
And that, I told them at 12:30am, is a damn fucking shame.
— the astronomer
Quote by Tracy Letts, from the film ‘August: Osage County’
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