This month T's parents will have been married for 60 years. T and his family threw them a big party. They rented a hall, hired a band, and cooked lots of food. T invited me months ago and, of course, I told him I would go. The event was last Sunday. I want to write about lead up to this event and the event itself. It will take several posts to go through it all and might take me a week to write it all, but I feel the need to get it out. ---------------------------------------------- Over the past several months T has been telling me about this party. It was almost like planning a wedding. Guest lists. Invitations. Food. Entertainment. A few times I went with him to stores to buy things for the party. There was a lot of stuff to buy because his family decided to make all the food themselves. There is a restaurant that usually caters events for the Vietnamese church where he attends and where the party will be. But T's family does not like the food. Since they have a large family, with a lot of good cooks, doing it themselves seemed like the right thing to do. People attending would include his immediate and extended family, family friends and even the employees at his clinic and his sisters pharmacy. There would be well over 100 people. That sounds great to everyone but me. Remember the gay thing? That is going to be a problem. I have written before about T's fears and his family fears about more and more people knowing he is gay. And worse, knowing he has a boyfriend (and a white one, no less). They worry about the gossip that will go on. It gives them stress. It gives his mother stress. T is worried about his business and that it might be uncomfortable for his employees. I have made it clear that I think it's total crap, but there really is nothing I can do about it. I just have to live with it. Last year around Thanksgiving T took his whole staff out for dinner. He invited me, but told me I could not sit with him. He didn't want in the office anyone to talk. When the big group picture was taken I put my arm around his sister and smiled for the camera. It was very hard for me to deal with that. So fast-forward to last Sunday. The morning of the party for his parents. My blood pressure is already rising. I wonder what I will say if someone asks me how I know the family. "Tell them you met me and my sisters through a friend." he tells me. My blood pressure goes up more. I know that most of his family will ignore me. That's usually what happens. I will get a polite nod or a "hello" but not much beyond that. To be fair, lately his mother has been much more open with me, but I expect with a lot of other people around that will not be as much the case. I tell him today will be very uncomfortable for me. History has taught me that, while T and I will both be there, it will not feel like we are together. I will be sat a table with his lawyer, CPA and other American guests for the duration of the party. He will check in on me but not much more than any of the other guests so as not to raise suspicion. I will see him around, but I will not be with him. He stared to get defensive, but I cut him off. This was not the time to talk about it. Today is not about me, it's about his parents. I tell him I am going because I love him. I will help him as much as I can. I ask that he keep me busy as much as possible so I can get through it. My first assignment... go get the cake. Over the next several days I will write about what happened. It did not unfold in the way I expected. Stay Tuned.
I am gay man in his 40's who was married for 18 years to a straight woman, who is still my very best friend. We have 4 children together. She is now remarried and we still want to be supportive of each other and make a stable family for our kids.
Cast of Characters
Jim: That's me
K: The wonderful woman I married in 1993. We divorced in November 2011, and she is still my best friend.
T: My ex-boyfriend. We were together from 2008 to 2013. He is still an important person in my life.
AJ: K's new husband. They got married December 2011.
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