Joy, guilt, and disappointment
Thursday, 07.26.2018 - 7:42 pm.

It's unusual for me to write in here on a weekday, but I've had eventful days and I need to get some things off my chest. 

First, Brother #3's visit, last week. It was delightful! I showed him around the city, we went to the Peak District, we ate a lot. He said he was happy here just hanging out with me, so in that sense, mission accomplished. I found myself more heartbroken than I expected when he left, and the day after; I didn't want to do anything, anything at all. I was heartbroken, but also my heart felt full due to the quality time we spent together. 

We didn't talk about excessively personal stuff, I don't think my siblings and I have that kind of utterly deep relationship. That's not to say we don't trust in one another, though, I think the five of us are very close, considering we're living in different continents and we haven't lived together in decades.

But see, I thought about coming out to Brother #3 and I couldn't. I kind of wish I had thought about it before he arrived to prepare myself, or at least be clear on whether I was going to come out to him or not. The first days he was here I was dying to tell him, but I had no idea how to introduce the subject. There were a couple of opportunities, the most explicit one when he asked me if I was attending Pride (next week). I think he might suspect it, but it's just an assumption on my part, and neither of us said anything. 

As days went by, my drive to tell him subdued and I let it go. Maybe I didn't care that he knew and I felt it was unnecessary, or maybe I did chicken out. I was not afraid of any rejection on his part, and I think he would have appreciated knowing. I think I was just afraid of having an emotional moment with him; I didn't want the weirdness of an emotional moment, that was all. Go figure, I didn't come out to a family member for fear of making them too proud of me. 

After my brother's visit, there came my trip to London yesterday. I was renewing my US visa and oh, happy days, it was renewed indeed. Getting that visa is a major hassle so I'm glad all the time and money spent on applying for it paid off. The trip was cool, everything worked out nicely, I didn't get lost in the city, and I even had time to visit the Natural History Museum <3 I didn't stay long there, though, the place was packed. 

My brother and getting the visa tie into something that's bothering me: I've decided to postpone my trip to my home country to visit my parents, and possibly meet with the rest of my siblings. Brother #3 encouraged me not to feel guilty for not going: it's expensive, it's exhausting, and there's not a lot for me there.

I mean, family is a huge deal, don't get me or him wrong, but the amount of quality family time is reduced to a meal time. The day-to-day living is filled with a perennial heatwave, life-threatening violence, and my dad's existential misery smearing everybody, specially my poor mom. I'm in no rush to go back to that, and Brother #3 supports me. 

Still, I wrote my parents and four siblings on WhatsApp last night, telling them I had to postpone my trip because my thesis is due on January-February. Which is true, also! Taking two weeks off right now with that deadline is not the most advisable move. I could take fewer days, but the expensive plane ticket, plus the 30 hours that take getting to my parents' home, are not worth fewer days.  

They were gracious in their response, but I still feel guilty, ashamed, and heartbroken. I can feel my parents' heart breaking over my cancelling plans, as gracious as their response was. Brother #3 says I should not feel guilty because it's objectively hard for me to travel all the way there. And that's true, completely true, but still.

It's my parents 50th wedding anniversary tomorrow. That's why we were all planning on getting together. We didn't agree on when to travel, the three of us siblings that live abroad, plus Brother #3 is in Spain this month, so in the end my parents decided not to throw a celebration on the date. Or ever, as it seems now.

Which is also shitty, holding your kids responsible for your anniversary celebration. I know they're not doing it in a manipulative way, they genuinely wanted to celebrate with their five children present. But clearly that's not possible, and it should be no reason to mop around when you have 50 years to celebrate. It seems they didn't do anything because I wasn't there, and I resent having to carry that weight on my shoulders.  

Yet I suppose it's karma that the city's Pride is this Saturday and the person I was going with cancelled on me, so now I may not even attend. I say it's karma because when I learned the date of Pride, I was still planning on traveling for my parents' anniversary, and I was frantically trying to figure out how to be at both events, each occurring on the opposite side of the Atlantic ocean.

I then said that I'd rather be at Pride than at my parents' anniversary lunch (which was the plan at the moment). BUT that's because nearly all the guests would be insufferably conservative, religious, and prejudiced against LGBT people. I know, I grew up among them. And there was not going to be a peep about my sexuality, that was not the issue; I don't need to come out to them nor do I personally need their tolerance. It's just that I've become accustomed to not dealing with that sort of profile, and frankly, I'd just rather not. So I was thankful to skip that. 

Hence, aside the objective obstacles for me to travel for my parents' anniversary, I had Pride to look forward to, and I was going with my friend Eric. Well, Eric will be in London that day. Then I managed to get my girl crush from one or two entries ago to go with me...OK, I didn't manage anything, she wanted to go...but yeah, I was going with her, until today, when she told me she can't make it because she has to work on her thesis.

Now I have no one to go to Pride with. On top of perhaps being punished for ditching my family, this seems fitting to how I've always felt: lonely. Andrew said he can go with me, but (a) he dislikes massive events and I'm afraid such massiveness (he's cool with the glitter) plus the scorching weather will make him feel uncomfortable, and (b) I am afraid I could get told off for holding hands with a different-sex partner. I'm letting the binegativity speak on the latter, but I am scared of that because I've read about past experiences of bisexual people at this city's Pride.

Besides looking forward to spending time with my crush, she was a good +1 because she's all lively and motivated to have a good time, and so I could follow her lead. Andrew and I are both, well, not party people, and that's a reason why we're a great match, but for this event I needed someone to take me out of my comfort zone a bit. Even if it just meant sitting at a park being queer for longer. 

Also on Saturday, a few hours after Pride, Andrew and I have the departmental summer party. I'm not looking forward to that, because the Human Flaming Bag of Dog Poo will be there, and there's a second HFBoDP who never finishes his PhD, and a postdoc newcomer who is also a candidate for the HFBoDP title. Andrew and I already paid for our tickets though, so we've agreed to go eat, hang out a bit with people we do care about, and then say fuck this shit and leave. See? We are a great match. 

And that is all for now! It's a lot, ain't it? I'm still unsure if I'll backtrack on the cancellation of my plans due to guilt, and if I'll go to Pride alone or with someone or just not at all. For now, since I ditched all my writing while Brother #3 was here (worth it), I'm slowly getting back into the groove, and I'll take one day/decision at a time. 

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