We buried Nana and then I came out.


From:    J
Date:    14 June 2002 06:26AM
To:      S
Subject: Big Week. 

Hey Sis, I tried to call last night but it went to voice-mail. I dunno if Mum’s been in touch with you but I told her I was a pansy yesterday morning. Told her in the car as she was dropping me off at the station the morning after Nana’s funeral. I figured I’d be able to make a quick getaway. She took it alright. She had a bit of a cry, asked if anything had “happened” to make me this way. I told her nah, it’s the way it is. I gave her a book with “SO, YOUR CHILD IS GAY!” splashed across the cover (très new age of me, donchya think?).  I don’t think she wants any of her friends to find out, but I dunno. It’s early. After I said “Mum, I’m a poof’ she did say “Thought you were.” Then I put on a poofy voice and said “It’s not exactly the shock of the century, is it?” and she hit me on the leg and said “Don’t be like that!” I think she doesn’t mind me being a poof as long as I’m not poofy. And she was very worried about me going to “terrible places”. I guess she had an image in her mind of gay pubs, full of dirty old geezers in leather harnesses. Then I thought that maybe she was talking about the sex saunas, but I reckon it’d be unlikely that she knew about all that. Naturally she was also worried about me catching something nasty. I told her that it wasn’t likely seeing as how I never seem to get laid anyway. She called me a couple of times when I got home, just to tell me she loved me and all that. Made me feel like a bit of a cunt to be honest.

So — Nana’s funeral. Not much fun. Kezza wouldn’t speak to me. Donny did a bit. Uncle Dick called me “cold”  (I didn’t tell mum about that) and I suspect Dick [Dad] slagged me off in the eulogy. He was talking about Nana’s legacies which we’re all wonderful, “except for one which we’re not so sure about”. Mum reckons he was talking about something else, which might be true, but at the time I thought it was about me. Uncle and Aunty Sour-Puss stood on either side of Dick while he gave the eulogy, which was otherwise quite sweet, though he did mention how much Nana wasn’t into mind games. He did that at Pop’s as well. Then Julie got up and gave a eulogy as well which was quite nice. I think she’s in some crazy religion, but she seems OK.

Got a ride with Mum and Pete and Lizzy.  Pete drove.  Mum and I didn’t go to the wake. And we got caught in a murderous hailstorm on the way home –  Pete had to stop the car, couldn’t see a thing.  Dad was a bit less upset at Nana’s than he was at Pop’s, not that I mean to imply anything by that.

Uncle Ian was pretty upset; he took Pop’s funeral quite badly as well. They taped the church service for you. Being a pallbearer isn’t much fun.  It was Dad, Uncle Ian, and us Grand-kids. I guess I won’t have to see Donny or Kezza again with any luck. Donny had his baby there. She looks like him, and not in that way that people always say it even though all babies look the same, she really does look a bit like him.

Well, better get back to work. Have spent half the day surfing the net for jobs.


From:    S
Date:    Friday, 14 June, 2002 07:00PM
To:      J
Subject: Re: Big Week. 

Well done babe, spoke to Mum and she is ok, I have to say that she has accepted it more quickly than I expected her to.  She has however put in an order for another grandchild with me, seeing as she thinks gay couples can’t/don’t have children.

You must tell Dick!  Please, please, please!

And what does “Nana’s legacies which were all wonderful, “except for one which we’re not sure about” mean?  I really have no idea what he was on about – you’re being paranoid, surely he wasn’t talking about you. What the hell did he mean though – typical Dick behaviour though, hell he even show stands at his own Mother’s funeral.

Was I in trouble for not being there?  He has made me feel so guilty on the phone for not flying back for it I can’t begin to tell you.

Love you Babe



From:    J
Date:    17 June 2002 12:35AM
To:      S
Subject: Re: Big Week. 

You’re not in trouble for not being there, and even if you were – so what?

Kezza wouldn’t speak to me and Uncle Dick called me cold, but I honestly don’t give a fat rat’s pink hairy arse what any of them think anymore. As far as I’m concerned, I never have to see any of them ever again. Ever. So don’t worry about it. When you come over, are you going to go and see any of them? And will you still let Dick make you feel guilty?  Hell no!  With Nana gone, things are going to change, for me at least. I don’t feel like I have to be nice to Dick anymore.  If I feel like telling him to get fucked, I will.

The legacies thing – I thought he was talking about all the children and grandchildren and all that, but he might have been talking about the other stuff he went on to mention. It’s in the tape that they made for you (who makes an audio tape of a funeral – wrong if you ask me).

O Gawd I’m sick today. I spent all of yesterday lying in front of the heater, moaning softly. But I can’t take another day off after coming in only 2 days last week (Monday was a public holiday, Wed  & Thur I took off). I’ve got a shocking cold, which always triggers hay fever so even when my nose isn’t full of snot I still can’t breathe through it. Ah, life is tops.

At least I’ve got a job interview coming up this week. It’s with the Dental Association of Victoria (oh the irony).  More money, more fun, crap position (it’s in Toorak, which isn’t too far from home, but there’s not a lot around there).  And hopefully I’d get cheap dental, so I can get extra LONG teeth implanted in my head. Or maybe the Ghetto Smile, all gold and diamonds. That’d be nice.

Didn’t get up to much on weekend, seeing as how half of it was spent on my deathbed. Saturday I went shopping with Housemate Lena the Crazy, and her good chum Ken – who’s sneaking out of the closet himself, actually. We shopped down Bridge Road and Chapel Street. I got a nice tailored black shirt from Saba. Then we went for a bike ride and I bought a $5 knitted vest (“forest green”) from St Vincent de Paul’s. Then Lisa, Eli, Ken and I drove over to Footscray for a party. It was a bit dull. Everyone there was about 33, had a “career” (I have a job) and one child (never more) and were in the middle of renovating their house. I decided not to get drunk, but did help myself to a plate of iced Vo-Vo’s. We left about midnight.

Well gotta go Sis – I’ve got mistakes to cover up. Don’t beat yourself up about Dick and his rellies.

PS – Tell Mum that maybe I’ll adopt a nice little Aboriginal baby for her so you don’t have to have another one of your own, (how did we end up with such racist parents?).


I still have the cassette of Nana’s funeral, I didn’t listen to it when I received it, like J I thought it a bit of an odd thing to do. And now that I want to listen to it, I don’t have a damn tape deck.  Am keeping an eye out at the Charity Shops – as soon as I come across one, I will get to judge the mystery of the dodgy “legacy speech” for myself.

10 thoughts on “We buried Nana and then I came out.

  1. I had no idea your brother was gay. A literary genius, sure, but gay…? Sure didn’t see that one coming. It’s fine by me, of course. I’m not gay, but I have several friends who are, and one friend from high school who is transgender.

    Sadly things were different back in the 90’s, especially here in the USA. Being gay wasn’t nearly as accepted or talked about nearly as much as it is now. I’m curious if your brother was bothered, or depressed in some way about being gay, or if he experienced some sort of anxiety over it.

    My thoughts, anyhow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Thomas, J came out to me in “Sweat Sandwiches & Trouser Demons”, in a post yet to come he discusses it in more depth and doesn’t seem to be conflicted or depressed about it in particular. I feel through his writing he is more depressed that he can’t find love, that special relationship with someone not matter the body that person comes to him in, if that makes sense. S

      Liked by 1 person

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