How Brittany Snow Helped Me Come Out to my Mother
By: David Artavia
I was never the type of person to do things simple growing up. Personally, I found it boring. And coming out of the closet was no exception.
Growing up in the church, I would hear stories about homosexuals that terrified the Bejesus out of me, so the thought of telling my parents their son was a sodomite was far from my mind’s eye. (Yes there are people who still say “sodomites”)
That is, until Brittany Snow came into my life…
For a person who hates doing things simply, my “coming out” story is anything but complicated. It was 2008 and a dark night in Houston, TX, when my friends and I planned a trip to the movies to see Prom Night, starring the adorable Brittany Snow.
In case you haven’t seen the horror flick, it revolves around a grotesque murder spree on the night of prom — which was strangely not unlike my actual prom, but that’s another story for another time. Around the time the first person got axed in the movie, I received a text message from my mom.
“What are you doing?” she said.
I responded, “I’m watching Brittany Snow get killed.”
Then the clincher: “Are you gay?”
Suddenly, the dark movie theater seemed to turn into an interrogation room. Brittany’s face shined on mine like a spotlight, refocusing the near-200 people’s attention on me and my private confession. My friends didn’t seem to notice the sound of my heartbeat, nor that I was falling deep into one of the most intense moments of my life, at the movies, via text message.
“It’s okay,” she wrote after a few minutes of not responding, “Your sister told me. I already know.”
That bitch, I thought. How could my sister betray me like this? She was the only person in the world who knew my secret, well, her and a random guy I met on AOL Instant Messenger (RidingHigh69). Still, if the rest of my family knew about me, I’m done for. Gone from the will, gone from the Christmas parties, gone from their lives (or so I thought).
I looked at my friends, who were still pretending to be captivated by the movie.
“Yes,” I wrote back, “I am. It’s been something I’ve wanted to tell you and dad about, but for whatever reason I felt like you wouldn’t love me anymore. This is something I’ve already accepted, and it took me a long time to get over. I don’t know what else to say.”
Before I had time to take my fingers off the dial pad, she wrote back: “I Love You.”
It was then that the pain lodged in the pit of my stomach began to soothe, and the interrogation room morphed back into a theater. I hesitated to write back. In the midst of screams, laughter, “sssh’s” (yes I was that annoying guy on the phone), and Brittany Snow, I became whole for the first time.
The conversation lasted for the duration of the movie. I talked to my mother in ways I’ve always wanted: truthful, direct, and authentic. To this day, I don’t even remember much of Prom Night, but what I do remember is looking up in the middle of each text and seeing Brittany Snow, running and fighting for her life. In a weird, slightly deranged way, I felt like she represented my attitude: terrified, vulnerable, yet, driven to escape an awful plight. Apples and oranges, yes, but it made me feel better!
When the film was over, it took me a while to collect myself. My friends had no idea what happened, the lady sitting behind was slightly ticked off that I was texting the whole movie, and I was forced to create a quick exit so I can drive back home and be with my mother.
All I wanted to do was for her to hold me, and tell me everything was okay. She did.
It wasn’t until a year later I was told that my sister never told her I was gay. It was all a trick to get me to confess.
Italian mothers really do know how to get the dirt out of people.
Excerpts of this article were originally published on GayGuys.com