I've come out to my mother a couple of times. I began questioning my sexuality quite young, like many chronically online children born in the early 2000s, so throughout the years, I have used about 30 different labels for myself. First bisexual, then pansexual, then back to straight, then queer, I used he/him pronouns for about 2 hours in the 9th grade, but recently my identity had sort of plateaued. It had been a couple of years since I had come out to my mother, and last she or I had checked I was identifying as queer. Just queer. She was not aware that I used they/them pronouns because the idea of explaining nonbinary pronouns to my know-it-all white liberal mother seemed like some sort of fascinatingly unique form of torture, but she knew enough for me. Queer was easy. It didn't come with any sort of subtext or assumption like bisexual or pansexual. It required absolutely no explanation. But about a month ago I realized it was a lie. After using the word queer as a catch-all identifier to mean that I liked everyone regardless of gender, for 3 years, I realized something: I am a lesbian.
My mother, bless her heart, will swear all day and night that she supports gay people. She will tell you all about her son, my little brother, who is trans and bi, and how he is on hormones and how proud she is of him. and She would be telling the truth. When my brother came out I was genuinely shocked by how quickly both of my parents got on board, starting using his new name, and made the switch to he/him pronouns. But you would never have known how easy it was for my mother to support him from our relationship. When I came out to her the first time she told me she loved me but advised me to keep it quiet when it came to family events or gatherings, because "no one needs to know your personal business."
I thought this time would be different. I don't live with her anymore, it had been years since id updated her on my sexuality, I thought maybe lesbian would be easier for her to understand than queer because it was just one rule: no guys. So I called her. And I told her.
And the line was quiet for a moment, and then she said "why?"