Diminishing Boundaries

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It seemed like an ordinary Sunday afternoon. But in reality, it was anything but ordinary at the Matthew household. Elizabeth was sitting on a pale blue armchair across a sofa of the same colour on which sat her mother and father, flabbergasted and motionless. Her eyes bounced like a tennis ball from mother’s face to her father’s and then back. After five minutes of painful silence with the tension in the atmosphere not seeming to die down, she finally spoke, “Say something. Either of you!” But neither of them was in a state to utter even one syllable; their daughter had just told them about her girlfriend.

Finally, Mrs. Matthew managed a sentence, - “Beta, you’re joking, right?” And as she found her voice returning to her larynx, she launched a hail of figurative bullets riddled with disappointment, “Why beta? Why did you do this? Did something happen? Did someone force you? We can get you cured beta, I’m sure. We’ll find the best possible help.”

Once she was finished, Mrs. Matthew’s eyes pierced into her daughter’s, expecting an outpour of apology any minute. But what came out of Elizabeth’s mouth was the complete opposite.

“Listen ma, papa”, she said, “I know this has come as a major shock to you. You’re not used to… such a relationship. But these are not old times. Things have changed. Homosex-” 

“Don’t say that word!”, said her father, trying not to shudder evidently.

“Papa, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Everybody around the world has started accepting the LGBTQ community. And besides, research shows that biology too has a role to play in people’s sexual orientation along with other factors. It’s not just a choice that one has 100% control over.”

Elizabeth paused, expecting either of her parents to say something. Upon getting silence as a response, she continued - “Tell me, what would happen? We’re not hurting anybody. We’re not doing anything that would make anybody feel uncomfortable. And we really love each other. We make each other happy. Neither of us has felt this liberated and… at peace with ourselves in, perhaps, forever.”

“And contrary to what you might be thinking, both of us are doing really great in our individual lives! We have great careers, we’re well financially, and we’re living our best lives.”

When she still didn’t manage to get any response, she got up from the chair, kneeled on the floor between her mother and father, held their hands, and said, “Please ma, papa. I really do love her. I’ve tried loving boys but I couldn’t. You remember my last relationship, don’t you? I tried loving Chris for your sake but I just couldn’t. It felt as if I was betraying myself. Please meet Ana once. You’ll love her. Her parents already know and they’ve accepted us. I want you to as well.”

Elizabeth’s eyes were moist by the time she finished. She glanced at her mother and then at her father. Having lost all hope, she began getting up when her mother finally spoke - “Listen beta, we may not know enough about ho… homosexuality, but we do know that society will not accept you readily, at least for now. But-” Mrs. Matthew glanced at her husband as she continued - “But we think you should do what you want to. It’s been long since we felt something was… fishy, but didn’t want to accept. We may never understand this whole thing about LGBTQ, given our backgrounds, but that doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you think is right for you.”

And then, Mr. Matthew held her daughter’s hand and said,“So, when are you bringing Ana home?”

 

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