I sang in a wedding last weekend. My cousin Dee Dee married her high school sweetheart Chris in a lovely ceremony at my home church, The United House of Prayer for All People, in Savannah. I was honored to be invited to perform Eric Benet's "The Last Time" (from his current CD "Hurricane") as she walked down the aisle. The song was well-received and the wedding was beautiful. 

The bigger STRETCH for me was that I took my boyfriend home to 'meet the folks'. This is a first for me as I've never taken a significant other home before. And having moved through 'coming out' to my family into this 'don't-ask-don't-tell' pose, I just felt like I really wanted to BREAKTHROUGH the discomfort and angst around that thought (in my head) that I can't BE ALL OF WHO I AM AROUND MY FAMILY. INSTEAD, I CHOSE (with butterflies in my stomach) to INSPIRE or CLAIM another level of RESULT and EXPERIENCE for my time at home with family. More than a CONCEPT, I wanted to round out who I am in the eyes of my family and how I love and what it looks like. And truth be told, it just IS (nothing dramatic or over the top)... but I felt it was time to show just that.  

It went well and was kinda' cool to get out of my way and let that show up... BOLDLY. Let's be clear, black folks and homophobia are very much alive, but so is the ability for people to shift, if we give them a chance. And though my father has never expressed anything but unconditional love over my life, it was nice to see him shine inside of my boyfriend's presence as they immediately locked into a commonality as it relates to our similar military upbringings.

And the family overall was quite kind, though I expected my siblings would be the tough customers. Over the years, they've minced no words about their disagreement with how I choose to navigate my sexual orientation. Disagreements aside, they were nothing short of cordial and sweet. And I experienced them authentic in all of it. My sister received my boyfriend with a big hug and went out of her way to chat him up, which is not her thing in general. My brother truly stretched as he invited us out for cocktails. At the "Island Breeze", we drank and unearthed that TV, movies, and pop culture are what we ALL have in common. And we compared notes on that front into the late hour.

My boyfriend Kodjoe and I were pushing towards this level of intimacy with our respective families before he passed away unexpectedly last year, Easter Sunday, and we had made some lee-way in that he introduced me to his nieces and nephew on the eve of his passing. Quite divinely, this BIG NEXT STEP (for my new relationship) is also a LEGACY FULFILLED (for Kodjoe)...

Meanwhile, I know that beneath the differences, my family LOVES me!!! And because I CHOSE to show up in my TRUTH (demonstrated), they too were and are OPEN to show up and stretch in LOVE and other WAYS OF BEING that become available when someone DARES TO BE IT DIFFERENTLY. Inside of that, I experienced THROUGH ALL OF THEM a new level of SUPPORT, UNDERSTANDING, TOLERANCE, and ACCEPTANCE. It was quite a HEALING and CONNECTING trip for me... with JOY to boot!

Posted on Monday, October 23, 2006 at 11:34AM by Registered CommenterTHE LIFE OF RILEY in | CommentsPost a Comment | References3 References

References (3)

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  • Response
    Hi, this essay is despite the small, but rich in content. Reverie verbiage. If you want to see details:http://www.fieec.fr/hollisterx.aspx
  • Response
    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - TESTIFY - HOME (AGAIN) FOR THE FIRST TIME
  • Response
    Response: acai berry select
    A Day In "The Life Of Riley" - Blog - TESTIFY - HOME (AGAIN) FOR THE FIRST TIME

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