Jacob Woods

Jacob Woods
Jacob is gay. He eats, breathes, and sleeps lgbtqia issues. He is a sociology major currrently working to educate the simpletons. He attends college in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, November 26

Coming Out to Grandma

I posted rather publicly on FB that I had come out to my grandmother yesterday. I had called her and she had asked me if I had still been in touch with my friend Ashley. I said I call her every couple of months even though it's actually every couple of weeks because I didn't want grandma to think we had something more than a friendship going on. Then, we proceeded to talk about how grandpa, before he had passed away, had forced my grandmother into hunting one year. When she was talking about her close relationship with the man she loved her whole life, I decided it was time to come out to her.

I asked her if I could share something personal with her and I warned her that what I shared with her could change our relationship. I proceeded to tell her that Ashley and I were not a thing. (This was done over the phone btw.)

She responded, "Oh no no no, I didn't mean to imply that at all. I figured if you liked her that way you'd be calling her every day."

I said, "Yes well, there's that and I am gay and I am not interested in dating people of the opposite sex. I sort of know where you stand on the issue, but I was still interested in knowing what you thought of that because I feel that a relationship should be not simply about a man and a woman and I know that you listen to Bill O'reilly a lot," (Gay Marriage: Darren Spedale vs. Bill O'Reilly)

My voice shook out of control, I was nervous, "And you shared that you were hunting with Grandpa and I think that's what a relationship is really about and I am really excited to have a niece and I love my little nephew from my brother and sister in law."

I couldn't stop talking, "And the Lutherans in Minnesota are actually really supportive and I have told everyone else in the family and I wanted you to know that they all love and support me. And, I was wondering what you thought about that." (Many Lutherans have been recognized for their advocacy for same sex marriage across the state. Lutherans Concerned.)

She said, "Oh, I don't think you want to hear what I think."

"No, it's ok, I want to know."

"It's an abomination."

After the conversation proceeded through some rough waters, without debate but thorough listening, I posted the end result of the conversation on Facebook. And I didn't realize all that I had accomplished until after 20 individuals liked the status and several more gave reaffirming comments. Below is what friends and family had to say.

Jacob WoodsJust came out to my grandma, she loves me, but, men aren't suppose to be more than friends with other men. I am thankful still, it could have gone worse.

  • Aunt, Iron Range friend, Fellow from Berkeley and 19 others like this.

  • Cousin, - I am totally proud of you!!!!!!!!!
    • (My secret internet crush.) Did you ask her why?

      16 hours ago · · 

    • Jacob Woods I didn't need to ask, the Bible , I am an abomination, I told her to pray and reflect on it. That and to read the Bible really closely in leviticus to see what else is an abomination. I told her what love and family meant to me, then she said we shouldn't talk about it any more haha. Ha. Ha. - Covers up emotions.
      16 hours ago · · 
    • (Internet friend.) i personally believe its a gift not an abomination take it as a gift
      16 hours ago · ·

    • (Writer friend.) I'm sorry. I'm sure she'll come around eventually. She loves you.
      16 hours ago · · 

    • (The Oracle of My Life- Also known as the wise one!) You're courageous - and you are a precious friend of God - just the way you have been created. I suspect that, deep down in her heart, your grandma knows that. I also suspect that she needs time to come to terms with who you are - given the crap that had been drilled into her mind by the mainstream culture of the 1940's and 1950's. And, as you know already, "Abomination" and "moral failure" are two separate categories in the Old Testament.
      15 hours ago · · 
    • (Internet Friend) Well if you're not married then isn't it just a friend ? With benefits ?

      14 hours ago · · 

    • (Good friend's mother.) You did a good thing, and your grandmother did as well as she could, too. Good for you, Jacob.
      13 hours ago · · 

    • (Good friend from University) ♥ Always know that your friends are there for you if you ever need to talk. This took a lot of courage, and I hope she can see that.
      13 hours ago · · 

    • Jacob Woods I love you all very much, thanks for all your support and encouragement and kind words. I couldn't ask for a better turnout! Thank you. I will be sure to tell my grandmother about all of you and how that gay, straight, ace, and the religious to the non-religious have liked this status and made comments on it. Thank you all. You are all so very beautiful minded people and I can't express how much I am touched by all of your support!
      12 hours ago · · 

    • (My aunt on my dad's side) Now it is clear sailing from here on out :)
      3 hours ago ·
      (Internet friend.) Beautiful thoughts from everyone. Jacob, give your grandma some time. She loves you, always remember that. 

      What I realized was that even though there were gays, straights, atheists, males, females, Christians, asexuals, and even a good friend who lives in China, there were no heated debates. Just love and support and total understanding! Thanks everyone!


naturgesetz said...

That took a lot of courage. You could have just stayed in the closet and never had the difficult conversation. Whether she ever changes her beliefs about homosexuality or not, she knows now that homosexuals can be truly lovable people.

Steven John said...

I'm so glad to see you receiving so much support. Did I get it right though? Your Grandmother still said the word "abomination"?
I actually came out to my nephews on thanksgiving… They had already figured it out though but we didn't know they knew. They seem to know more about it though since junior high is the trenches for this stuff it seems.
You did a great job. I don't mean to be sappy but this song was playing while I typed this and it seems beautifully fitting. Just ignore the line "and die for a cause" :) We are stronger because of these things.

Witness: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIuif-wc6yo

Jacob Woods said...


Super Sam said...

I'm glad it went well for you.

I can't say my coming out went very well with parents and family (in fact it was very painful). My father's side of the family come from probably the 2nd most homophobic country in the world ... I lost touch with my father after that until a few years before he died prematurely (he knew his number was up).

I wish you the all the best in your journey!

JustAMike said...

Jacob, I truly believe that even though it may not have seemed like it, you will have made a positive impact on her and her thinking. As one of your FB friends said, she is a product of her times and the fact that she has known you all your life but didn't know about this is a shock and she just needs time to come to terms with her new reality. It was very brave of you and incredibly important. All the best!

Jacob Woods said...

Thanks very much, it's so true! I can't imagine what is\t is like living in a world where you thought gays and lesbians were this far distant thing that was evil. And now you realize that your own grandson is gay and that you have been lied to your whole life about what gays and lesbians really are.

Anonymous said...

Is Grandma invited to Christmas dinner? The church mice want to know...

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the nice compliment!
"The Oracle" a.k.a. "wise guy" :-)

Anonymous said...


Just a brief note to congratulate you on the publication of this article on MinnPost.com! You are making such a powerful contribution to our communities, and I'm so very pleased that you are able to reach a wider audience.

If it hasn't occurred to you by now, then allow me the pleasure of informing you that your honesty and openness is helping to change lives. Be encouraged that your communiques are being read and absorbed by seekers, and, though you may never receive confirmation or acknowledgement , you are making all the difference for someone who needs it most.

I cannot make any significant or meaningful comments regarding your personal life/decisions. What is most important is how you choose to create your own journey. And, for what it's worth, your path is unique, formidable, and deserving of celebration.

Regardless of any other of my folderol, suffice it to say that you have an advocate in this experienced (ahem! -- much older) and tempered man (that would be me for those who are keeping score!). I stand at your service.

Shine on, my good fellow! Shine on!

~ Greg

P.S. And, what the hell?!? Any turkey-day moments? Any Sedaris-esque-apades?? Did your have to go all Burroughs on anyone!?! Or was it smooth sailing and hearts and flowers?? (I hope it was grandly uneventful, actually.)

Ah, ain't life fun!?!!!! . . . Ok, discuss . . .

~ g

Jacob Woods said...

Folderol, I like this new word you have brought to my attention. I should use it more often.

I will have to pass a long a short story I wrote about this huge straight crush I had this semester, I think you would really like how I compare myself to Sedaris without actually comparing myself to Sedaris. I used dialogue to compare myself to sedaris.

I stayed home on Turkey day. I wrote a lot. And, thanks so much for your comments! I feel so full of life after you give me all of your gloat. Sometimes, I just don't know how to respond haha.

All I can say is, I am glad I am helping! And, it's these type of comments that too often I forget about. I need to print them off and post them on my forehead so I read them in the morning and say, SEE JACOB - YOU WROTE THINGS!

And people liked them, not only liked them, but learned from them, not only learned from them, but went out of their way to say HI! THANKS! YOU ROCK!



T. Holmes said...

Hi, Jacob. I just surfed into your site and read this post. First, congratulations!

I had a similar conversation with my mother about 8 or 9 years ago (my parents raised me in a conservative Christian household). At this point, though, my parents, grandparents and I are making plans for my wedding (to my homosexual partner). They have the same concern for him as they do for my hetero siblings' fiancees and want to know how we're doing.

All of our family's hard conversations in the beginning had a consistent ending, no matter what opinion was expressed: "Regardless of all things - I love you." As long as your grandmother and other family members can say that and display that, then remain hopeful that they will eventually come to accept your homosexuality on some level, too. I had a great therapist tell me, "Give your family AT LEAST 1/2 as much time to accept your homosexuality as it took you to come out to them." Ask yourself - how long was it from the time you said, "I think I'm gay?" to November 26, 2011, when you came out to your grandma?

You are brave. You are not choosing to hide. If your family is like mine, they are the ones who taught you to be true to yourself - remind them of that. You could choose to lie to yourself and others and kill the soul that God gave you, but you are choosing to be the person that God made you to be.

And once I was out to my parents, siblings, grandparents, and 3-4 closest friends, I didn't care about the rest of the world. Everyone else can jump off a bridge - I don't want them to - I want them to be nice and pleasant, but their opinions don't HAVE to count.

It's may sound trite and cliche at this point, but really - it DOES get better. And you are doing great!

Carry on, my man!

T. Holmes said...

And I forgot to say - THANK YOU for sharing this story with the world.

Jacob Woods said...

Thanks T. Holmes

Post a Comment

Donating to Good as Gay

Five reasons you should donate today. 1. You keep coming back to read Jacob's blogs. 2. You would be financially supporting a broke college student. 3. You have a dollar that you were going to spend on a vending machine but you decide Good as Gay is a better cause. 4. You would like to see more blog posts from Jacob in the future. 5. You don't want aliens to abduct you and convert you to heterosexuality. Or something equally disturbing.