“I Came Out at the Seder, My Mom Ran Out”

The Israeli website AskPeople allows users to upload personal questions and consult with other users, anonymously. On Passover day a question from a 27 year old woman was uploaded, where she tells how she came out to her family during the Passover Seder.

“This is without doubt the shortest Seder I’ve had. The time is now 21:33 and I’m already at home, crying alone. We celebrated Passover in the North with my cousins. It was quite small, only our close family, my parents, three brothers, grandparents and cousins.

After many years of living in the closet, today I decided I’m coming out. At the Seder, after we read the Haggadah, I was just waiting for the opportunity to say it, and as soon as my grandmother asked me if I already have a boyfriend, I jumped and said ‘No, I have a girlfriend.’ Most of the people were shocked, and some, though younger and liberals, said, ‘So what.’ But my mom got up, picked up her purse in the middle of the meal and said, ‘Thank you, you ruined an entire family,’ and walked out. My father went after her, but I have to say he seemed not at all surprised and kind of accepting.

I just ran away from there, embarrassed and with tears in my throat, and now I’m sitting here miserable at home and regretting everything. Maybe I shouldn’t have opened it up at the Seder and blown out the holiday for the whole family. I really feel bad about myself, and I’m worried about my mother whose expression on her face was only disappointment. I don’t know what to do now. I’m waiting for my girlfriend to return from her Seder, but I feel so bad and I’m sorry I did it.”

The story became one of the site’s most popular issues, and the answers ranged through a wide spectrum of reactions, although 80% said that the woman made the right move coming out. “Maybe it was a bit tactless to do it at the Seder, somehow this evening is already loaded, many family matters and stress. Even if it has been cooked for you in the stomach for a long time, your mother probably didn’t expect that it would land like this in front of the whole family, but I believe she’ll overcome it,” wrote one user, and added: “life under a mask is not life. You live your life for yourself and not for your mom and dad, even though you should be sensitive to them.”

Two other users rebuked the woman. One of them called the timing “very bad” and another wrote: “Miss, you’re 27! Do you realize how long it took you to stew until you felt brave enough to come out? You must have already sensed it at 15 and perhaps denied it, so what do you expect from your mother; that what took you 13 years or so, will take her two minutes?”

However, most users supported the woman and encouraged her. “Gay and lesbian people stay in the closet and walk on egg shells for too long,” wrote one. “When I read your story I saw you didn’t do anything provocative, but answered a question in the most normal and natural way. Your grandmother asked you a question and you answered honestly. For your mother and perhaps for others, it was difficult, so what? Let her take her time and come to her senses by herself, nothing serious has happened.”