And My Parents Don't Know I'm Gay? Part 2: Martha

martha_stewartfrom “Classic Crafts and Recipes for the Holidays: Christmas with Martha Stewart Living”

This is the second in a multi-part series by our contributor Anonymous Bosch, a student on the west coast who won’t reveal any more details. Well, except these:

I like nothing more than spending a sunny afternoon on the beach with The Gospel according to Martha in my lap. You see, in my world, Martha Stewart is one of my gods, right along with David Remnick and Kathy Griffin. I like to think that Martha was put on Earth to decorate for all our domestic design sins.

After Vogue, Martha Stewart Living was my favorite magazine in my mother’s monthly cycle of subscriptions. Around the holidays, it became my third nipple, held close to my chest should quick reference be necessary to solve some housekeeping conundrum. One year when I was a teenager, inspired by the genius in that season’s MSL, I told my mother we were going to host the most spectacular New Year’s party ever. She nodded and said she wasn’t going to change up her annual routine, but if I wanted to update some elements of the evening I could go right ahead. She had no idea what kind of magic was about to be made.

A trip to the arts and crafts store downtown secured all the raw materials I would need to create my masterpiece. I trudged up the pathway and into our home with bags of golden paint, glues of every kind, boughs of holly, laurel, and fir. With my handy dandy glue gun fired up, I went to work.

The dining room was unrecognizable by the time I was finished with it. Above the mantle hung a laurel garland I had painted gold, leaf by leaf (tedious yes, but oh so fine), that visually invited guests into the space. Chestnuts were painted gold and formed into perfect spherical clusters that hung in each of the windows.  Berries were turned into perfect bobeches, placed under the numerous candlesticks I had scattered about the room. And the piece de resistance: the Christmas tree. Towering at nine feet, it stood stately and elegant. The golden motif was breathtaking. Rivers of gilded satin ribbon flowed down from the top to the bottom. We were ready to ring in the New Year in the style of the Astors — no, the Bourbons!

Coming home from her evening yoga class, my mother walked into the dining room and gasped. Wide-eyed, she embraced me and exclaimed, “This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen!” My father was also impressed, and just used it as an opportunity to poke fun at my mother, a loyal Martha reader herself, for being outdone by a mere kid. I knew Martha would have been proud. It was one of the most stereotypically queer things I could have done. And of course, no one suspected a thing.


  1. writing this was the second gayest thing you did after having sex with a man. like… could this be any more stereotypical?

  2. Rather its a case of denial or not, we’ll have to wait to see. But not all parents react to their child’s sexual orintation with dislike.

  3. Oh, also, Flicka, I kind of take issue with your assertion that it is more difficult to see bipolar disorder. First, even if you don’t know it’s bipolar, someone with those symptoms would very obviously have something wrong with them. And Secondly, not all little boys who dress up as a girl, play with girl toys or reads Martha Stewart Living may be showing stereotypical signs of being homosexual, but honestly, that’s not always true… Just often… and a parent who does not want to make sexuality an issue may choose to ignore this gender exploration as a way of trying to make the child feel like it is okay for them to be whatever they discover that they are.

  4. I don’t know though. I would still say the argument that sometimes you just can’t really see the truth of a situation because you’re too close to a situation.

    Though, in this case, it seems pretty obvious… and definitely looks like denial.

  5. ok bipolar disorder would be harder to guess than this situation, i’ll give you that, but when your son is out decorating you because HE reads your MSL it’s normally assumed your son is gay. If he’s not, good for him, but The parents had to be in some sort of denial about their son. Sort of like an “If I don’t ask him if he’s gay, then he ISN’T!” situation

    Realistically? My dad calls me Oblivia. i’m crazy oblivious. I didn’t know my uncle was gay until one of my sisters told me, but that was because i was 10, and more focused on dolls, tv, and my cousins. I had friends in classes with me that didn’t “dress gay” or have “gay voice” but the way they took to certain activities made it pretty obvious that they were homosexual [btw i love gays. i have a gay boss, and co worker and they are AWEOSME :D]

    it’s probably left over cultural denial from his parents’ parents’ generation, which in my opinion, isn’t something you can really be angry at them for [to a certain extent]

  6. I don’t think it’s necessarily denial. My brother’s bipolar and he wasn’t diagnosed until college when he had a full blown nervous breakdown, but he’s had symptoms his entire life. But, it’s difficult to break down a person’s personality. No one notices anything off about a family member because they’re too close to the situation. They just chalk it up to, oh that’s just Billy. Or that’s just Susan. He/She has ALWAYS been like that. When you’re not looking for a stereotype, you’re not going to see it.

    I’m not equating homosexuality with bipolar disorder, I’m simply saying that parents and family members often just don’t see certain things in their children/family. I think you just become jaded to family antics due to seeing it on a daily basis.

Comments are closed.