In many ways, it seems to me, being gay is about dealing with the unexpected.
I have a perspective on emotional shocks, being a one-time victim and multi-time observer of culture shock and the effects it has on people. The salient aspect of culture shock is that it always hits when we are not expecting it. No matter how much we read and get ready, culture shock hits from a blind side. Perhaps that’s part of the definition of culture shock. If we are expecting it, it doesn’t shock us. It takes an artist to shock us anymore at the movies. We’ve seen so much we are expecting about anything they can conjure up. Still, they manage to exceed their previous level and shock us again, or the movie is a box-office flop.
We think we’re ready for the gay shocks:
Hey, Dad. I’m gay.
I want to let you know, I’m positive.
Uh, I got a new boyfriend.
Could we just agree to live separately for a while?
We’ve rehearsed our reactions to these shockers. We will be rocked and stunned, but we are ready to make a non-hysterical reply. But we will be thrown by the one we never dreamed of. What are those?
What are your worst case scenarios?
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Dobson posts his weekly reflections on this blog.