About a week ago, I had a health issue and ended up staying in hospital for few days. While at the hospital the gastroenterologists decided to perform endoscopy, it usually takes only half to one hour but due to some unexpected problem they had to intubate me overnight. Throughout the process my boyfriend was beside me. I didn’t tell my family but due to the critical nature of the situation, the hospital decided to call my emergency contact, which was my brother.
I woke up the next day after being intubated and unconcious for almost 24hrs. I had wires or tubes all over my hands and chest, a breathing tube in my mouth and a urinary catheter. I looked for my boyfriend but I can’t find him. I only saw my brother and his wife. I asked for my phone and he had left me a message, “Are you awake? Your brother is here so I didn’t want to come in bc I don’t know if you want me to meet him. I am still in the building though; I am just kind of hiding in the waiting area lol. I tried to come in earlier, but the last time I saw you, you were still intubated and unconscious”. I felt an overwhelming sadness and I cannot bear to have the person I love hide away from my family because I am still closeted. So I texted him back and asked him to come inside.
My boyfriend came in with a nervous look and said hi to my brother and my sister in law and sat quietly in the chair beside me. The true consequence of my inability to come out to my own family was so now so clear to me that I felt an overwhelming sadness. Tears started rolling down uncontrollably. I took whatever strength I had, took a deep breath, turned to my brother and said, “This is …. he is my boyfriend”. My brother nodded and I wasn’t sure how he felt. After a very long minute he asked in Tibetan whether we were from the same school. This was the only conversation we had about my boyfriend.
Since that day, I have been in constant touch with my brother and he has treated me with same love as before. It made me realize that my fear was clouding the reality. I assumed my brother will have a negative reaction, which made me afraid of coming out until now. I am proud of my brother.
If you are in a similar situation, I would encourage you to question your assumptions. Just because your family is from a conservative society that does not make them close-minded.