I just finished reading Fun Home – subtitled A Family Tragicomic - because it is a comic book, an illustrated memoir. The author’s family ran a funeral home in their father’s home town in Pennsylvania. It about her father’s homosexuality – and also about her lesbianism. Related situations. Alison Bechdel, at the end of the book, realized that her father’s unacknowledged homosexuality help support her own homosexuality.
My family was also strange sexually, but just how they were strange I will probably never know. I am certain my mother abused me sexually. But just what that abuse amounted to – I can only guess. Incest is an umbrella term that covers a multitude of behaviors.
Alison makes many references to James Joyce’s Ulysses. A book I have never liked because it is too literary for me – a technical person. One of the themes running through the book (a theme I could not decipher in the least) was homosexuality. Bloom’s father committed suicide because of his homosexuality. Joyce’s own sexuality was ambivalent – to say the least – and his children were complete failures.
I just watched a video called Tchaikovsky’s Women - that I could view because I subscribe to medici.tv. I learned, to my surprise, that Tchaikovsky was gay too – and never came to grips with this. Much to the sorrow of the woman he married.
Was there homosexuality in my family? My first response is to say “No.” But then I remember my oldest sister is a lesbian, having come out after being both a wife and a mother. And I have often observed a hostility towards men in the women in my family. Something not uncommon in the Midwest we grew up in.