I knew it was going to be awful but living a lie had become too much of a burden. They were nervous too. Ours was a family of loud, simultaneous conversations. We didn’t do ‘sit downs’ for ‘talks’. I could smell the liver and onions cooking on the hob as I shepherded my parents to sit together on the sofa. I had refused coffee, tea, water and cordial. Mam went quiet when the list of possible drink options was exhausted. I could see that she was already pulling on defensive armor by the stiffness of her body language. Dad asked me again if he could get me a drink, or maybe a sausage roll.
‘Mam, Dad, I need to tell you that I have..’
I took a deep breath and straightened my own spine. The words caught a little in my dry throat
‘…become a vegan’.
A Bermuda Triangle calm enveloped the three of us. There is an expression in the north that goes something like ‘she looked like a slapped arse’. I could have told them I was a serial killer and they would have been less weirded out. Dad protested drawing upon my historical love of cod whilst Mam tackled the barely comprehendable possibilities of a life without bacon. Eventually though, Mam got to grips…
‘Well, I suppose it could have been worse, I thought you were going to tell us you are queer!’
‘Ah yes, well about that Mam…’
* Note, this is entirely fiction. My own lovely parents are hugely supportive of me being queer and vegan although they are anxious that I will starve to death and thus continue to offer sausage rolls at every possible opportunity.