just.equal campaigner Ivan Hinton-Teoh has told a touching story of how he came out to his grandmother in the first of a new series of videos by the advocacy group featuring LGBTI Australians’ stories.
The new series “#IfTheyOnlyKnew” aims to “inspire Australians to be champions for change” and in the first video, posted to the group’s Facebook page, Hinton-Teoh tells the story of coming out to his family at age 29 and the fear he felt about telling his ultra-conservative grandmother he’s gay.
“For a long time, for several years, I was out to everybody except Nan,” Hinton-Teoh said.
“It was because I was told that there was this distinct likelihood that the news could be so horrific that she would die.”
He said for his Nan’s 80th birthday he took her on a trip to Europe with his partner Chris, but he told her he was just his flatmate.
But Hinton-Teoh said he told his mother, “For as long as we don’t tell Nan, I can’t be all of me with her. I can’t have a complete relationship with her.”
“The first thing that came out of my Nan’s mouth after I told her I was gay was, ‘When we were travelling through Europe, I thought I could sense the love,’” he explained.
“And as soon as she realised that one of her grandsons was gay, all of that just washed away.
“Twelve months later, Chris and I have a commitment ceremony, and Nan acted as our celebrant.”