James Lubbock had a pretty normal childhood. But what he didn’t expect was his parents coming out to him after so many years of marriage.
Let’s look into James Lubbock childhood
James has a pretty typical suburban middle-class upbringing. He had loving parents, good school education and supportive friends.
For those of you who don’t know, James is also the author of the famous television show Breaking Bad. As a child, he was schooled privately up till the age of eighteen. He grew up in Stanmore in north-west London, which goes to show that his family were financially well off.
Mum and dad had a pretty vibrant social life. They often attended dinner parties which were followed by games of trivial pursuit.
James’ mum was a housewife. She gave up her promising career as an English teacher to attend to her only child. They had a very loving close relationship. He was a real Mummy’s boy. He says, “I relied on her in those formative days”
As for dad, James idolized him. Mostly because he had precious time with him as his dad was mostly running around for work. He was funny, playful and was a pretty successful businessman. James thought that his mum and dad were a perfect double act.
But as he grew older, James started to realize that not everything was perfect about their relationship. It all started with the arguments. The arguments were common but when they did happen it was disturbing for James to watch. They were not violent but it frequently upset James. They went silent on each other for weeks. And made him wonder whether they would break up.
Parents finally came out
Within the first year of James’ university, his mum and dad got separated. They had one of their worst arguments during Christmas. And all of a sudden they were living separately.
One day James got a call when he was living in London. His dad was on the other end and invited James to dinner. He mentioned that he had something to say to him. James had no idea what it could be. He thought it might be a terminal illness or a lovechild.
“It turned out I was wrong on both counts. He played with his soup, and looked decidedly nervous through our starters, which was very strange for me to see – Dad was usually so confident and certainly never awkward with me. Losing patience, I asked him to reveal all. He looked up but avoided eye contact, and began by telling me that at school he sometimes had feelings for boys… he was gay.”
James was shocked to hear about this.
“I always saw Dad as a ladies man – a bit camp yes, but in an inverted, macho, Mick Jagger kind of way.”
James suddenly felt grown up. It was initially hard for James to come to terms with his dad’s sexuality. He had no gay friends or acquaintances and now suddenly his dad came out to him as gay. He said,
“I never had any gay mates or even any experience of knowing gay people – now suddenly my Dad had revealed himself as a gay person.”
One week later…
Just one week after this episode happened, James got a call from his mum. She had invited him to dinner as well. But she wanted to discuss his dad’s situation. Or maybe that is what he thought. As they were having dinner in Soho at this restaurant called The Gay Hussar, James’ mum mentioned that she had recently moved in with a lady called Susan. James suddenly realizes where this was going. His mother was coming out to him too!
“I felt like I was in a dream, I was amused but in a bizarrely detached way where I couldn’t quite believe what was happening to me.”
He started to think about how his parents had been living a lie their entire lives.
“It was too much to take in at first. I reacted in the same way to my Mum as I did to my Dad. I was supportive, encouraging, but this time we also laughed with each other about how bizarre the situation was. It was as if I’d been transported into a Hollywood film too crazy to be true.”
Looking back, James started to change his view on marriage, relationships, sexuality even true love. James started to become more aware of LGBT+ rights across the world.
“I now find myself getting angry when I hear people argue against things like same-sex marriage – what on earth has it got to with these people, whatever their antiquated views are? When it is connected to how people you love live their lives, it makes it all the more personal.”
More importantly, James had a profound insight into how he perceived human beings. He says,
“We are far more complex than we ever realize, and however straightforward someone may appear at first contact, there is always a story to be discovered about each and every one of us.”