NO matter how heartbreaking you expect the breakdown of a family to be, watching Chris explain to his parents he was marrying his partner of three years on Bride and Prejudice was worse than we could have imagined.
There was no yelling, no screaming, no tears. Just the quiet and final resignation that Chris' parents would never accept who he is, and who he loves.
In case you missed it, Chris is the child of a devout Jehovah's Witness mother, Yvonne, and a very traditionally minded father, Geoff. Chris is gay and has recently proposed to his partner Grant. They're getting married soon in Florida.
For the second episode of Bride and Prejudice, Chris has flown to Queensland to ask his parents to come to their wedding.
We hoped with all our hearts that Yvonne and Geoff would find it in their hearts to welcome Chris back into their lives, but instead Chris faced yet another rejection.
Here's how it went down.
"So, I understand you want to have a chat to us," Yvonne says, the apprehension in her demeanour completely clear to everyone.
"Yeah. Basically …. Not basically. Well you know how I've been going back and forth from the States for three years now," Chris asks.
"I actually met someone. And … his name is Grant. The reason why I want you to meet Grant is because he's really important to me. And what we're doing is we're getting married in a month's time in Palm Springs in the States."
At this point, Chris' Dad, Geoff actually laughs. It's awkward and perhaps, given the benefit of the doubt, you could say it's nervous tension. If you didn't feel like being as generous, you might say the laughter was mean-spirited smirk. Who knows what the truth of it is.
Chris ploughs on. "I was coming to see whether you guys would come."
There is a long, long pause as everyone around the table processes their feelings.
Yvonne breaks the silence. "Well, Chris, um … you know I've got very strong beliefs on that situation. So, um, for us, that's not an option."
Chris asks Geoff what his beliefs are. "Basically the same, different reasons," Geoff replies.
Yvonne takes a moment to acknowledge Chris' feelings, which in the situation is probably the least she could do. "So, I know you were hoping for another outcome but it's not going to happen Chris.
"We'd like to have contact with you, but we really don't want to be part of that."
Chris confirms with Yvonne that she doesn't want to have a relationship with him because of her beliefs.
He asks them if they will meet Grant.
"No, we don't want to. Okay? The only contact we really want to have is with just you," Yvonne replies.
"Well, just me is all of me. You can choose all of me or none of me. Not just part of me," Chris says, maintaining a dignified, steely gaze on the lace tablecloth underneath his finger tips, as if he's willing himself not to cry.
Yvonne responds with the words we hoped she would never say. "Well, if that's the way it's gotta be, that's the way it's gonna be."
At the end of their incredibly short conversation, just 15 minutes, Yvonne says, "I'd like a hug before you go."
Chris can't bring himself to give her one, and well, frankly, who could blame him.
This article originally appeared on Kidspot.com.au and is republished here with permission.
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