The can of white gas had been sitting in my room for several weeks, and the candles had been there for years. But on Christmas Eve, my mother confronted me in front of my extended family.

Auntie Susie, Uncle Michael, cousin Christopher, Inlaws, Sisters, Father.

She told me she'd found "gasoline" in my room and she was very scared. She told me I haven't been involved in the family since I moved back home after graduating college. She told me she was worried because I wasn't going out with old friends, that I don't have a boyfriend, that I was acting like i was hiding something.

"Are you in some kind of...cult?"
"No, Ma."
"Are you involved in something...dangerous??"
"No, Ma. Look, I want to explain something to you, I've wanted to do it since I realised it myself, but I don't want to be the star center of attention while I go through one of the roughest conversations of my life, so do you think we could maybe go for a drive?"

So this is how on Friday, December 24, 2004 I admitted to the last people not to know, the first people to know me, the people who have loved me best, and longest, that I am bisexual.

"Mom. I'm not going to burn the house down. I juggle fire. We need to fuel. It's very safe. We have fire extinguishers, safety people, safety procedures. But that's not what I've been hiding from you."
"Mom, I think I'm not really straight..."

She asked me if I thought she was stupid. She got angry, and defensive. But then she reminded me that she changed her religion because of it, that she really didn't think it was wrong. That those gay people really deserve marriage just like the rest of us. Of you. Equal rights and all that.

I was scared they would kick me out. I was scared that they would disown me, send me out on my own in the now snowing night, and keep the peoplecar as payment for my upbringing. I was so scared.

I told her I was sorry and she asked me why. I was sorry for hiding it from her. Sorry for closing myself off, sinking back into the 8'x10' room of my childhood, sucking up the internet and guardedly typing at people I'd never met. Sorry for not once going to sit by the Christmas tree with them. Sorry for letting myself fall into a depression I had sworn I'd never fall back into. I told her about being pagan and again she huffed that she knew what it was. I told her about an abusive relationship in my past and she nodded silently.

Somehow she seemed to know everything. Mother's intuition.

So how do I tell her about BDSM?