"This is not a sickness," Jennifer explains to her "old-fashioned" Turkish mother.
Shocked that Gaby had overheard their private conversation, Jennifer assured her daughter that Steven was still the same uncle ("dayi") she's always known and reminded her that who you love has no bearing on your worth or what you're capable of. Gaby accepted it all with open arms but soon came to find out that her traditional Turkish grandmother -- Jennifer and Steven's mother -- wasn't as open.
A few episodes back, Gaby put her grandma on the spot. While in the kitchen getting the desserts ready for Easter Sunday, Gaby said in front of Jennifer, "Nana, at church, the priest was talking about how God says to love everyone, but someone said the priests don't support gays. I was like, don't the priests love my uncle? 'Cause Dayi Steven is gay."
Jennifer had no idea Gaby would be bringing that up, but she proudly and eagerly stayed silent, awaiting her mom's response. Nana first said "no," then claimed she didn't know Steven was gay, then switched subjects.
"I knew my mother didn't like talking about Steven's sexuality, but hearing her lying to her own granddaughter? That really bothers me 'cause I grew up with my mom lying to keep up a facade," Jennifer later said. "That was my normal, and that's not what I want my kids' normal to be... I'm so proud of Gaby for bringing this up to my mom. My mom has to stop dancing around the issue. You need to face this -- privately, publicly. She doesn't get how important that is to Steven."
This week, Jennifer took her mom to a drag brunch at Margaret Joseph's house. Nana sat in genuine confusion with eyes squinted and arms crossed. Jennifer said her mom had never seen anything like it before, which Aydin later used as a way to bring up what happened with Gaby on Easter Sunday.
Nana told her daughter she didn't know the drag queens were men until Dolores Catania told her.
"Well, I'm very proud of you that you've lived through your first drag party. I feel like you've come a long way," Jennifer said to her mom, who replied, "Honestly, a lot of things I see now, it wasn't normal before to me."
"Well, I just want you to know that the way that I'm raising my kids is to always be accepting of people," Jennifer said. "You know, Gaby was just a little confused as to why you said you didn't know [that Steven is gay]." Nana sipped her coffee and stayed silent, as Jennifer added, "It's okay! We all know he's not in the closet. I feel like you're the only one that still tries to hide it. I know it's hard for you to talk about, but I just don't want you to feel like it's something that you need to hide, ever."
Nana replied, "I'm not ashamed of my child. It's not his fault. If you have a sick child, you gonna throw them out?"
"But this is not a sickness," Jennifer explained.
"Why do we have to keep talking about it?" Nana fired back, before she started to cry. "When I was in Turkey, I never know anything like this. I still have problem with it because I'm old fashioned, but it's his life. If he's happy, God be with him."
Jennifer explained that Steven would be "so much happier" if Nana would simply "acknowledge him in public." She cried and muttered, "I know."
"Like, 'You're out and proud? Good for you! Good for you that you're not living a lie,'" Jennifer said to her tearful mom. "I know you can do it. You're a strong woman."
Nana agreed she'd try to give it a shot.
In other news, Jackie Goldschneider invited all the women to her Hamptons home for a weekend. Yes, that included Teresa Giudice. Wednesday's episode ended with everyone arriving at Jackie's house, and Teresa immediately putting Margaret on the spot for not inviting her to her Mother's Day drag brunch.
Margaret said she wanted to, but after being ignored by Teresa at Melissa Gorga's fashion show, she felt it was best not to.
That drama will unfold on next Wednesday's "Real Housewives of New Jersey," which airs at 8 p.m. on Bravo.
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