I've established that I have opinions about how my parents feel about my life choices. My mother once said that I was going to do what I wanted anyway so it was best just to stand back while I did it. To create resistance when I was so set on doing something would've been a bad idea. I didn't turn out so bad as a result of this parenting method. 'Genius honors student married for almost two decades who has a penchant for stripping' is better than 'psycho serial killer who wants to show parents not to get in the way.'
That said, it's nice to have a family that's not judgmental or barely tolerant of what I do. It's nice to have them as supporters in my career -- not enemies or gossips or people who change the subject when I talk about what I'm doing. They're more supportive of my burlesque dancing than they ever were of my acting. And yes, they know I take my clothes off.
Last time I visited my hometown, my older sister coordinated a nice dinner so Andrew and I could visit with her family and with my dad. (My dad now has a bumper sticker that says his daughter is stripper of the month at MNT. Next I'm getting him the t-shirt.) My dad would've attended my show, but he's an old man and his car is out of commission so he couldn't drive there and back. He told all of his friends about it. :) My oldest sister couldn't get away from the special needs of two young ones in her household to come to the show, but she's planning to see me perform next time. My mother remarried a man with failing health, so she's unlikely to get away and stay out late while I do what I do. We did have lunch and she often has encouraging things to say about pursuing my dreams. They've got my back.
But the ultimate in support was for family to see me doing my thing. They so rarely saw me act when I did theatre in their area, so it delights me that they PAID to see me do burlesque. My small sister has always been supportive of my performing and has ventured into the world of poi performing, so it was no surprise that she and her boyfriend bought a table by the stage. What was surprising was meeting my younger brother's fiancee for the first time at the show. (They were high school sweethearts and I'd never met her.) She was with my sister right by the stage. What was even more surprising was my oldest brother and his fiancee watching from the back of the room. My brother is an amazing guitarist and I hadn't seen him in many years. He was there to support me. Holy shit. (I may have surprised him when I gave him a hug after the show when I was just wearing pasties and undies, but I warned him that it's what I do.) My mother-in-law and her husband, her boss and his wife, Andrew's grandmother and youngest sister were all there. They bought a table as well. None of these people in my family are embarrassed by what I do.
It's important to surround yourself with people who have your back. It's even better when your family fits into that category. I'm looking forward to seeing all of them this fall.