My Very Best Article

Dad’s Gay!

In the past 20 years, homosexuality has stopped being a topic just for the bedroom. As many gays and lesbians have simply decided to stop living in secret, a whole new definition of family has emerged. Presumably, there have been gay parents for as long as there have been gays and parents. There were the gay parents of the 1960s, who lived their whole lives without telling their spouses and children. Brokeback Mountain, a life of secrecy and shame. There are the gay parents of the 2000s, who fight for gay marriage and adoption rights. Heather Has Two Mommies, and she’s known about the turkey baster since her first birthday.

But what about the middle decades? The children born in the 1980s to parents who decided to tell them in the open-minded 1990s, just in time for puberty? Coming out may be a personal experience, but when the person in the closet has children, it suddenly has a deeper meaning. I set out to write an article about what it feels like to be in this generation of children with gay parents. Do they feel sympathetic toward homosexuals, or just ardent disgust? Is it even a big deal?

New school rules, old school rules, the golden hour, the ins and outs of good interviewing — if there was ever a topic that incorporated all aspects of the syllabus of Magazine Reporting, it was this one. I broke a cardinal rule that we learned on our first day in class; I was asking my subjects, How does it make you feel?

The thing is, I kind of know how it feels. At least, I know how it feels for me. A journalist isn’t supposed to be biased, but I am a little in this case. I am dying to do these interviews because I am dying to meet another person like myself, who found out growing up she has a gay parent. I know they exist, so, like a sports reporter using his press pass to get an athlete’s signature for his son’s birthday, I also use my role to get myself access to people I really, really want to meet. I can’t say I used my connections, because I really have no connections to other people with gay parents, but I did tactfully drop this little fact about myself to let people know they could trust me in the interview process.

They are giving me an interview, but they are unwittingly giving me support. By answering the questions I ask as a reporter, they are answering the questions I have about my life. I want to confess this to my class the day we pitch our stories, but I’m not there yet. I imagine how my story will look. I hope when I share it with the class, I can say, “Dad’s gay!” as cheerfully as my slug proclaims it, but I know that it just won’t happen.

We learned early on that an interview is supposed to feel like a conversation; I knew that my interviews would feel exactly like a conversations. There is a level of balance between the subject and myself that I have never experienced in an interview. To get these interviews, I outed myself, or, rather, my family. I feel vulnerable. I am also a little more eager to hear their responses. This is not about getting the perfect quote. This is about knowing about their lives. It is everything we are learning in this class. A source is not Google. This is the first time I will truly listen to my subjects, even if it’s partially for selfish reasons.

I want to know how they did it. I want to know how their parents told them. I want to know what it was like for them in elementary school, middle school, high school. I want to know how it affects their relationships now. I want to know if they get pissed, if they get sad, if they can laugh about it, if they can joke about it with their grandmas on holidays, if they tell their boyfriends. I already know how I did it.

I know what it’s like to be three years old and stand hidden from the view of your parents as your dad says to your mom, “I’m gay.” I know what it’s like to not be scared of this because, as a three-year-old in Chicago, I already know gay people. I know what it is like to move to the suburbs, go to white, Catholic schools, and suddenly be scared of it. I know what it’s like to tell him, “I know,” when he finally tells you nine years later. I know how it feels to hear “That’s so gay” on a regular basis, to encounter small minds in a small town. I know what it’s like to be an ally for reasons I can never fully explain to people. I know what it’s like to go to a middle school dance and act like nothing is wrong just hours after your dad says he’s dying from AIDS. I know what it’s like to keep all these stories inside for years and not even talk about it with blood relatives. I know how I did it, but I want to know how they did it.

Our old and new school rules teach us to be prepared for our interviews and to do our research, but not come with a list of questions we read from. I try to prepare for these interviews, but I really cannot. I know this will truly be a conversation. We both have a gay parent. The rest should take care of itself.

My first interview is with Lauren. I don’t do research; I know nothing about her. We set up the interview weeks ago; I can’t even recall which of her relatives is gay. When I meet her in the MSU Union, she is upbeat, open, and ready to talk.

Normally, I don’t demand that people “tell me about yourself” at the start of the interview, but for this type of article, I just explain to her that I really want to know everything about her life. She tells me that she is 20, from Grand Rapids, and studying social relations and policy at Michigan State University. Why did you choose that topic? I ask. So she can go into advocacy and gay and lesbian rights. Yes! We’re onto the main subject of conversation without any beating around the bush.

Lauren initially had a nuclear family with a mom and a dad, but she was told at a young age that her mom was attracted to women. Her younger sister Megan had just been born. It didn’t come as an earth-shattering announcement to Lauren’s father, because he knew her mom had been with women before. It actually didn’t come as an earth-shattering announcement to Lauren either, as far as I can tell.

She went to the Michigan Womyn’s Musical Festival growing up. “I remember growing up around women, around lesbians,” she says. “Festival is amazing because you see that there are other gay parents. It’s like, ‘Oh, really, you, too?’ And there are many different colors of children. A lot of times they were adopted. It’s like, ‘How were you created?’”

When Lauren was young, her mom had a serious female partner, Lee, for three years, and Lauren grew close to her. Her parents didn’t get along, and since she wasn’t close to her biological father, she found a father figure in her mom’s gay best friend Tony.
Lauren didn’t have a hard time in school because, she says, “I had two parents—a mom and a dad.” People didn’t need to know the level of attraction, or lack thereof, that existed between them. Still, she had some unusual experiences growing up.

“During the holidays in elementary, we had a thing where you could buy your parents gifs, and I wanted to buy my mom a hardware set,” she says. “And they were like ‘Why? Why would you buy that for your mom?’ And it was just like, she would like that.”

Lauren went to a conservative middle school, and mentioned what I think might be the worst part of being a child of a gay parent: “When you hear, ‘That’s so gay.’” When she’s telling me this, the interview is definitely conversation, because even as I’m writing furiously, I’m nodding out of incredible solidarity, understanding, gratefulness, and thinking, I am not the only one. She says that sometimes she did feel weird about her mom’s rainbow bumper sticker or other things that would call attention to her sexuality. “If you want to be out, that’s fine, but why are you outing me?”

Lauren identifies as queer, which means she had to eventually out herself. We spend a long time talking about this, because it really affects her experience as the child of a homosexual. Now that she is out to herself (in high school), her sister and friends (before college), and her biological parents (recently), anyone who is homophobic about her mom will be homophobic about her as well. So she uses her Internet profile to tell people up front.

“Facebook has helped with coming out,” she says.

She states in her profile’s “About Me” section that her mom is a lesbian, and under “Interested In,” she lists men and women. Lauren says that she is generally out to new people she meets, and because she often meets new people through her advocacy work on campus, they are supportive.

“I felt like I was really lucky at first to have a gay parent. And it helps you to be very comfortable with different types of people,” she says.

She and her mother aren’t as close as they once were, but she said it’s mostly because of other mother-daughter tensions that are unrelated to either’s sexuality. As she’s gotten older, she’s gotten closer to her grandparents and her father. “A few weeks ago when I was sick, he asked me if I needed anything,” she says. “I think he wants to make up for things.”

Lee, who now lives in Oregon now and has adopted two children, is still an important figure in Lauren’s life. “She’s loud and energetic,” Lauren says. Lee is also multiracial like Lauren, and that commonality has made them close. Lauren is still close to Tony, who she just talked to recently, when he pushed her to follow her dream to go to law school. Her father has been married and divorced twice, and Lauren’s family now includes stepsisters and half-brothers. It’s not the nuclear family, but she says it’s nice to have four parents.

Megan, Lauren’s younger sister who “the biggest ally you will ever meet,” is a freshman at MSU. “We’ve been in gay pride parades,” Lauren says. When she says this, I remember being in a gay pride parade when I was about 3 years old. I didn’t know that’s what it was until I was about 16 and put two and two together. I never talked about it, but perhaps my liberal attitude toward gays and lesbians came from the fact that I encountered leather chaps and feather boas during my formative years. I tell her that, and again, it’s a conversation.

We also talk about what it’s like to grow up in a primarily white, conservative community when you have the double whammy of a gay parent and an ethnically ambiguous countenance. Lauren’s mother is of French, German, Native American and Mexican heritage and her father is black. As she tells me this, and tells me about her school with its “moral-focused, Christian undertones,” we take in each other, and I know there’s an unspoken conversation passing as well. We just know what it’s like to be different.

The more she tells me, and the more I realize what we have in common, the more excited I become. She asks me if I’ll be participating in Pride Week at MSU; she’s the social chair for Same Gender Loving Students of Color Internationals and Allies. I had already planned to do something with my gay friends, but when she asks, I want to participate even more, for her, because I just want to show her how much I adore her. She is a source, but she is so damn comfortable with her situation that she’s also a mentor, and I want to thank her any way I can.
I walk out of the interview feeling great about life. I am drunk off this sense of camaraderie; I feel like walking home and telling the 50 sorority girls I live with, “Dad’s gay!”  Instead, I call my friend Jordan, one of the few people who knows my secret, and who gave me Lauren’s name when I told him about the article. “I just met your friend Lauren!” I gush to his voicemail. “And she’s racially ambiguous and her mom’s gay and she’s great and I love her because she just knows!”

My other interview is with Elise. For some reason, I thought Elise wasn’t comfortable talking about her situation, so I treat her with kid gloves. I suggest we meet off-campus, somewhere private. I plan to write a story about  the contrast between two people with an openly gay parent: one who has taken the advocacy route, and another who keeps it private. It turns out, I couldn’t be more wrong about this; Elise may not be as political as Lauren, but she’s certainly not ashamed. I am fine with that. A good interview is one where you learn something new, not where you get just the answers you want to hear.

Elise greets me and when I awkwardly stutter, “So…your dad…how did you…your parents…?” she replies with,  “I have three father figures, which is really exciting! And I still totally have a daddy complex!”

Elise has an older and a younger sister. Her parents were married for about 20 years; she was in eighth grade when they divorced. Elise says they fought a lot, and the main reason for their divorce was money.

“In ninth grade he kind of sat us down. He had been dating other people and he said, ‘I’m going on a date tonight with this man named Tom…he’s a very nice gentleman.’ And we met him and everything.”

“I wouldn’t call my dad gay,” she says. “He goes wherever love takes him. It didn’t really phase me; we were brought up really liberally. My parents had gay friends. But I did the punkass thing of being a brat to anyone my parents dated though.”

“My older sister was probably even more accepting than I was. I was angry for a while, and had to go through a lot of therapy. I was more angry about the divorce. My little sister took it hard. She got very angry.”

I think about this. Angry. No one ever asked me if I was angry. My mom stuck me in therapy for about five minutes, which made me angry. The therapist never asked if I was angry. I would have never thought to ask my subjects if they were angry when they found their parent is gay because I didn’t know it was OK to be angry. I thought you just had to shut up and accept it. Realizing all this makes me angry.

Despite the fact that she as raised liberally, Elise lived in a city that wasn’t.

“We were a really conservative community. All-white, all-Republican, all-Christian, all the time. I think there was maybe one black family but they left after someone put a cross on their lawn and then lit it on fire,” she says.

She was very active in her church at the time, and, like Lauren, had to reconcile her parent’s “sins” with the mores of her surroundings.

So did you tell anyone? I ask.

“I didn’t tell anyone for a while. I told my best friend,” she says. “Ironically, her dad’s gay! It was in the lunch line. I whispered, ‘Can I tell you a secret? My dad’s dating a man!’ “Mine, too!’”

I am shocked. I am a little jealous. I can’t imagine whispering that in the lunch line at Powers Catholic High School. I feel like she was karmically rewarded for being open, and that if I started telling people, the same thing might happen to me.

After she told her best friend, it was easier to tell other people, although she didn’t immediately volunteer the information. Her dad began seriously dating a man named Terry, whom he remains with today, but he lived two hours away at the time, meaning school functions weren’t a source of embarrassment. Still, her mother and grandmother did face the town’s judgment.

“I don’t know who in the community was saying it, but I think my mom was told, ‘You must not have been a good enough wife.’”

Elise lived with her father during high school because she didn’t get along with her mom. Since moving to college, she and her mother have become closer, and her younger sister has become close to her dad.

“I am a carbon copy of my mom,” she says. “Your parents really do the best they can. And I’ve realized that they are still people, even if they are your parents.”

Elise has such a great sense of humor about her story, and it’s not defensive humor. She’s not trying to beat people to the punch by making fun of herself. She is truly OK with how her life is.  I ask her what her grandparents think of her dad’s sexual orientation.

“My dad still gets cards from his ‘ex-in-laws.’ They are really open. It stays really clean.”

What are holidays like?

“We had a couple of really awkward Thanksgivings,” she says, and I burst out laughing. “You guys are divorced…you guys are gay…”

She’s making me laugh and I think, I could do this. I am funny about other aspects of my life that are unconventional. Why can’t I just be open and laugh about this too?

“We have a lot of funny stories,” she says. “We have a lot of rainbow coffee mugs.”

Unlike Lauren, Elise hasn’t done as much advocacy work. In high school, she was a member of the group Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. She isn’t as involved now.

“I no longer feel the need to seek out people through support groups,” she says. “But I go to Pride Week every summer.” This year, she protested a speaker brought to MSU by Young Americans for Freedom who spoke against homosexuality. “It felt really good.”

“I wish I could get involved more. I wish I could work with kids and make it more normal.” She tells me about a picture book she discovered about two male penguins who hatch an egg and raise it together, and how she would love to read the book to a children’s group. “Just have it be normal.”

I want to know what advice she’d give to people who have gay parents. I ask this as though I am going to share it with the masses; really, it’s just for me.

“Tell somebody. It’s not something to be ashamed of. You need someone to share it with, whether you’re angry or just want to laugh about it.” She doesn’t have a problem telling anyone. “It’s like, get it. Accept it. It’s nothing new. It’s not even your problem.”

When she says this, I am just aching with envy. I wish I could do and say the same. Or maybe I would, if I needed to, but because my dad died years ago, I will never have to.

At the end of both interviews, I am faced with the question of how to wrap it up. I ask them if there is anything else they want to share. We both know the interview is over.

I had my questions answered. I know how they did it. They did it in the open. They did it with a sense of humor. They did it with an attitude of, This might suck a little, but this is my life, and if you don’t like it, you’re not my friend. Their approach is absolutely not “Dad’s…gay…” or “Dad’s gay?” or “Shh. Dad’s gay.”

“We kind of must have that coming out for children of gay parents,” Lauren told me. She’s telling me it’s OK. Elise told me to tell someone. She’s saying it’s OK.

I realize I didn’t need to know how it feels. I knew. I needed to know that however it feels, it’s OK.

Now I know.

And it is.

And I am.

And dad’s gay!

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer June 17, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Wow, Rachel! This is a really well-written, thought-provoking article!! I am really touched by your ability to be so open about your own life, all while uncovering something that so many people have a hard time talking about. I have a very average family, really very little drama of any kind, but I can appreciate how difficult it must’ve been to understand all this “adult stuff” while you’re still so young. Thanks for sharing! You should totally write articles like this for Glamour and other magazines. I’d love to read stuff like this from you more often!

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2 Eunice June 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Ah, your article made me cry a little. I don’t know what it’s like to have a gay parent, but I do know what it’s like to feel “different”. I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness and if you know anything about them, you know that “different” is saying it mildly. :) I felt so lonely and kept it such a big secret growing up. I wish I could’ve been braver about it!

What Elise said about parents doing the best they can, so true. Sometimes you don’t realize it until you’re older, but it’s so true.

Thank you for sharing this!

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3 shelby @ eatdrinkrun June 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm

This must have been so interesting to research and write. You weave your own story through there seamlessly and it’s at the same time fascinating and heartfelt. Enjoyed. I hope you got an A+. :)

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4 sarah @ syrupandhoney June 17, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Wow. I’m just staring at the screen trying to figure out how to encapsulate all the praise wanting to pour out in response to this article! I think it’s powerful both because you allowed your personal story to be included without taking it over and because it say something bigger – not just about having a gay parent but about having a gay parent when living in a community that’s not open to it. This is a really loose parallel, but it’s kind of like what you would say to a little girl when talking about yourself…Maybe if more people applied this kind of thinking – Would you say that to your child? – they would be more kind in their judgments.

Thank you so much for sharing.

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5 Summer June 17, 2010 at 2:18 pm

Absolutely incredible, Rachel. I have gay friends and family members, but I have no idea what it feels like to have a gay parent. Thank you for providing this insight…my friends have expressed to me how hard it is to come out, but you (and your sources/friends) are so right in saying that children who have gay parents need that “coming out” experience, too. Thanks again for sharing yet another side of yourself with us.

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6 Dori June 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I love how you weaved your story in with Lauren’s and Elise’s, along with your approach to the class assignment being included IN the assignment. It flowed effortlessly. I am so impressed with the technical aspects.

I am, however, even more impressed with your openness and abolity to share details of your life — regardless of how long it took you to get to this place. I knew your dad died (as mine did too) but I didn’t know the details and you are so amazing for sharing this here.

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7 Laura Georgina June 17, 2010 at 3:17 pm

This is just… Wow.

What makes this so incredible (aside from your honesty and openness in talking about some really heavy stuff–my goodness, that is serious stuff to deal with!) is the fact that you interwove your story with each of theirs in such a seamless way. It goes to show that you don’t HAVE to announce what you’re about to say–you can say it in a smart, subtler way and make it all the more powerful for it being thus revealed.

And, of course, the tone is just spot-on. You can tell a good writer from their ability to write as themselves using different tones for different material, and this is SUCH a great example of that.

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8 Joey June 17, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Thanks for sharing…. Absolutely loved the insight & candid look into your life!

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9 Rachel Marlena June 17, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Rachel thank you so much for sharing your story with us today. I have wanted to ask for awhile now the exact logistics of your family, and it seems you have read my mind. What a wonderful way to share and as stated above, your piece is brilliant.

Xoxo

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10 Michelle Ortlieb June 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm

I’m so glad you posted this! Isn’t McWhirter the greatest? He really brings out the best in everyone he teaches. I feel so lucky to have had him, too!

Loved loved LOVED your final piece.

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11 Rachel June 17, 2010 at 7:47 pm

THANK YOU you guys…seriously, THANK YOU for letting me share such a raw, heavy piece and thank you for getting it. Thank you.

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12 Eirinn June 17, 2010 at 7:59 pm

Rachel,
Your piece is absolutely incredible. I feel so proud of you three women just reading it. Thank you for sharing with us.
I had a roommate in college who is a good friend now that still suffers (mostly in relationships) with her parents divorce and her mother being gay. It is really great to hear other peoples stories and you did such an amazing job telling those stories, including your own.

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13 Bess June 17, 2010 at 8:07 pm

My little sis absolutely GETS IT! Fascinating narrative on a very important topic :) Thanks for sharing!

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14 Chandra @ShiftC June 17, 2010 at 8:12 pm

I am sitting in traffic on the 405–L.A.’s busiest freeway. I should totally get a ticket for reading a blog while driving. If I do, the officer will think I’m a mad woman because I’m crying.

This was fabulous reading. Thanks for being open and sharing such an excellent piece of journalism.

Chandra

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15 Sidney June 17, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Wow. I could say a ton of things right now but it would all be a little too late. And not that my words carry any merit, but it is ok. And so are you. And so are we. And now the real healing can begin….

xoxoxo

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16 Katey June 17, 2010 at 10:36 pm

SO well written rachel!!! Thank you for sharing!! Very sorry to hear that your dad had to suffer through AIDS, but I am grateful that you have been successful, strong and a positive voice while going through a tough time.

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17 marzipan June 18, 2010 at 7:58 am

Rachel, I loved this article!! Thank you SO much for sharing it with me, and you’re right, the timing was TOTALLY perfect ;) Very glad to have found your blog. xo.

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18 Angie N. June 18, 2010 at 11:08 am

I loved this article – what a well written piece and thanks for sharing it.

My boyfriend and love of my life grew up with parents who never got married because his dad came out shortly after his mom got pregnant. I loved reading this article as I got even more insight to his childhood through yours and those you interviewed. He’s insanely open about it (I think because he never had that nucleus of a mom & dad married at one point) and while he probably would’ve turned out just as wonderful either way – I do believe that he is a far more compassionate and sympathetic person to people in general because of how he was raised and because Dad’s gay!

Thanks for sharing.

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19 Kat June 18, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Love it. I smiled, I cried, I just want to frigging hug everybody. Thank you for sharing!

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20 Daniel June 19, 2010 at 2:22 am

I really enjoyed this article. It was eye opening and educating to me as a Gay man that wants kids someday. I worry that my kids will be harassed, teased, and damaged, but this article ensured me that I can be a parent. I know there will be struggles, but I know my children have a chance like your research subjects. I am glad you wrote this article. It inspires me more than ever to make my dream of having kids someday!!!!!!

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21 hemp jogger June 19, 2010 at 5:18 pm

so cool, well written, very insightful. loved. it.

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22 Elisabeth June 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I only know one way to sum up everything that I’m feeling right now after reading this…

“GRANDPA’S GAY!”

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23 Simone @ HoneeBee Gifts June 21, 2010 at 11:33 pm

I want to write so much but I will condense things and say..well done on so many levels. Attention-keeping. thought provoking. emotion-ridden.

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24 KC June 23, 2010 at 12:44 am

Ironically, I just found out that my Dad is gay on Friday, on the same day that my parents told me they were separating.

I am sixteen, with a little sister that is fourteen. My parents have been married for 21 years. My mother has known for the past year. Originally, my Dad didn’t want to tell me. Now, I am not allowed to tell anyone else.

I have never been homophobic. In fact, I have a multitude of gay friends and believe in gay marriage. But my Dad….saying words like “boyfriend” and “coming out”? Its just so weird. I feel so bad for my mother….and for him, but mostly my mother.

Also, I can’t watch TV anymore without cringing. The amount of references to gay spouses or ex-boyfriends is amazingly large. And if its not that, its something else to do with divorce, or separation, or just plain being gay.

Anyways, what I meant to say is that I’m glad I followed a link to this article from another blog. Because it was amazing, well written, and just what I needed.

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25 Jasmine @ Eat Move Write August 31, 2010 at 9:30 pm

FANTASTIC! You are such a gifted writer. I have always been a huge advocate for gay rights, though I had no personal ties to the “issue.” When I went to college, I became the diversity beat reporter. Here in California, where the issue of Prop 8 is still playing out, I have been eagerly awaiting the kind of verdict that makes sense. It is coming, I know.

Thank you for sharing this.

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26 Aj August 31, 2010 at 11:56 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I am sorry you lost your father at such a young age. It is incredibly moving to read as a lesbian who wants a world in which my decision of whether or not to have children is judged on my parenting abilities, not by the gender of my partner. Thank you for so clearly demonstrating that children of gay parents can flourish if parented with love and care.

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27 Aprile September 1, 2010 at 8:29 am

This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing :)

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28 Di September 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

This is truly an amazing article. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for linking to it again for those of us who missed it.

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29 Darcy September 2, 2010 at 2:43 pm

I’ve been reading your blog. My first comment is here. You are an amazing writer.

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30 Barbara October 15, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for sharing this piece. It was well written and really just spoke to me. I am a lesbian and me and my partner have 2 children who are still young at 4 and 7 months. I know it isn’t easy to deal with and I know they will have hard times I just truly hope that at the end they can say “mom’s gay” with the jazz hands. I truly hope I don’t screw them up.

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31 Rachel October 16, 2010 at 10:10 am

I think hoping you won’t screw them up is one of the best things you can do to not screw them up! I am sure you will be a great mom.

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32 marie November 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm

I just found this and had to let you know how awesome you and the article both are. Thank you for sharing something so personal and touching with us out here in blogland.

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33 Marissa November 22, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Fantastic. Made me laugh. Made me cry. Thank you for sharing.
I love love love your blog.

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34 Erin June 10, 2011 at 3:23 pm

I got goosebumps reading this, Rachel. All of your work is so witty and funny and sharp; I was really touched by the raw emotion you shared here. Thank you : )

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35 KitKat @ Pursuit of Happiness September 9, 2011 at 4:27 pm

So I just found your blog through comments on Julie’s (PBF) post and started reading through your posts. A bunch made me laugh out loud and then I got to this one…

As a kid born in the 1980’s with parents who divorced at 13 and a year later found out, my Dad is gay, I loved reading this! It’s so funny how these days I meet people all the time who can related or have similar stories but back in High School and in a small town, it (felt) much more rare.

Amazing & touching article, thank you for sharing! :)

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36 Emma October 21, 2011 at 8:35 pm

I just found your blog and have to say that I was so moved by this article. My mom (and stepmom) is gay and it is so amazing to hear stories of people who get it! I was pretty lucky because I grew up in a very liberal town, but so many people get confused when I try to explain how I have a dad and, for a couple years during my dad’s second marriage, 3 moms!

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37 Brittany November 3, 2011 at 1:20 pm

Hi, Rachel. I’m a new reader. This piece…wow. Captivating, thought-provoking, sharp, and so relatable, even though I don’t directly relate to the experiences depicted. You are very talented and that’s obvious to anyone. Your approach is perfectly delicate in light of the subject matter while your message is anything but. Love that. I’m sorry to hear about your dad’s struggle with AIDS. I’m sure this piece made him proud.

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38 Holly November 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

I just found this post…and quite frankly, I am left without words as to the beauty, honesty and humanity displayed in this article. This makes me like you even more (didn’t know that was possible).

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