Shortly after my parents’ divorce, my mother outed my father to my sister and I.
She laughed. I cried.
At the time I didn’t truly know what gay meant. I was 7 years old. All I knew was that my mother looked sad and that wasn’t a good thing.
I didn’t want to tell anyone. For quite sometime I was ashamed. I would visit my dad every other weekend and it felt like a vacation every single time. It was stressful to leave, go to and from – but in the moment, it was wonderful. My dad was the happiest I had ever seen him, and maybe he was just trying to make up for breaking up our family – but he did things for my sister and I that we’d never had before. We were like his little trophy’s he’d show off. Being a gay man with biological kids felt like a circus. I felt like I was being watched by the outside world and people would look in with amazement or disgust.
This feeling no longer exists in my mind. I was very sheltered living in Rexburg; therefore, I didn’t know what else was out there. It wasn’t until I was in 5th grade that I came out about my dad. I told one person. I told a person I trusted and sincerely believed would accept it. Coming out about my dad shouldn’t have been so scary – but in that town, it was. I wasn’t sure what would happen. I told my friend. She told everyone else, and then they stopped talking to me.
Her reaction to me : Ew, that’s gross!
I knew from that moment she didn’t want to be my friend anymore. It was the worst feeling.
At this time, I wasn’t just dealing with this – I was also dealing with my mother’s cancer.
Shortly after, I moved – THANK GOD. Because my mother was in the hospital in Utah causing my sister and I to transfer halfway through the year and moved to Pocatello, ID. (where my dad lived)
I didn’t come out about my dad again until I was a freshman in high school.
My reaction from my friend in HS: That’s cool. I have an uncle that is gay.
Nobody cared. Nobody shunned me. In fact, people embraced me.
To my surprise I didn’t want to burry my body in a hole and never see the sun again. This time I wanted to hug my friend, and I did. Tears were streaming down my cheeks. I was relieved. People still talked to me, and now I am able to say My dad is gay loud and proud!
I have come to realize that who my dad is isn’t who I am. I have also realized that being gay is as natural as being straight. We all come out about our sexuality whether we are gay, lesbian, bisexual, straight etc.
I also realized if people are going to stop talking to you because they don’t agree with you on something, their relationship wasn’t even worth it from the start.
I’m thankful for this experience. It helped me see people in a different light. It also helped me feel truly happy that I have a gay father. He is unique and through him I have learned to embrace diversity, open my mind, and stand up for the underdog.
Thank you dad. I love you.
Your proud daughter ❤