I lost my father in the fall of 2006 - strangely, he died on my son's birthday, something that has made that date bittersweet ever since.
On this father's Day I want to re-publish a post from over three years ago because the gift my dad gave me continues to mean so much and did so much to help me deal with his passing. I sincerely hope that other fathers of gay children can learn from his example. Sadly, the boyfriend never got to meet my dad. I can only think that they would have hit it off famously.
Here is 2007 post:
One thing that I will discuss later in more detail, but wanted to comment upon now - since I saw a photo minutes ago that made me think about it - is how much it meant for me to be accepted by my dad when I came out (a photo of him a few years back is posted at right). We had not always had the best relationship because he was stubborn and not at all good at showing his emotions (I believe this due to his having been raised from age 3 onward in an orphanage that had aspects to it like something out of a Charles Dickens novel). Moreover, in my struggle to hide "my terrible secret," I never let anyone become completely close to me or allowed anyone to fully know me. It was as if a glass wall separated me from everyone. I could be fully myself only when I was alone.
When I came out to my parents - I had originally planned on NEVER telling them - my dad freaked out for a couple days. Mostly, I think, because he was wondering what to say to people about him having a gay child, especially since I had been quite visible in the Virginia Beach community. After that, he was fully supportive. The first time the [former] b/f and I visited my parents, he and my dad hit it off and came to like one another a great deal. Before he died last September, my dad and I reached a closure and sense of peace between us that had eluded us all my life. For that, I know I am very lucky.
To any parents reading this blog, I cannot stress enough to you the wonderful and priceless gift you give to your child when you accept them fully, including their sexual orientation. I am so fortunate that my dad gave me that gift.