Father’s Day can be one of those bittersweet holidays. I’ll start with my sweet, this guy…
He’s been carrying those two since they were born. He always shows up, constantly sacrifices for their behalf, is spontaneous and fun, and is such a great model of hard work and ingenuity. I am daily grateful for the father my daughters get to have – and can’t wait for them to realize it themselves.
But Father’s Day can be tough for many. Awesome fathers who have passed away, fathers who are estranged from their kids, mothers whose hearts have been broken by their kids fathers, and on and on. I always struggled with buying my dad a father’s day card. He was distant in many ways and unconventional. He died from AIDS complications in 1996, and maybe because I have been writing about him lately, I’ve thought about him more recently than ever.
Only as adult have I been able to appreciate how difficult it must have been for him to come out as a gay man in the early 1970s. He wasn’t a perfect dad – or maybe even a good one – but he was mine. He had a witty sense of humor, an extensive vocabulary that he put to good use, a love of full fat dairy products and a Vantage cigarette almost always dangling from his hand. He was ill for a very long time and his death did not come quickly.
A few years ago there was a woman from Africa at my church speaking. It was the only time I met someone else besides my sisters who lost a parent to AIDS. Until recently, that is. I’ve gotten connected with a group called The Recollectors – Remembering Parents Lost to AIDS. Do yourself a favor and read some of the accounts there, or one I wrote about my parents, to catch a glimpse of some non-traditional love stories.
Which brings me to the subject of marriage equality. I was recently asked to record a short video to be included in a campaign to send to the Supreme Court called ‘Defend Love For All’ – which I did, and you can too! But maybe you don’t know anyone that is gay or know why you should care about this? That’s why I wanted to share my story with you. Because now you know me.
Happy Father’s Day 🙂