January 1998

Continued from last month...

He left then to go to the casino since it was a Friday night (my mom was visiting family up in North Dakota.) So then I got onto the computer and typed a confes-sional letter which explained everything in truth, although I don't know how much of it he actually believed.

The letter said among other things that I might like to attend a meeting of the lo-cal gay support group. When I talked to my dad the next day he said he didn't want to take me there, and that maybe instead I should go to a Psychiatrist to be con-vinced that I'm wrong about this whole homosexuality thing. Well, I know a lot of you reading this are appalled, but I never went (thank goodness.)

My dad just didn't know what to think about this. He was a product of the media, and still learning.

I had a job that summer after school got out at the place my dad works, which is on the other side of town, so it's a long commute. Normally after a hard day, I end up falling asleep in the car on the way home. But one day during lunch we went to this restaurant, and I casually commented to my dad that our waiter was pretty ob-viously gay. He seemed a little uncomfortable and said that maybe he's just effemi-nate, but my gaydar knew better... we had our lunch and left.

On the way home however, my dad must've been doing some thinking, because he just started crying and telling me all the fears he had for me. He grew up conser-vative and this was all new to him. He said that I'm not gay until I "have sex with another man and tell HIM that I enjoyed it." He also said that I'm not going to live to see twenty, because I'll either die of AIDS, or I'll be killed and molested by some NAMBLA member... I told him that these things were possible, but very unlikely because of the life I live. I do not live a dangerous lifestyle.

He was genuinely concerned too, because he was crying, and he barely let me get in a word edgewise. He also maintained that it's impossible to be happy and gay. Actually, I don't know if his opinions have changed much, because besides that, he's gone on as though he doesn't know and nothing's changed at all to this day.

So that was him. I said last month that I had intended to tell my mom first, since I know she's more liberal and that she'd take it better. My dad though, told me not to tell my mom for ten or twenty years, "the longer, the better," because it'll break her heart. I still haven't told my mom yet, though I know my dad's advice was wrong.

Instead, I told someone else... check back next month.

"Learn how to love yourself, because if you can't love yourself, how the HELL you gonna love somebody else?" -RuPaul

Happy New Year!

-David, epst@hotmail.com

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