August 1999

My dad has these three good friends he went to college with. Sometimes they get together, and on some of these gatherings families come too. And sometimes they are just the old friends having fun, I guess. Don't ask me what they do, I'm not old enough to have old friends yet. On the Fourth of July three of them got together, and I learned some stuff from it that in some ways got me feeling more grown up and sure about myself.

On the way my dad told me a few things, things that in some ways made me feel like he trusted me and saw I was getting more mature. His three friends are Quincy, Guy, and Kevin. Kevin was gone on vacation and wouldn't be there. We were going to Quincy's condo, where we could get a great look at the fireworks. Quincy is gay, by the way.

And that was the first part of what my dad wanted to talk about. He if, now that I am getting older and more aware of sex it bothered me that Quincy was gay. I said, "No, why should it? I've been around Quincy before, and he is cool."

He told me that Guy's older kids didn't feel comfortable with it and that was why they quit coming to the gatherings. I told my dad I didn't care if Quincy was gay or not, he was always nice and I liked him.

Then he told me about Guy's younger son Terry, who is way younger than his other kids, but is my age, 13. The last time I saw Terry we were both 11 and it was July 4th. I thought he was cute, but I was just then beginning to figure out how much I liked other boys, and it was all look and wonder then. He told me that Terry had told his parents he was gay, and was being very open about it. He asked me if that was okay. I said it was cool, that I was okay with it. He told me he appreciated my mature attitude and he kind of figured that was how I would feel about it all.

The last thing he talked about was letting me have a couple of beers since it was a special occasion. He said it was his job to teach me how to drink, if I wanted to, not my friends. (Yeah, I got drunk twice a year ago with a friend and he knows about it.) Which made me feel very grown up too, especially when I found out Terry could have two of them also.

The BBQ was great, the fireworks were great, Quincy was a great host, and Terry was very cute. In fact we hit it off really well. I told him I was gay too, but my parents didn't know. I talked to him about what it was like coming out like he did, especially at 13. He said his parents were cool about it, but his brother, who is 26 and married, won't talk to him at all. Not that they were ever all that close. He told me I would come out when the time was right for me, and that it just seemed right for him, especially since he figured his dad knew a lot anyway. I figure the same thing. My dad isn't dumb even if sometimes I like to think so. Terry has a boyfriend who is 14 and loves him a lot.

The parents had a hotel room close by for the night, but Terry and I asked if we could stay at Quincy's. My dad said it was okay and so did Terry's. My dad kidded Quincy and told him not to make too many passes at me. Quincy, who is very very outgoing, said, "Don't worry, he is very sexy, but too young for me. Now his buddy here might me a different story." Terry was standing next to me with his hand on my shoulder right then. Dad said, "Oh, I think Digi can take care of himself," and laughed. It was right then that I figured for sure that he knew all about me.

Quincy had a great guest room, and Terry and I made good use of it. In the morning it was nice to be able to be affectionate with another boy in front of an adult, to hold his hand and touch him. Quincy told me he could tell how we hit it off right from the beginning. And that my dad knew too. He said there was no doubt in his mind that my dad knew I was gay, and that he was just letting me set my own time to tell him.

When dad picked me up, he asked me if I had a good time. I told him it was great. He just smiled. And I figured out how lucky I am to have such a great dad. When Terry called asking if I wanted to come visit with him for a couple of days with Alan, my dad gave permission right away. That told me a lot.

My dad trusted me enough to ask for my opinions on Quincy and Terry. He trusted me to have two beers. He let me stay with Terry at Quincy's. He pretty much knows Adam is my boyfriend. And he trusts me enough to know I will tell him what I have to tell him when the right time comes. If growing up means being trusted to make your own decisions, then my dad is doing a great job of letting me grow up.


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