Hello everyone, Erin here, coming to you live from the Land of Oz. I wish I lived closer to my cohorts,Â Amie & Jared, but the good news is that all three of us will meet in person over Labor Day weekend in Oakland. If you missedÂ our last post, it details what we’ll be doing.
Anyways, it was a dark and stormy night in 1991. Actually, it was morning. And it was only dark and stormy in the metaphorical sense.
I was 15 when my dad, ever the lawyer, paced before my brothers and me with a legal pad, making his opening statement in our living room. We were the innocents in the jury box.
“This is about honesty, integrity, respect and my love for all of you,” he began, somewhat formally. He went on speaking, but I only remember a few other things he said. After announcing that he was moving out, he cleared his throat and said, “Your mother and I are getting divorced because your father is a homosexual.” He couldn’t say “I,” he couldn’t own it, the secret he’d just spilled from his lips.
We were all stunned and in shock, never having suspected a thing.
Soon after, I went to the now defunct Waldenbooks and asked a saleswoman for help finding a book about having a gay parent. After stifling her giggles, she led me to the children’s section and handed me a copy of Leslea Newman’s Heather Has Two Mommies (which is for preschoolers, yo). I vowed then and there that someday I would do something to help other kids of gay parents. It’s been a long time coming even though I have blogged about it pretty freely over the last several years.
It doesn’t matter that I’m 35 now. Most days I still feel like that timid teenager in the bookstore. Talking with Jared and Amie has been incredible for me (as have years of therapy and various anti-depressants) and together we are going to change the world for the better. No one should have to go through what I did at that bookstore; unfortunately, there are still a lot of ignorant people out there.
We want this to be a safe space where others may share their stories and where anyone reading can reach out to one (or all) of us. I wish I’d had a community like this when I was younger. The coolest part about this project is that Jared, Amie and I have had such varied experiences with all of this, and I think it’s safe to say we’re at different places in our thoughts about it all because our families are so diverse.
We’d love to hear from you. Please know you’re not alone. We have our own stories, but underneath there’s a common bond–a gay parent.