I hide my red puffy eyes behind big sun glasses. It’s cloudy and rainy but because it’s San Diego sun glasses are always appropriate. I drive to Borders books in Mission Valley because I need to be away from campus. It’s finals week but I am consumed with grief and confusion as I do my best to process this new information. I don’t want to run into someone from school while I search for answers. I know I would muster up a cheery “Nice to see you too.” and a forced smile, but I don’t want to. It takes all of my energy to keep the tears from falling down my cheeks. Thank God for sunglasses.
I scour the bookshelves with an intent focus. I don’t want to be bothered, I just want to find the stories. One story, ANY story from a kid like me. I find stories about divorce, stories about coming out, but nothing about kids who are products of both a divorce and a parent coming out. I need to find something to tell me I will be okay.
Today I write because every time I think it’s time to quit I receive another message or comment from someone who is just starting to find their way through all of the grief and confusion. The desperation I felt in that San Diego bookstore comes back to me each time I receive a message desperate for hope.
I write for the scared sixteen year old whose friends laughed at her when she said, “I think my dad might be gay.” There wasn’t a reference point back then, no one had heard storiesthese stories.
I write to find my own identity and to find others. We all need community and people who understand.
I write to learn from my past and our collective past. How do I not make the same mistakes? And what if I have a LGBT child someday? Surely I want to create a world that is better for them.
I write because the farther away from all the grief and despair I get, the more humor I find … in everything. There really is plenty to laugh at!
I notice that the longer I write the stronger I become. I no longer hesitate to come out to new people I meet. ‘My mom’s boyfriend’ and ‘my dad’s boyfriend’ are phrases I use without thought – No matter where I am. If someone reacts to the phrase ‘my dad’s boyfriend’ and not my mom’s well … that’s their problem, not mine. Writing for me now is more about building a better future. Creating more understanding and encouraging acceptance. So that I don’t have to make those same mistakes and so that LGBT or not my kids will be accepted.
Sometimes I question why and what I should share … but I’m still here … still writing … because I’m not sure if the journey ever ends.
Amie is the co-founder of The Gay Dad Project. When she’s not writing about her gay dad she likes to dance, make films, practice yoga, and travel. You can read all of Amie’s posts here.
Read all of our posts on the topic writing here.