Hey Dad, Happy Pride

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Hey Dad,

It was Father’s Day last week, and Mark and I were in France after a couple weeks in Italy. I thought of you while I walked along the French Riviera in search of some shade, thinking you would appreciate the beauty for about five minutes then complain of the heat and look for an air conditioned place you could have a cup of coffee and a cigarette.

You weren’t much of a traveler, nor is Mom, so that my sister and I get up and go everywhere is a bit unusual. I can hear you saying, “How can you stand such a long flight?” or “Why would you want to go there?” Words that echo things your mother would say. You were a lot like her as you got older. Grandma had little tolerance for noise, children or change, things I watched you lose patience with over time. Sometimes I wonder if I will inherit those genes, too. It sure felt like it when the woman next to me on a flight yesterday sat down with her screaming lap child.

The thing is, there are quite a few of your genes that I have inherited. I like to believe I got the the good ones: your sharp intellect, organizational skills, and generosity; that my sister got your impatience, OCD and need to be right. The truth is, we both got a little bit of all of you. Except for being gay – as you know, that gene only went to her. And I exclusively got your culinary skills.

Yesterday was Pride, and I found myself on BART making my way home from the airport. The train was packed with all ages of people dressed in their rainbow finery. I watched a pair of teenage girls paste colorful jewels on each other’s faces and wondered what being at the Pride parade meant to them. It seemed from the snippets of conversation I heard that it was, like, a cool thing to do, without any deep meaning behind it. I wonder if they know how far we’ve come since I was their age.

I don’t know if you ever went to Pride and I don’t think Dina has either. Having half my immediate family be gay has just been a fact of life for me, but we never really celebrated or recognized it. I wish I could ask you about it now, and tell you how much it means to me to be an ally of the LGBT community. As I write about my life and seek to share my understanding and acceptance, I hope you can hear my words from the ether. You would undoubtedly disagree with some of my memories, but I think you would be proud of me.

I was honored this weekend for a piece I wrote, Dad, at a conference for bloggers. As a Voice of The Year honoree, they displayed my work larger than life on an easel in the lobby. You would have enjoyed reading my essay (perhaps offering one comma placement suggestion) and loved seeing the pictures. The sweet note you’d have sent me would have started with Hi Honey, and ended with Love, Dad. Your pride in my writing was one thing I could always count on. I’ll miss getting that note but I feel you nodding and smiling.

So Happy Pride, Dad. For you and for me. The older I get, the prouder I am to be your daughter.

Love,

Lisa


Lisa lives and writes in the Bay Area. You can find her on herblog, Twitter, & Instagram.

 

The month of June were writing letters to our dads. You can read all of our posts for this monthHERE.

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