January: I Envy The Honesty

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Do you wish your dad had come out to you?


This has been a question I’ve heard more than once and I’m not really sure what the answer should be.


My father has been gone for nearly 20 years. Although I was aware he was gay, we never got the chance to talk about any of this. It was a secret I knew and was expected to keep. Do I wish we had the chance to talk about it? I don’t know if that’s the right question. I wish the world had not pushed him into the closet in the first place. The argument could be made that if he hadn’t been forced to deny who he was, he might never have married and I might not exist. However, that doesn’t change the fact that that dishonesty, the inability to be true to himself, was so destructive. It seemed to be pervasive, seeping out like poison, infecting everyone in the family even though we didn’t know what it was.


I know I cannot blame all of my dad’s shortcomings on the fact that he was closeted. I often wonder, if he had the freedom to be who he was how much couldhave changed. I will never know for sure, but I imagine that it would have changed a lot. The hiding, lying, and sneaking off. The depression that affected his family. If he didn’t feel compelled to hide who he was, what might have loosened in his personality? Could it have made him love more? Be more open, honest, kind and happy? Then would those emotions have also seeped out into our family?

Recently I was watching a TV show that featured a transgendered male that wanted to transition to female. During the entire process, he was completely honest about every part of it with his wife and son. While I watched it, all I could think of was how envious I was of this family’s honesty. Sometimes our truth is ugly, and sometimes it can really hurt others. But its still the truth. I envy some of that truth.

The secret was a burden and carrying it was heavy. So heavy. I can only imagine how heavy it was for him, as it weighed heavy on me. ‘Your pain makes you beautiful’ are the lyrics from a song by my favorite band Better Than Ezra. Is it true that pain makes one beautiful? Or does it simply make me the right person to share with others, to maybe lesson some of that pain for them? Is there beauty in all of this? It is what I take away from writing and sharing with others here.

While I cannot change the past and I will never know how things might have been different, I can fully embrace where I am now. I can see how important it is for every person to be able to fully be themselves and whatever you might be going through:Your pain makes you beautiful …if you allow it.





Read more on our topic of parents coming outhere.

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  1. Pete Shea says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and your pain.

    “Your pain makes you beautiful” struck me as an odd way to see pain. My feeling is that if pain doesn’t kill you, it makes you strong. Is strength the same thing as beauty?

  2. Hi January I found your story inspiring and tragic at the same time .. as the father of 2 young kids I can say its not the fact of being married to a woman that makes gay men unhappy its the guilt of knowing they might struggle when theyre older and thats all your fault .. again its counter productive cos in a way cos the stress of that the whole family bears

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