The View from the Closet

My father had just come out to me when this photo was taken. It was the summer of 1975 and I was a 24-year-old mother in an unhappy marriage. I can see a mix of emotions on my face. Confusion, probably. Stunned? Definitely. And an effort to smile. This would be my face to the world for decades, … [Read more...]

Closet Contents

When you hear the phrase +ACI-coming out of the closet+ACI you probably do not immediately think of the significance of the word +ACI-closet.+ACI We all know what a closet is. It is the space we hang up clothes, the space as kids we threw everything into when mom said +ACI-You're not going anywhere until you clean … [Read more...]

What Is Your Closet?

Our writing topic this month is 'the closet.' The past few weeks, in the back of my mind, I've been pondering what the closet means to me, how having to be closeted has shaped me, and even what other people's closets look like. Then, last Wednesday, I went to my first Elton John concert. It was … [Read more...]

In Or Out of The Closet

My dad came out of the closet in the early '70's. He was just over 30 years old. It was a gradual process and not one in which he just flung open the door and shouted, +ACI-Ta-da+ACE I'm gay+ACEAIg His coming out was one that happened in stages, beginning with Mom who was appalled, confused and devastated, then … [Read more...]

What’s In Your Closet?

Did Jan's dad just come out of the closet? I froze. A couple of my guy friends laughed as my dad emerged from one of the bedrooms. I grew up in a small house, so in order to give me and my friends run of the living room and kitchen during the Super bowl, my dad had opted to watch TV from one of the … [Read more...]

Voicing My Stories

I started writing my family stories with intension around 2010. The contents were grounded in what I kept secret for most of my life: my dad was gay. My kids were rounding out elementary school and I was having a hard time weaving my dad into my family's social world. It became tricky as my kids … [Read more...]

Why I Write Now

When I was 12 years old, my schoolteacher suggested I enter a writing competition. It was sponsored by the local branch of the American Legion. The prize was a +ACQ-25 gift certificate, for Woolworth's, I think. Academic achievement was a big deal in my family, especially for my father who doled … [Read more...]

My Right to Write

I write for freedoms sake. I write to fully embrace my freedom of expression to freely express the anguish of the closet and the trauma of homophobia, on behalf of myself, my beloved father, and all others like him who were blocked from such freedom. I write because every human being is in theory … [Read more...]

I Write Because It’s What I Know

I wrote my first story shortly after I learned how to write. By second grade, I was expressing my fears, my happiness and many of my experiences in the same way. It was clear what I was, a writer. I've always believed that everyone has their own gift to share with and bless the world. I have never … [Read more...]

To Write is to Heal, Resist, and Love

I have been a storyteller since I was a very young girl. I would recount funny, ridiculous, sad and happy stories to my family and friends for as long as I can remember. If you could ask my mom, she would regale you with the many times I have made her laugh hysterically with my tales of old … [Read more...]