My mama was born in a tiny town in West Virginia. So tiny and insignificant I've never put its name to memory. Her mom, my grandma Bittenger, was a verbally abusive and hateful person. She told my mother her entire life she was ugly and worthless. My mom could not wait to move away from home. At … [Read more...]

Dear Casey, You Were Meant For This

Dear Casey, Hold on tight, lean in, you were meant for this. It all seems just a little bit too crazy right now, but trust me the lessons you are learning at this precise moment are going to be your life???s work. More than you can ever imagine. I know you just found out dad is gay and that … [Read more...]

Meeting Dad’s Boyfriend

The 30-something me in this photo smiled for my mother. Yet underneath that smile was an anxious young woman carrying her father's deep secret. Dad, then in his late 60s, had come out to me ten years earlier. I'd pushed him to admit he'd been unfaithful to my mother, with other women I … [Read more...]

Parenting from the closet

When I picked up the phone that evening, I didn't hear??my father???s normally measured voice. Instead, it was loud and animated. +ACI-What is it, Dad???? The year was 1985. I hoped Jody, my 15-year-old daughter, was okay. She was spending a few weeks with her grandparents on the San Francisco … [Read more...]

Parenting Authentically

Leading by example, it is an element of being who you are at all costs and a fundamental part of being a parent. Equal parts the generation I grew up in, that little gap between the Gen X???ers and the Millennials, and being raised by a closeted gay dad, I knew that I would parent authentically and … [Read more...]