My last big question of Dad

Mom had been gone for two years. We lost my little sister in 1979. My remaining siblings were out of town. Today it was just Dad and me. It was June, 2008. He'd turned 90 that March. Even though I was by then middle-aged, and had long known my father was gay, I still clung to a childhood … [Read more...]

A Hallmark Moment

From the time I was an adolescent, buying a Father's Day card for my dad was always challenging. Rows upon rows of greetings depicting fishing poles, cars, and remote controls pointed at football games didn't represent my dad at all. Neither did flowery messages about how much he means to me and … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Blindsided

I am in LA. It is around 2013. I am standing alone on a stage in a small theatre. I am at an open mic for standup comedians. The lights are so bright I can't make out anyone's face. I am waiting for feedback from the audience. I have just told a joke about my father for the millionth time to a room … [Read more...]