I was born in the summer of 1981 in Orange, California. I was 17 when my mom and dad when finally felt it was the right time to tell my younger sister and I that our dad is gay. My dad came out to my mom when I was 6 years old. So for 11 years my parents held it together and pretended to be husband and wife. These are my truths and sometimes they hurt, sometimes I realize my parents are my heros for being exactly who they are and doing the best they could with the situation they created.
My dad, Dan was born in Cambridge, Ohio in 1957. The middle child, always jovial and playful. As he tells it, he knew he was gay when he was a teenager and struggled, even so far as to try to end his life at 13 years old. This would be when he decided to hide it. Hide his feelings, stuff them into the proverbial closet and will it away. In 1978, he met my mom, Taryn and within 2 years they were married and beginning a “normal” life. Along I came in 1981 and two and half years later my baby sister in 1983. The quintessential normal American family. But the truth was so very much different.
Growing up, my dad was my best pal and playmate. We would spend every Saturday morning tickle-wrestling, building forts out of couch cushions, dancing and singing to music, making silly home videos, he was the entertainment of my childhood. I always knew there was something different about him, about us, maybe because we were a merry pack of misfits or because just under the surface there was a secret that no one could talk about and wouldn’t until it finally exploded out.
After my dad came out, I spent many years being an advocate for gay rights, joining and leading many of the local LGBTQ groups, attending Pride parades and fighting for equality. Yet I never quite knew where I “daughter of a gay man” fit in the picture, until I met another kid of a gay dad. Then the lightbulb went on and I realized there are others like me out there and that our stories are important.
Now I blog, fight for equality and am raising an incredible 7 year old trans* daughter Camille, who will never live in a closet and be free to be the authentic person she is.