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My dad... in the last few years since I've been away from Maryland, he's changed. I'm looking forward to deepening our friendship. I really dig that I can talk to my dad now like I never felt I could growing up. I guess I've changed, too.

My dad is an amazing man. When I "came out" to my parents, I expected resistance, denial, etc. I talked about what it was like, feeling like I couldn't tell anyone I was gay. I admitted that yes, even thought I claimed I was moving to California for the weather, really I needed my own space to find myself. To this day I cry tears of joy when I recall my dad's words to me. He said, "I'm sorry you felt like you had to go through that alone." The depth of compassion he demonstrated, and the love I felt in that moment touched me deeply.

Later that year, I felt like I finally got to meet my dad for the first time. At my sister's wedding, my dad went to the microphone to give the toast. Everyone turned to look, and he said, "Oh, I wish you all hadn't looked this way." He didn't make it through the first sentence before the emotion of the moment caught up with him. My mom went up and gave the speech. That was the second time in my life I had seen my father cry. The first time was tears of anguish, and that's another story. This time, I felt like I got a glimpse of my dad's heart. It was beautiful.

Not long ago, I broke up with my boyfriend, Eric. I was upset, as many people are during breakups. I called and talked to my dad. At first he thought I was calling to set up the video conferencing software we had been working on. As I started to share what was going on for me, he said, "Oh, you just need me to listen..." I said, "Yeah," and really poured out my heart. I had a beautiful conversation and I really felt my dad's compassion for me. I felt like that was a turning point in our relationship where I could share myself at a deeper level. I really dig the relationship I have with him now.

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