I was born on August 30, 1976, in New Orleans, Louisiana. My brother was born in 1978, followed by another brother in 1982. My mom stayed at home until I was in junior high, when she returned to college to complete her bachelor’s degree in sociology. Afterwards she went on to get her master’s in social work. My dad is an attorney who practices maritime law.
My dad came out of the closet on a grey Sunday morning in November, 1991, when I was 15 years old. We sat down as a family while my parents told us together. My dad had already come out to my mom several days prior; she cried while he paced and talked, telling us his truth. There were tears, questions and lots of uncomfortable feelings floating around. None of us had suspected anything. We were your typical white picket fence family; my parents rarely fought, and had been married for 20 years when this happened. It was shocking, scary and that day still sometimes feels like a dream.
Dad moved out soon thereafter and got his own apartment in downtown New Orleans, but still came over for family dinners on weekends. Within six months of the initial separation and subsequent divorce, each of my parents became involved in relationships with other people. I didn’t deal very well with these transitions and began counseling with a therapist.
My feelings about everything came to a head when I was in college and went down a dark path that included depression and self injury. I began seeing a therapist and taking medication to help me cope. I confided in a few close friends and was mostly met with acceptance and understanding. Talking about what happened helped me, and to this day still does. Yet I still manage to feel quite alone, which is why this project is so important to me. I’m lucky to have connected with Jared and Amie.
Today my father and I are neither best friends nor mortal enemies. We are somewhere in between. I struggle with labels, the past, and the notion that I was born of a lie. I love my dad, but I hurt for my mom and what happened to our family. I’m glad he can live his truth now, and I yearn for the world to understand homosexuality so that no one has to hide anymore.
I look forward to hearing from you, listening to your stories, and making connections.