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A Daughters Love
submitted by Laura B.
For as long as I can remember dad and Jim were just good friends. They shared a house together and Jim often accompanied dad on our weekly visits. However, it never occurred to me that they were anything more than “good friends.”

My parents separated when I was four and my brother was six. Dad couldn't live the life of a straight man anymore. Mom packed us up and moved to an apartment, devastated at the fact that she was losing the one and only love of her life—to a man. Through these hard times, she became my dad’s confidant; he would call her at any time to talk about the men he met at the bar, so excited about his new life. She was happy for him, but at the same time hurting so bad. This went on for about two years until dad met “the one,” Jim. My father fell deeply in love and that was the beginning of a 27-year commitment. His "Life Partner". When my father became open about his sexuality, his family blamed my mother; in the early 70's being gay was definitely not acceptable. That was a sign of weakness, disgrace. My father was no longer a “real man.” Their ignorance and narrow-mindedness remains the same today. I can only hope that by promoting PFLAG more people will become aware of the true meaning of humanity, equal rights, and most of all remaining true to your heart. If you love the person, love them unconditionally. I know from my experience that I grew to love my father’s partner from an early age and never thought of him or my father as anything but wonderful human beings.

It wasn't until I was about twelve years old that I understood what being gay was really all about. I remember kids saying mean things about people who were gay and becoming terrified they might find out about my father and start harassing me. At twelve, just fitting in is hard enough, let alone worrying about what others might say. I'm proud to say that as I matured a few years, I realized that my father and his life should not have to be a secret. I was putting more energy into society’s way of thinking and what they considered normal. As a matter of fact, it seemed my father was no longer in the closet but we were, and for what? For choosing to love?

I was raised in a Pentecostal church and on many occasions, the pastor would have a sermon on gays: how we were to walk away from such sinful, perverted people, filled with evil. As I sat there listening, thinking this couldn't be further from the truth. All the while, I was disagreeing in my mind, wondering how could Jesus, a man of love for all mankind, would want such a thing for his people. I encourage those of you who have a gay friend or family member to support them and love them. We lost my father’s life partner two years ago to a sudden heart attack and he is missed everyday.

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