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6 Lessons I Learned By Talking To My Teenage Daughter


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Sex, Family

One gay father's foray into his daughter's sexual identity.

For once, my teenage daughter decided to talk to me. We were driving home from school and she said, "Dad, I have something to tell you." Here it comes, I thought — either some overwrought teenage drama or a parent's worst nightmare is about to escape my precious firstborn's lips. With a quavering voice she delivered the punch: "Jackie and I are dating."

Even as a gay father, I was shocked by the revelation that my daughter had a girlfriend. I asked myself, is it because I am a homosexual? Did I do something to cause this? I promptly slapped myself upside the head for allowing those archaic notions to take flight. How could these moronic questions arise out of my gay consciousness? Rather than analyze the reactions, I released them quickly and focused my attention back to my daughter as she waited quietly for a response from her gay dad.

The thing about dads —gay or straight — is that we have a way of digging ourselves into deeper holes. Naturally, that's what I did next. "So does this mean you're a Lesbian?" I asked. The shock on her face and the sadness in her eyes did not subdue the impact of her next words. "I thought you would understand me, dad!" Take A Deep Breath: 3 Ways To Help You Stop Worrying

At that moment, I rolled back 25 years to when I tried a similar conversation with my parents ... which didn't work out so well. The brief glimpse backwards into the slideshow of my mind brought me instantly back to the present to deal with this situation with courage and love. However, there was no time to create a supportive response. Her next words forced me into a sexual identity crisis. "I'm not a lesbian! Jackie and I just really like each other and I still find guys hot!"

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