Lesson #3: Thanks, Dad, for teaching me that a closed mind can be opened.
Saying things in the heat of the moment never really works and allowing people to grow into situations, even if it takes years for them to grow, should be a best practice for life. My dad and I continue to agree to disagree about my "lifestyle choice" (because he treats my orientation like, you know, I ordered it in the drive-thru at Lifestyles R US: "Yes, I'd like to order a gay lifestyle with a side of bitchy queen, societal disapproval and add an extra dollop of second-class citizen. Oh, and make that to go! While you're at it, make that lifetime supply so that I never get hungry for filling less than for being gay and who I am authentically to my core.") Even through our disagreements, the ups and downs, and the silence that hangs in the air through many of our conversations, there's one truth my dad taught me and it is the greatest Father's Day gift he ever gave me: "What you believe is what you believe. You have that right to your beliefs, and don't let anyone, for any reason, take that right away from you."
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Happy Father's Day dad from your gay son! Thanks for the lessons you never knew you taught me!
Rick Clemons, The Coming Out Coach
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