It’s dark. Red taillights and white headlights assault my eyes as I write. My modern family and I are back on Interstate-5 after completing a much-needed pit stop, food break, and gas fill-up en-route to Santa Cruz, California. No, it’s not a re-enactment of vacation with Chevy Chase. It’s a milestone moment. Our oldest daughter is off to college, and we’re all part of the adventure – my former wife, my partner, our youngest daughter, myself and of course the college girl. Rather than be lulled into sleep by the mesmerizing road reflectors repetitively flashing by, I suddenly came to the realization, I’m about to “come out” once again!
Of course, I have no intention of showing up on campus donned in a “I’m Gay, Sorry You’re Not” rainbow shirt. For crying out loud, UC Santa Cruz is the home of the Banana Slugs (literally the school mascot), and I fear being slugged to death by those less enlightened. Although, Santa Cruz is a pretty laid back, whatever rocks your boat corner of the world, I’m pretty sure my fears are unfounded. Or, maybe I’m experiencing a pot hangover from my yesteryears. Regardless, I will "come out" in many ways the moment I start moving my daughter into her on campus apartment.
There’ll be her roommates to meet, more than likely their parents, and whoever happens to arrive and cross paths with our contemporary family in the chaos of Freshmen Move-In day. Not only is it new territory for my little princess, it’s another moment of truth in moving through life. A life where I will always find situations where I stand at the cross roads of “Do I say anything about my sexuality or not?” Personally, I don’t feel compelled to wear my “I’m a friend of Dorothy’s name badge!” While it always leads intriguing and tantalizing conversations, it’s really nobody’s damn business whether I’m gay or straight. On the other hand, I’m not ashamed of my gay DNA (GDNA), and I always find subtle ways to wave my rainbow flag in the face of the unsuspecting, catching them totally off guard. More than once, I’ve dropped the nonchalant “P-Bomb,” in casual conversation, watching the innocent listener wrestle with “Hi I’m Rick, this my partner (p-bomb) Daniel, my ex-wife Shannon, and our daughters Chelsea and Simone.” (Names lovingly changed to protect my beautiful family.)