Father's Day and Gay Pride Month coincide for a reason in my family
Father's Day and Gay Pride Month coincide in June, and rainbow flags celebrate both -- and my father.
It’s June, which means rainbow flags are flying high.
To much of the nation, the flags represent gay pride — a month devoted to the celebration and support of gay rights. But to me, the rainbow flags represent something more personal. For me, those brightly colored flags represent my dad.
My father came out as gay when I was 5 years old. It was a seismic event. Back in the 1970s, coming out of the closet was not what dads in small Midwestern towns did. Especially when those dads were seemingly devoted husbands from conservative Catholic families, as my father was.
My father would later tell me he knew he was gay for as long as he could remember. But life circumstances left him feeling pressured to embrace not who he was but who he believed others needed him to be.
From my father, I learned that following one’s heart isn’t always the easy thing to do — but that, in all kinds of ways, it’s the only thing to do.