Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Politician Has Another Gay Kid

The 18-year-old daughter of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick came out in Bay Windows, a New England-based GLBT newspaper, today. Katherine Patrick, who will attend Smith College in the fall, was interviewed with her father, a longtime champion of gay rights, and her mother, Diane. Rather adorably, the governor got teary-eyed when his daughter praised his successful effort to defeat a proposed anti-gay marriage amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution in 2007. Katherine also noted, of her initial coming out to her parents, that "the first thing my dad did was, [he] wrapped me in a bear hug and said, 'Well, we love you no matter what.' " Which reminds me of my own coming out, if I might digress.

It was a muggy night in August, just weeks before my senior year of high school was about to start,
and I was alone with my parents. (That isn't something that happens very often when you have three siblings.) I'm not sure how the conversation came about, just that I was very nervous. I'm afraid it might have gone something like this:
Mom: So, how 'bout that heat?

Dad: Yeah, it's really something.

Me: I'm gay! I'm a homosexual! I like girls!
Because sometimes, when I'm anxious about something, I have trouble following conversations. (I also have trouble following conversations even when I'm not anxious about anything, but that's not your problem now, is it?) If memory serves, it was quiet for a while. I remember my face feeling red, which tends to happen anytime I talk in front of anybody, and my parents exchanging one of those very parental glances, the kind that lets you know they've secretly been discussing this very subject behind your back for weeks or months or possibly years. Then my dad slowly extended his hand, not to pull me into an emotional embrace but to demand the $50 he bet my mom that I was a big queer.

Anyway, read the interview with the Patrick family. They all sound very cool.

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