Coffeehouse chatter

I was sipping a latte in my neighborhood coffeehouse the other day when a man my age shouted out birthday greetings to a younger man. The younger one grumbled. “I’m 40 and I feel so old,” he said on his way out the door. This got me thinking. I’m 64, but I don’t go around humming, Will Read More…

My closeted family’s Christmas calm

When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite day of the year. And it wasn’t just because of the cool gifts my parents bought us. I looked forward to the fanciful gift Dad slipped into our Christmas stockings, to his rich chocolate fudge, and to his unique lime green and teal window decorations. No “garish red lights” on our house, he’d proclaim. I Read More…

Callings

Busy 4th and 5th graders sprawled on the sidewalks of the Castro on December 1st. Their tiny hands clutched chubby sticks of colored chalk and index cards printed with the names of those whose lives were lost to HIV/AIDS. It was World AIDS Day 2015. All morning, these students from Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy inscribed the Read More…

World AIDS Day 2015

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day, held on the 1st of December each year. It is “an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time Read More…

Calm in the face of terror

The terrorist attacks in Paris, the City of Lights, the birthplace of the Age of Enlightenment. More terrorist attacks. The political backlash towards refugees fleeing the terrorists. Many of us who aren’t directly in harm’s way still feel fear, grief, and anger when we see the images and hear the horrific stories. Some turn their emotions into vengeance. I am not Read More…

Resentment, no

I’m sometimes asked if I resent my closeted gay father for marrying my initially unsuspecting mom. By the time she’d jimmied the lock off his secret box in 1957, they’d already had four children, all under the age of seven. I was six. Don’t I resent him for “doing this” to her? For “tricking” her? For “lying” to her? Read More…

My father was fired for being gay

Below is the op-ed I wrote about 1967–the year my family was turned upside down–and Secretary Clinton’s support for LGBT service members unfairly dismissed, and my father’s unfair termination from his job. — My father was fired for being gay, and family deserves apology San Francisco Chronicle – Open Forum, October 22, 2015 Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to Read More…

National Coming Out Day

Today, October 11, 2015, is National Coming Out Day. In honor of this day, I’m posting a photo of my father taken during the brief period of time he was living as an openly gay man. The year was 1937. The place was Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro, Los Angeles County. Dad was 19 years old then and Read More…

A gift from a reader

A reader of this blog posed this question to me: “How would you have felt if you’d learned your dad was gay only after his death?” I’ve been thinking about this. Over the past four years of writing my memoir, I’ve reflected on the challenges I faced as a young adult in 1974 when my dad came out Read More…

The bright side

Growing up in a family with one parent in the closet and the other keeping the secret makes for an anxious childhood. I’ve written plenty about that. Today’s post is about my parents as parents, not as their sexual orientations. My three siblings and I were wanted. One of the reasons my father wanted to get Read More…