As I briefly mentioned before, my family is very religious. My dad especially as he was born and raised in Macon, Georgia, growing up he was involved in the Southern Baptist faith until his mother switched the entire clan (all 7 of them!) to the Seventh Day Adventist faith which he still upholds to this very day. Not only that, he is very well known in his church and he holds multiple positions, one of which is preaching. Yea, y’all – I’m a preacher’s daughter – ’nuff said, right?
When my mother passed away 5 years ago my father remarried to someone who is also in the SDA religion. So when I decided to go up to Maryland to visit and tell my father of my pending nuptials, I was both nervous and pensive because knowing my father I really never know how he’ll take anything. Even though, I love my father; he is kinda square and he is not very welcoming to the gay lifestyle. Growing up, my dad was pretty homophobic, so I didn’t ever fully come out until my mother was sick in the hospital. Since then, we barely – if ever – discussed it.
Yet now, here I was. Not only bringing my fiancee up there with me for the night but I also had to figure out a way to talk to my father about being engaged. Anyone that knows me understands that I hate talking about feelings and having loud, messed up arguments and being that is usually how my family interactions go down, I wasn’t too keen on actually having to discuss it. Suffice it to say, I was NOT disappointed in the least.
My stepmother (and I won’t go into detail about how I truly feel about her) decided at 2AM (after my fiancee drove all the way from Georgia to Maryland) that she wanted us to have this ‘discussion’ about our relationship and then proceeded to act like she had lost her mind. Not only that but my father didn’t seem to help much and all this happened right in front of Lash so I was hella pissed! It was really nasty and I felt betrayed by my father and I was embarrassed that my other half had to witness my families dysfunction. I didn’t sleep at all that night and I barely spoke to my father the following day; instead I talked to Lash and made sure she was okay to drive back to her families house in Richmond.
I ended up calling one of my best friends, Rob who graciously let me stay at his house with no questions asked so I got over there as fast as I could enjoying the silence and precious puppy kisses. Christmas Eve – in my mind – was a complete and total bust and I was pissed that I wasted all that driving time to deal with madness. So, fast forward to Christmas day – my dad wanted to speak to me again, so after thinking it over I allowed him to come get me and we stopped at a little place to eat and talk things over. We talked about everything and it actually made me happy because this is the type of conversation I initially wanted to have with my father, so being that I felt nothing would be able to top the travesty that was Christmas Eve morning; I calmly told him that I was planning to marry Lash and that I wanted him to walk me down the aisle.
He was quiet, a little too quiet but after allowing himself to process it as much as he could in the moment he told me that even though he would have to get used to that idea, he would love to walk me down the aisle if that is what I truly wanted. I was shocked! Especially because of how the visit started and his religious background – it was all too surreal; so I did the only thing I could do, I reached over and gave him a hug.
Now, I’m not saying that I completely dismissed what happened the morning that I drove up because we did discuss that at length but the fight is not the true focus of this post. The point of all this is to remark how far my father has come in his acceptance of me and who I chose to be with. I never expected him to want to be involved in my life in that sense nor did I expect him to want to participate and make mention of really getting to know my partner and being that he is my only living parent it really meant the world to me to not only have his unconditional love but his support.