A Small Story

Jim Burroway

June 11th, 2008

This Father’s Day message is from Ben. You can also see Father’s Day Messages from Tony K. and Garrett.

This is just a small story.

I was raised by my biological family. My family was (and is) not just a little bit strange — ironically, I think I am the only one of four children that did not come out damaged. My Dad was OK — a good man with strong values and a good mind. He raised me properly, and I think I turned out well. But something was missing with him — I suspect it was what I call the gay Oedipus thing. My Dad recognized that I was very different from him (or entirely too similar to–take your pick) , and so we were perhaps not as close as we could have been, though we certainly had a decent relationship.

When I was 13, I met the boy who became my best friend, and his family became my family. I would escape there every weekend that I could. What a world of difference in how I was perceived and treated! John’s father, Dick, became a second father to me, in many ways, the father I always wanted, though he was far crazier in a lot of ways than my own father. His wife, Virginia, similarly became the mother I always wanted– loving and kind and supportive, not even just a little bit crazy, unlike my mother. They were the ones who showed up for my senior year choral concert– my own parents didn’t like classical music, and couldn’t be bothered. In all ways, Dick and Virginia were great parents to me, as they were with their own children.

Dick and Virginia were also very conservative and Christian. During the Watts riots, he said if “they” came near his house, he’d pull out his shotgun, sit on the front lawn and “pick off his limit”. Yes, THAT conservative.

For this reason, I was very hesitant to tell them I was gay. They were in fact the very last people I told, and I told them because I had made the commitment to myself that there would be no more lies. If I lost them, then I lost lost them.

So, I wrote them a long letter explaining the whole thing. I few weeks later, I received a response. Their words have always been engraved on my heart:

“It makes no difference to us. You are our son and we love you. We’re glad you loved us enough to tell us.”

Do you have something you want to share for father’s day? Please send it to Superdad@boxturtlebulletin.com.


June 12th, 2008

I am so grateful to hear stories like this …. it speaks of the power of love to break through.

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