Texas Father of Gay Daughter

gay-texas-thumb_grandeSince Teaching the Cat to Sit came out, I get a few letters a day from perfect strangers telling me their stories and talking about how the book resonated with them. It’s very cool and humbling too. Every now and then, I receive one that’s too priceless to keep to myself. I had no idea where this one was going to go when I opened it. The subject line was: I Don’t Understand. Jeff graciously said I could share his email with others.

Hi Michelle,
        How could you do it?  How could you even consider doing it?  It is crazy.  Who in their right mind would leave Texas and move to Colorado?  At least you didn’t go to Oklahoma.   We Texans use Colorado to go skiing in when we get tired of New Mexico  but other than that I thought Colorado was just one of those states that kept us from being overrun by the folks from California.  Kind of a commie buffer if you will.
       Oh well, to each his (or her) own I guess.
       I stumbled into the local library here in Abilene, Texas.  They really need to fix the carpet by the front door.  I wandered over to the New Book section and since all of the Rush Limbaugh books were checked out by other God fearing, pickup driving, beer drinking, red blooded Americans I looked at your book.
The inside dust cover said your book was a “universal story about our quest for unconditional love from our parents, our children, and most important, from ourselves.”  Well who wouldn’t want to read a universal story about our quest for unconditional love from our parents, our children, and most important, from ourselves?
     I am fifty-five years old and graduated from Texas Tech University in 1983 (I just genuflected.  You didn’t see it but I did.)  I squeezed four years of top notch education into six years, married my high school sweetheart (because I had seen her naked so I had to), got a job, bought a house, and had three kids.
     My older daughter brought much shame to the family when she traveled down south after graduation from high school and matriculated at ut.  Of course not to be outdone I brought much shame to the family when I divorced my wife and ran off with a trice married woman who should have been circled with orange cones to connote the obvious danger associated with her.
     My relationship with my daughter has not been good since then.  However long before any of this happened I knew she was different.  She never had any interest in boys and seemed basically asexual.  This changed when my wife and I took her and her best friend on a trip to Arizona.  Because of the way they cuddled with each other I knew they were more than friends.  I talked with both of them about it and my daughter denied it while her friend tacitly admitted it.  I allowed them to stay in a hotel room by themselves because I have long believed that sexual orientation is something we are born with and cannot be changed.  It was just who she was from the time she was born.
        Fast forward ten years and she has announced the is engaged to this same friend.  She still lives in Austin and we still live in Abilene.  She hates Abilene because she feels (and is) judged here.  She feels much more comfortable in Austin.  I am going down to her friend’s graduation from PT school next weekend.  Unless you tell me it is a horrible idea I am getting her a copy of “Teaching The Cat To Sit.”
I have already bought it on Amazon.
      I want her to know that I consider her a brave pioneer and that she is not alone.  Her path is in some ways very different from your path but I want her to see another strong woman who embraces herself and who she is.  Michelle, thank you for writing your book.  Thank you for allowing me to give it to my daughter.  I am a bit scared about how it will strike her.  It may make her mad.  But if she will read it I am confident it will assist her in her struggle to accept without bitterness being different.  I hope she can not only accept being different but learn to cherish it.  She is who she is not because of defect or accident.  She was made by the Creator to be smart, funny, pretty, and sexually flexible and when the Creator makes someone a certain way who am I to disagree?
       Thanks again for your wonderful book.  I wish for you and your family all the best.
With much love,
Jeff Johnson

2 Replies to “Texas Father of Gay Daughter”

  1. gaildstorey

    What a great letter, thanks for sharing it! I love how this father appreciates that his daughter is smart, pretty, funny, and “sexually flexible.” His daughter is sure to love TEACHING THE CAT TO SIT–it’s a terrific book on so many counts!

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