This may be the most unexpected and inspiring reaction ever, for a dad who finds his son gay.That is, to teach him the lesson of both self-identification and self-acceptance.
Even now in his early 70s, revealing the experience to NPR’s StoryCorps, Patrick Haggerty still tried to express how much gratefulness he has for what his father did.
In the 1950s in rural Washington, a teenage boy learned an important lesson about self-acceptance. Patrick Haggerty, now in his 70s, didn’t know he was gay at the time, but says his father knew what direction he was headed.
It was when young Patrick began to put glitter on his face before attending the high school assembly that his brother astonishedly found him unusual and called their father. However, when his dad,Charles Edward Haggerty,arrived at school, he failed to meet Patrick at once. To avoid the embarrassment brought by his dad’s poor wearing as a local diary farmer, Patrick hid after spotted him in the hallway.
On their car ride home that afternoon, his father mentioned his sneaking.
“Look, everybody knows I’m a dairy farmer,” his father replied to his complaint. “This is who I am. Now, how ’bout you? When you’re an adult, who are you gonna go out with at night?”
His dad was such a careful and enlightened man that he already noticed his son might be gay before Patrick had to make the choice of coming out to his family, and he was determined to guide him for his later path.
“I’m gonna tell you something today, and you might not know what to think of it now, but you’re gonna remember when you’re a full-grown man: Don’t sneak. Because if you sneak, like you did today, it means you think you’re doing the wrong thing. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you’re doing the wrong thing, then you’ll ruin your immortal soul.”said his dad.
Haggerty’s father’s loving words elimates so much pains and sorrow that he could have faced. Only with this kind of stronge support and guidance could he manage to be proud of himself and not to sneak no matter what he faces.
“He knew where I was headed. And he knew that making me feel bad about it in any way was the wrong thing to do. I had the patron saint of dads for sissies, and no, I didn’t know at the time, but I know it now.” Haggerty told the interviewer.
Haggerty’s story shows it’s not about the date on your calendar, but the people around you and their ability to love you as you are.
Watch the full video above to find out what Patrick’s dad told him that changed his life forever.