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“Far from Heaven”

I had lunch today with one of my favorite coworkers. He and I had stumbled into a conversation last week in which we discovered some interesting parallels that we wanted to talk more about. He is a gay man who was married for 15 years and has two daughters. He and his former wife were best of friends for the bulk of their marriage and still get along. His children have known about his homosexuality since they were 9 – one is now 17; the other is 22. His circumstances are almost identical to my father’s, although my father was not fully aware of his own homosexuality until a year after he married my mother, whereas David [not his real name] told his future wife that he was gay before they married. It was quite something to be able to discuss these issues with someone who not only understands them on a socio-political level, but understands them at the core emotional, experiential level – a rare thing indeed. I think that it is a little difficult for most people to really have a sense of the why behind these circumstances. The film “Far From Heaven” depicts it with a tragic poignance that many people do not seem to grasp. But this was a very real world and time, one that colored many lives. The space and time of the film are earlier than both my family’s story or David’s family’s story, but there were a lot of ways that things were still very much the same.

David and I talked about the responsibility of people living as their true selves and their responsibility to this in terms of its impact on the people around them. Who you love and how you love are two of the most essential questions that we ask ourselves as human beings. The complex ways in which some of the answers to these questions are deemed unacceptable lead to so much anguish, so much deception and so much denial, and sometimes they are difficult to disentangle from.

I sent David the essay I wrote about my father’s confession and after he read it, this was a small portion of his response:

“Thank you for listening to my own story about my daughters. I can only hope that they can come to know me as well as you clearly came to know and understand and accept your father. What a nice human connection, our exchange of stories. Bless you for it.”

I feel blessed to have been able to make this connection.

Posted in Personal Stories.

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