This morning I read a wonderful and heartwarming article by John Kinnear called “Dear Hypothetically Gay Son“. It is inspired by the horrendous letter that floated about the internet a few weeks ago – a letter from a father disowning his son because he came out (read the letter and listen to a CBC interview with James, the recipient of the letter by clicking here). Although I’m not a father yet, this has made me realize that Out With Dad is my open letter to any future child I might have who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise not heterosexual, heteronormative or conform to gender-binary.
In April 2009, when an idea struck me that would later evolve into Out With Dad, I nearly dismissed it because I thought this issue was a non-issue today. About twenty minutes of research online taught me how wrong I was. To think, the first storyline I conceived was the daughter (who was not yet named) is forbidden to bring her girlfriend to a school dance. I dropped the idea because I figured that kind of thing would never happen in this day and age. Two weeks later Constance McMillen hit the news with exactly that story. So, it’s that kind of world still, eh?
Yet, I remain hopeful about the future. I have grounds for my optimism: Friends of my generation look at letters like Kinnear’s as common sense. Organizations like A Note To My Kid are popping up all over. Brave people in Uganda hosted a pride parade. Icons like Ellen DeGeneres and George Takei are adored by queer and not-so-queer alike. An entire generation of Torontonians are ashamed to have the homophobic mayor we have (at the time of this writing). Barack Obama, need I say more? And, a small group of mostly straight, mostly strangers, came together three years ago to embark upon a challenging project that would change all of the lives of those involved, and (we’re proud to know) lives others around the globe because of it.
Out With Dad is our open letter of acceptance and love. Thank you for watching, and thank you for sharing.