In light of the new launch, my father emailed me a letter to post on the website so that I could show a little bit of his point of view. Before I share the letter with you, let me first preface it with the fact that Daddy and I have never had a horrible relationship. In the earlier days, we may not have always had the best relationship, but I always felt loved by him. He worked tirelessly for years to provide for me and teach me what he knew about life. He always instilled in me the importance of travel and seeing new cultures. That's why it came as a confusing contradiction when he would make homophobic remarks.
I will never forget those nights when we were sitting in the family room watching TV while eating dinner as was tradition in our family. That was our way of bonding amidst our hectic extracurricular schedules. I recall those days fondly. One night in particular, we were watching Ellen, a sitcom that Ellen Degeneres had in the 90's. All of us loved that show because Ellen was hilarious and wholesome. But then she came out as a lesbian on the show and then in real life, and it changed Daddy's views completely. On this particular night, Daddy referred to Ellen Degeneres as "Ellen Degenerate." I will never forget it. But I don't want to forget it because it gives me a point of reference for how far my father and I have both come in life and our relationship. Here's a little excerpt from his letter. Be sure to check out the entire letter in the Archives.
"I used to be so anti-gay for many years. Even to the point that I would make fun of gay shows. Even to the point of saying the words like fag, queer and so on, not knowing how much I was hurting you until I found out that you were gay."