When my father was 50 years old he called a family meeting.
There are four siblings, and by this point all of us were grown adults.
I remember sitting at the dining room table with my siblings and my mother, as Dad tearfully confessed that he was leaving. It was the world’s biggest bombshell announcement – Dad said that he was gay, had known he was gay for the last decade, and now was going to do something about it. Dad told us he was moving to Portland, Oregon to start a business with his secret lover, and that he was leaving the following day. It was definitely the most surprising moment of my entire life. Dad and his lover Mark packed up his clothing and a few personal items into a U-haul truck and set out for Portland. To be clear nobody was upset that Dad came out as gay, we were just shocked he had hidden it for so long. In Portland he felt like he could start over and be “his true self.” I had long heard that Portland was a very liberal city, and welcoming to all kinds of people. I also heard that Portland was famous for its cannabis crops, which is actually what my Dad was going to do for a living. Mark was a cannabis farmer who lived outside of Portland, and my Dad was going to help him open a chain of dispensaries. I am excited that my Dad gets a new lease on life, and I’m also psyched that he will be able to ship me cannabis supplies from Portland.