Disclaimer: This shan't be quite like the obtuse posts previously scribbled crudely whilst approaching the pinnacle of some fantastical roller coaster. Rather, the larger picture represents a subject very close to my heart. It wouldn't be a product of Annie if it didn't still meander this way and that, but bear with me, (if you choose) and you will catch a brief glimpse of the gooey core of this lollipop.
My father "is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life." What would normally be a snarky remark is spoken with a deep amount of respect and new understanding of the man. Further, it was only through a written exchange with a new and wonderful friend of mine, Misty, that I was fully able to digest and process the impact he had on me - and the potential we all hold to change the course of things. I shall set this sentiment aside for a moment while I mentally explore the best way to arrive at the expression I hold conceptually in my fragile mind.
Sexuality. Curious how this translates into such varied meanings depending on the audience. At one moment: raw unadulterated emotion, yet the very next: intense (and often hateful) political/religious/scientific/philosophical debate. The latter - A ticking time bomb and the unsteady hands working methodically as possible to disarm it.
My father was born in a small town outside of Boston. The son of a butcher. Grandson of a butcher. Great-Grandson of a butcher. A long line of humble, charismatic and hard-working Pollocks who happen to be devout Catholics. My father was 12 when his mother passed away and a decision was made to send him to a military boarding school for boys. I believe every decision my Dziadek made in this regard was out of love and wanting better for his son. My father grew up in a very traditional and orthodox era. A brilliant and well educated man. His faith and belief in Catholicism is a very personal, conscious and committed decision.
So we have established the general character traits surrounding the subject at hand. Flash back 14 years: It is a bright, sunny day - or it could have been frigid and snowing - I'm also taking a stab at the general timeline - not really important. I was sporting a bit of a pixie cut fashioned into short, thick spirals. My locks have been freshly dyed flamingo pink, each spiral fading into a delicious purple tip. I select "7" in the elevator contained within a tall brownstone building on the edge of the campus and walk the familiar and entirely non-descript corridor until I reach my father's office. From behind the desk (as well as piles upon piles of pressing deadlines and geological maps), my father meets my arrival with a kind smile and motions for me to take a seat.
"So.... you're gay".
Once I stopped laughing from shock, something dawned on me: Those few words were not uttered with so much as a hint of judgement, prejudice or disdain. Before me sits a religious man. An upstanding and well respected member of society. This same man beams with pride at his little girl (the youngest of his 3 children and his only daughter) who he mistakenly understood was here to come out of the closet in a rather flamboyant manner. I was most likely there to either beg for gas money, or apologize for (once again) not putting oil in "Bessie", his 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon. That was all irrelevant now. As is typical of his zen-like personality, he was providing an opening for an honest conversation with the understanding that I would be loved unconditionally and accepted in my entirety.
I often muse at the notion that, had I known "then", what I know now - Well, I'd probably be a different person and no one has put a time machine on the open market yet. Regardless, we all have the choice to be far more than "tolerant" (although I still respectfully reserve the right to dislike The Ignorant). We have the ability to love and accept others UNCONDITIONALLY. We have the right to love whomever our hearts feel love for. To elaborate on that last one would be akin to opening Pandora's box, but my thoughts/opinions are simple - In theory, you must know someone to love them. If you love them, all the silly labels, religious misconceptions, stereotypes and public opinion should melt away, no?
Finally, Misty, My Darling - I look very forward to meeting you. You are a beautiful inspiration and mentor to me. It is my highest honor to call you my friend and I dedicate this to you!