Tweet from my godson Brad:
If you follow national politics, I'd just like to say I don't think Rick
Perry should be involved in defining Republican foreign policy.
After clicking on "Favorite," of course, I checked out the rest of Brad's page to see what he was up to. (Last I had heard, he was working for a private equity firm or hedge fund in Oakland, of all places.) I came upon this:
I still can't believe the love and support I've received this past week.
Thank you to everyone who has reached out, I'm forever grateful.
Huh? I thought. What the heck is he talking about? What happened last week? I scrolled further and read this:
the beach this morning and got an amazing email from my dad, felt
compared to share:
Each of you have brought so many special blessing to me and taught me
how hard and yet joyful it is to be a father.
It would be a lie to say I wasn't shocked when you came out to Mom and I
but, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at my level of tolerance and
understanding given my years of intolerance. It is quite amazing to me
how blindly bigoted I have allowed myself to be and for what? I think
we fear what we don’t fully understand, like the monster under the bed,
there’s really nothing there to be afraid of!
I have always and will always be the biggest advocate (except for your
mom) for my kids. You all mean the world to us and today I celebrate
the joy of having all of you in my life.
I scrolled further:
As an athlete, I've struggled to accept my sexuality. Today, I'm proud to share who I am http://alpharoast.com/seeing-through-the-fog/ …
I immediately texted my son and asked him if this was some sort of prank. We decided it wasn't, so I DM'd Brad on Twitter and found out first-hand that it was all legit. I tried to give him the same "love and support" he received from others and also emailed his mom (below) with a similar message, all I'm sure in my typically clumsy fashion.
But I'm still reeling from the news. Not because I care one way or the other (I hope I've gotten over all that a long time ago), but because I was so surprised. Brad, you see, was an O lineman at the University of Kansas who tried out for the Arizona Cardinals. A mountain of a man (whom I'd heard had shed a lot of weight since hanging up his cleats a few years ago), he was decidedly not your image of the typical gay man. In fact, I'm a little shocked that my "gay-dar" failed me so spectacularly. I would never have guessed in a million years that Brad was gay.
Either way, though, I still love this kid (and everyone who's younger than me is still a "kid") and I'm especially proud of his dad Brian. A typical suburban, Republican, golf-playing, steak-eating, beer-drinking, Packers-watching pharmaceutical salesman, he really stretched and came through for his son. I've often wondered how I would react in a similar situation; if I could handle it half as well as Brian I'd be pretty happy with myself.