A Coming out Story of Abandonment, a Prodigal Son Finds His Family.

Written by | Gay Voices


I came out of the closet in 1992 in Indianapolis In. I had an abusive father, a subservient mother and was kicked out of the house. I had already told my mother and siblings a year prior to telling my father in one on conversation. He and my mom got into a fight about and I was kicked out the next day, over the phone by older sister. This had happened as I started art school where I had developed an intimate relationship with an art history professor. He became a mentor and he and his partner took me in. I used to house sit for them when they would travel so it felt right, like family. I was suicidal during my childhood, I grew up homeless and in poverty with four other siblings. My dad would walk out of a job because he didnt work well under authority. He grew up during the Great Deperession and it effected his outlook on life, never trusting anyone and at 25 years of age he lost his left eye. He was tough and ill tempered. Having a gay son was a matter of pride for him. He told me a story about being tazed while he was in the Navy. A joke about him being gay, I dont recall the exact circumstance but it scarred him for life. I was deathly afraid of him, his temper was short fused because he was mad at the world.

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If it weren’t for my, “gay dads” as I like to call them, I know I wouldn’t be alive today. They had asked me to move away from Indianapolis to San Francisco in 1996 when I was 23. I had never lived outside of the midwest. They day we started the drive out to the west coast I cried, it hit me then that I was leaving my genetic family and longtime friends.

Since then, I have lived in various cities and have thrived as an adult gay man. My chosen family also chose me. My dad’s kids became my siblings, I felt that I was accepted for my genuine self and I was loved unconditionally. I am still close with them, they still live in San Francisco and I miss them dearly now that I live in New York with my partner.

—Daniel Suits

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Last modified: December 21, 2018