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A Dad's Disappointment Hurt His Gay Son

June 18, 2002

Thank you for running Jeff Ellis' poignant and heartfelt June 14 commentary, "Father Knows Best--Sometimes It Just Takes Him Awhile." I was just discussing with a gay friend how much of a disappointment I felt I was to my dad while growing up and what an embarrassment I felt I was to my family. I became a jock in grammar school, a "straight A" student in high school and then a doctor. Yet, unfair as it seemed to me, I still felt like a disappointment to everyone, myself included.

That feeling kept me in the closet a long, long time, and that was not good for my psyche. Ellis expressed what a lot of dads and others have been afraid to admit: that they were--and too many still are--disappointed in their gay children. How could they not be? Our culture insists on it!

Maybe someday soon having a gay child, even if it is your only child, will not be an occasion for shame or disappointment. I and millions like me can hardly wait.

Douglas M. Frye

West Hollywood

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