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This past Sunday I had a conversation with my son, but to really start this, I need to go several years back.
My very Public coming out was October 10, 2015. A few weeks before that, I had The Conversation with my daughter, my son, my department manager and 7-8 close friends. My daughter is now 48 and my son is 42. I retired the following January.
I had been a member of our LGBT employee affinity group for about 12 years. For several years we planned an annual free to the public event. In later years we had Suzanne Westenhoefer twice, Marga Gomez, Alec Mapa and in 2015 we brought in our first transgender person, Ian Harvie, to perform. I volunteered to be the Mistress of Ceremonies. So, DeeAnn came out in front of about 130 people.
Anyway, as I said, my son wanted to talk. What he wanted to know was how he should address me. Somehow, we had never talked about that. However, my son is pretty astute about these things. In college he switched from the music program and studied psychology for a couple of years. He’s also had a number of public-facing jobs over the years. He’s worked in a restaurant owned by one of his friends from high school, he worked the hotel industry, he managed an acting school, he was manager of the Visitor Experience at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and currently works for a non-profit that does youth soccer in the Atlanta area. I mention this because through all of these experiences I believe that he has seen and dealt with anyone and everyone. On a personal level, I appreciated the desire to talk and to know.
What occurred to me is that it doesn’t really matter unless we are in public. That’s because it can attract the wrong kind of attention. I talked about a speech that I did last year for International Women’s Day and my son said that he would like to read it. After we talked, I sent him a link to the file as it was on my secure storage. I signed the message:
Don, DeeAnn, Dad or ??
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