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Though it's not my week to write, I wanted to say a few words about the episode this week and the lunch I have with my father on his 70th birthday.
The difficult things people hear my father say about gay people may put many off. They also hear these comments along side of commentary by me about my childhood and the abuse that we suffered as a family. This may cause you to think poorly of my father or to demonize him. But, if you do, you may be missing the bigger picture.
What happened in the past with my siblings and me is very real. What is also very real is that all of us want to heal and move on. That includes my father.
He agreed to appear on this show at least partly to support me and to help mend our relationship. What you observed this week was the beginning of that process. As the weeks progress, you will see far more will be revealed that both explains some of the reasons that underlie his actions and his own struggles that persist to this day.
This process was not easy for either of us and didn't come out all neat and tidy like a G-rated movie. It is, after all, real life. But what you will see is how difficult this process of healing is and that it takes guts and perseverance from both sides.
What matters is that he came forward for the sake of family and our relationship. So many parents who express similar views are unwilling to meet their gay daughters or sons and listen to their viewpoint. And, what is even more rare is parents who may have mistreated their children attempting to mend the relationship scars that set in so long ago.
As you watch the story unfold, remind yourself that this man is standing up and allowing himself to be accountable and that takes true courage. It does not matter that his views of life may be different or that he has difficulty with people who are different than he is. If we judge him negatively for that, then we are just doing the same thing.