Playing Doctor

Initial Visit?

Monday, February 14

Ma Vie en Rose

When I was seven, my parents divorced. For five years, no one would tell me why. “Your father likes to go out and I am more of a stay at home person,” my mother said.

“That’s a stupid reason to split up,” I remember thinking. I don’t remember if I said it out loud.

Then one afternoon when I was twelve, my sister and I found my father’s stash of magazines that had photo spreads of men. This was the late seventies and they were mustached and hairy-chested. They looked like the brawny man on the paper towels. Only no flannel shirts, or any clothes at all. And there they were, lounging in the woods and hugging other naked men. There were no erections: no explicit sexual content. But the intent was clear.

Our first thought was that it must belong to Mark, who had been my father’s roommate for nearly four years. We called mom to ask her how we should tell Dad about Mark’s unusual pornography. She said she would call us back in 15 minutes. When we heard Dad’s car pull into the garage, we knew the jig was up.

“I’m Gay,” my father told us that sunny afternoon, sitting on the couch, my sister on his lap, and me sitting on the floor next to them.

Having a gay father placed me in a rather select subgroup of individuals. Other than my sister, I knew no one in my position. So when I was 13 and saw La Cage Aux Falle, the 1978 French film recently remade as The Birdcage, I thought ‘That is me—that’s going to be my life.’ My father was horrified when I told him this. ‘I don’t wear base.’ He said, alluding to the scene where the son wipes the make-up off his father’s face and smears it onto the freshly painted walls.

One of my favorite memories growing up was Dad and I making cream puffs together. They were delicious. I also remember the time we went pheasant hunting and came upon an apiary. Dad explained that the bees were hibernating and we could see them if we opened up the boxes. I remember thinking, “I didn’t know bees hibernated,” as he opened the boxes and they swarmed. We ran and ran through the snow back towards the car. Thankfully, wearing snowsuits and gloves and hats, we didn’t get stung.

The thing that most annoyed me about having gay parents was that they were up on the current trends and music before I was. Well, up until I was about 19, anyway. When my dad came to visit me in college, a friend sat down with us and she started flirting with him. I mean really overtly. Dad did look young, but I was getting creeped out. Finally, I barked “Shiela! Stop hitting on my dad.” She was horrified to find she had been so shameless with a man 20 years her senior.

So this year Dad and Papa Mark will be celebrating their thirty year anniversary.

Happy Valentines Day, everybody.


Blogger Captain 43 writes:

30! years ! good for them , tell them i said hi


Blogger Captain 43 writes:

and does your dad still have thsoe mags ?


Blogger Bewareoftheblog writes:

Just when I thought he couldn't get more interesting, Playing Doctor surprises me again. The most interesting guy on blogger!


Blogger hot babe writes:

He's the most mysterious blogger.

30 years? That's huge. Congrats to Dad & Papa Mark.

BTW, you just call him either Papa or Mark, right? Calling him Papa Mark to his face might seem a little odd.


Blogger Erik writes:

Um, I'll let them respond to your questions and greetings if they choose to do so.


Anonymous Anonymous writes:

Wow. That's beautiful. A nice tribute, too.


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