Several years ago my younger brother and I were at our father’s townhouse in Minneapolis. He and his partner had just returned from a trip to Japan and we were standing in their stairwell admiring a print they had brought home. A watercolor of cherry blossoms or something; along the side were Japanese letters.
“What does that say?” I asked him.
He wrinkled his brow. “I don’t know,” he said.
There was a brief pause.
“‘Kill Whitey!'” my brother said.
We still laugh about that. Or, at least, my brother and I do.
Having gay parents means everyone thinks you had an AMAZING childhood and that they’re hip and funny like all your friends and well, um, no.
They’re still my parents, people (or, at least, my Dad is…I don’t know if I can say that about my dead mother…can you say “she’s still my mom?” or is that, like, past tense?) Meaning that they weren’t cool and they had taste in furniture that I thought was funny. Especially my father and his partner. Really, you would expect questionable taste from lesbians, but from the men, too? YES, like, who ARE these people and who told them that a cityscape made entirely out of mirrors and hanging over the white couch is a viable aesthetic decision? (Dad, you said you wouldn’t read this anymore, but if you lied then you can’t blame me for speaking the god-honest TRUTH). And wardrobes from J.C. Penny and American cars and lots of casseroles for dinner. Cool Whip in the fridge, always (I know, I like Cool Whip, too) and no pets because that would mean hair on the furniture and gay RSVP cruises and buying toiletries in bulk and buying groceries from the cheapest store in the neighborhood and FAKE bonsai trees and bathrooms decorated so they look ASIAN (whatever that means) and no, we never went clubbing together but yeah, sometimes we cruise guys together and I still love them.