The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Love and Pride

The kid’s daycare is closed for a teacher training, and I’m at home with the boys so there won’t be much blogging today. But I didn’t want to let the day pass without posting this.

Bay Windows has posted a beautiful story about the daughter of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick coming out publicly.

Bay Windows - New England's largest GLBT newspaper

On June 14, 2007, the day that lawmakers finally voted down an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution, Katherine Patrick stood outside the State House and looked up at her father. Gov. Deval Patrick was standing on the front steps, surrounded by a jubilant crowd of hundreds that mobbed the brick sidewalk and spilled halfway across Beacon Street. As they cheered the defeat of the amendment – an effort led by the governor, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Sal DiMasi – Katherine had never before felt more proud of her father.

“Because, of course, he didn’t know that I was gay then,” the 18-year-old recalls. “So, for someone so publicly to fight for something that doesn’t even affect him was just like, ’That’s my dad,’ you know?” she says with a laugh. “That’s all I could think. I was very, very proud to be part of this family, and this state in general.”

“It was great. I’m very glad,” she adds, looking at her father. “Don’t cry, Dad.” Patrick’s eyes are brimming with tears, prompting some good-natured teasing from his daughter. “He’s done some good things,” she says with a laugh, patting his arm. “I appreciate it. Want a tissue? Oh, God. He’s a crier.”

Katherine and her father are sitting next to each other at a conference room table at the Beacon Street headquarters of MassEquality, where Katherine has been interning since March. Though Patrick and his wife, First Lady Diane Patrick, have zealously guarded the privacy of Katherine and her older sister Sarah, a recent graduate of New York University, they reluctantly agreed to Katherine’s decision to share her story publicly. Both Katherine and Patrick agreed to an interview with Bay Windows, they said, in the hopes of avoiding a “gotcha” news story about Katherine’s sexual orientation that might give the false impression that the family was anything less than accepting and supportive of Katherine.

“As private of an issue as it is, we’ve sort of had to come to terms with the fact that we are a public family and there you give a part of yourself away,” says Katherine. “And we also … wanted people to know that it’s not only something that we accept, but it’s something that we’re very proud of. It’s a great aspect of our lives and there’s nothing about it that is shameful or that we would want to hide.”

Katherine recalls coming out to her parents as they prepared for a picnic by the pool at their home in the Berkshires. It was July 3, 2007 at around 2:30 p.m., she says.

All I can say is go read the whole thing. It’s an amazing, inspiring read.

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