On Gay Modern Love: My Father’s Nostalgia for the Past Blinds Him to the Reality of the Present


In which The Gay Recluse presents a gay alternative to this week’s Modern Love offering in The Times. Those looking for our quantitative analysis should click here.

I grew up without my “real” — by which I mean biological — father, who lived in New York City. One summer I made the mistake of mentioning to him over the phone that I wanted a fitted baseball hat, even though I knew he couldn’t afford it and my mother and stepfather didn’t have the money either. Plus, how was I supposed to figure out the size of my head? Fractions were scary!

He kept bugging me about it on the phone all summer — we almost never saw each other in person — until finally I gave him some number that a friend of mine told me, which was way too big. If he had ever come to visit, he would have known I didn’t look like Humpty Dumpty!

But he sent it anyway, even though apparently every store he went to was like, “why would you buy such a ginormous hat for a ten-year-old kid?” I really hated him then!

But now that I’m older and living in the city myself, I don’t really think about him anymore. I’m more ambivalent, and I consider our relationship a complete accident.

I see him once every few years and he never shuts up about that hat. Oh and whether I have a girlfriend or not.

He just assumes that I’m not gay.

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