A Conversation Every Father and Son Should Have


NY Times columnist Frank Bruni compares his father’s acceptance of homosexuality with America’s

“But at some point Dad, like America, changed,” New York Times op-ed columnist Frank Bruni wrote today. “He traveled from what seemed to me a pained acquiescence to a different, happier, better place.”

If only we could wish the same for America on gay rights. Bruni’s column, “A Father’s Journey”, is about much more than his staunch Republican father accepting who he is. It’s about two men, a father and son, who were able to overcame their separate fears of each other and express their love. Bruni’s dad, the son of Italian immigrants, who hold fast to the public image, is an archetype of his generation, a man who would rather turn his back than address something he didn’t understand.

“I saw a lot of his back,” Bruni writes. “And I was grateful. Discomfort beat rejection. So long as he wasn’t pushing me away, I didn’t need him to pull me in.”

Over time, after hearing the prejudices against being gay fall apart under his own experience with his son, he was able to see what was best for his son. His father is a model; for America sure, but also for every father who doesn’t understand his son, and for every son who disregarded his father’s esteem.

—Photo by Vectorportal/Flickr

About Robert Duffer

Robert Duffer (www.robertduffer.com) is the editor of the Dads & Families section of The Good Men Project. Winner of the Chicago Public Library's writing contest, his work appears in the Chicago Tribune, MAKE Magazine, Chicago Reader, Curbside Splendor, Time Out Chicago, Chicago Public Radio, Annalemma, New City, and other coffee-table favorites like Canadian Builders Quarterly. He teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and lives in the suburbs with his wife, two kids, and their minivan. Follow @DufferRobert, Google+, facebook.

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