When his father began suspecting Stanley might be gay, he took him to a couple of psychologists. Luckily, neither psychologist tried to change Stanley – and he would continue to have a loving relationship with his father.
At the age of 16, which would been in 1948, my father suggested that I see a psychologist.
There’s actually a pediatrician whose practice was just down the street from us and he suggested
that I might have something I want to discuss with him.
Maybe I had some questions I wanted answered.
And so if it was alright with me, he would make an appointment.
And I said, “Sure, that’s fine.”
Made the appointment and went there.
He called me in, introduced himself, was very pleasant, very nice, had a good manner.
And he said, “I understand that you may have some problems that are bothering you
and you might want to discuss them with someone.
Is there something you’d like to discuss with me?”
And I said, “Well, um, not really.”
I said, “But there is one problem and that is that I’m homosexual, and I think that my
father is having a difficult time handling it.”
And I can’t remember the conversation after that, but I never had to go back.
But about a year later, he suggested another psychologist who was – who worked out of the
Jewish Family Service in Center City here.
I agreed to go talk to them.
And he said – I kept the appointment and he said that, “I’m actually speaking to your
entire family but individually.”
He again asked what I would like to discuss.
My father had mentioned that I might have issues to talk about.
I did not come out to this doctor.
I did not say that I’m gay.
But he said, “You may have issues with your father.”
And he had a notepad on his desk.
And he picked up a pen and drew a square, maybe 2-3 inches and he drew another square
next to it of the same size.
And then he drew a circle in one and he drew a circle in the other.
He said, “This square represents your father and this square represents you.”
There were equal size – equal size circles.
He said, “This circle is an issue that doesn’t agree with this circle – in your father – that
doesn’t agree with the circle in you.
But you have all this other space within the square to build a relationship on.
And that’s what happened.
After speaking to the two psychologists to my father sent me to, our relationship remained
a loving relationship.
And since it was, I felt no need to delve any further into my personal life with him.
And he, thankfully, didn’t force the issue.
And so we built our relationship around the other area and not on the dot.
Some people feel compelled to to come out.
I never felt compelled to come out because I never it was never an issue in my upbringing.
It was never – never caused any friction.
I, to this day, I’ve never, never formally come out to anyone in my family except my
great niece, who lives in New York and happens to be an analyst.
And when I need someone we talk.
And she also became a mother recently through her wife.
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