This is a blog is going to get pretty personal and longer than most. I want to share a little bit of my story. I’m going to share something I have never shared via social media, but if you know me, you’ll know it has never been a secret. I have never hid this fact, but I didn’t always know who knew about it. I didn’t want them to find out on social media, but after having a long talk with my aunt, apparently I’m the only one who didn’t know everyone knew. After such a buildup, my reveal may be a little anticlimactic, but my dad was gay.
My parents were married for 21 years before we found out about my father. You see, if my father was alive today he would have been turning 79, so he didn’t exactly grow up in a generation of inclusion and embracing who you were. He really wanted children and played the role and married my mom. (So when people say, “He can’t be gay, he’s married”, think twice). People have asked if we saw signs? I mean we would accidentally run into a gay pride parade on vacation starting when I was about in 8th grade every year, but no, we didn’t see the signs. I think you just assume that your Dad is who he said he was.
When my parents divorced and he came out to me a lot of holes were filled in and questions answered in hindsight (like why were we running into gay pride parades on the vacations he solely planned). I was happy for him that he got to be who he truly was. I said we can go to the gay pride parade in Denver! However, he wasn’t really ready to come out. He didn’t understand that I could love and accept him for who he was. He turned me down for that. He couldn’t believe I would tell people, but I didn’t know why you would hide it?
As most of you know, my Dad would die about 5 years after coming out to me. In the weeks before his death he was going to come out to the family at Christmas. I believe he was dating at the time of his death and we decided that next summer we would go to the gay pride parade in Denver together. I was so happy he would be able to embrace who he was and what was really going to make him happy. But sadly, he died on December 17, and he never did come out. You see, while I was always really proud of my Dad and there was nothing to be ashamed of, I have never felt comfortable outing him. So for this reason I have never spoken in a public way about it.
Fast forward to 15-ish years later. Jamie, a fantastically talented photographer at Kraus Photography was looking for a photographer for her and her girlfriend Morgan and they wanted to trade photography sessions. A bunch of photographers offered and I was so very humbled when they chose me. I met Morgan and Jamie in RINO on a cold February day. They were so sweet together. They had been together 7 years and hadn’t had photographs done of the two of them. I loved the way they were with each other. 7 years later and things were still magical for them. They laughed, giggled and would just gaze into each other’s eyes and whisper to one another as if no one else was in the room. They were so happy together. They were just so in love and sweet with each other and I kept tearing up. I teared up for their love, I teared up because we finally live in a society that we can accept love is love and they can freely go down the street and kiss, snuggle and just be in love. And I cried that my Dad didn’t experience this.
Jamie and Morgan are two of some of the most kind, funny, sweet, caring, smart, talented and amazing souls I have ever seen. They are so inspirational by just being the incredible women they are. My soul was absolutely moved by their love and spirits. And because of their beautiful love story, they inspired me to share a little bit deeper about my story. Their love not only inspires wonder and beauty but also poignancy and truth. I can’t thank Jamie and Morgan enough for inspiring this blog. I hope you enjoy their photos as much I enjoyed every single moment capturing them.