Outside my window, miles upon miles of bright yellow plains stretch out as far as the eye can see. The Rocky Mountains are still only a distant blur, as is the home I’ve shared with my father for the passed year. It’s in spaces like this, on a thin strip of highway, underneath an endless all-encompassing sky, that I feel the most at peace. Nothing is too big of a problem for the universe when you feel so incredibly small, yet still cradled and precious in the eyes of the earth that holds you tight to the ground.
Even a problem like coming out.
The sign that tells me that we’ve entered Colorado tells me I’ve only got a few hours left until our cross-country road trip is almost over. The trip I swore I’d use as a chance to tell my father I’m gay.
My girlfriend is a devote Christian and the greatest display of the faith I’ve ever seen, so, while I don’t know where I stand, when she gives me words of wisdom, I shut up and listen. It’s one of the few times I do. The night we set back out for Colorado, she sent me a song that follows me around even now.
And through it all, my eyes are on You. And through it all, it is well.
It is well.
“What is it, baby girl?”
Breath. Whatever happens, it is well.
“You know how you’ve asked me a couple times if I’m bi or gay or whatever?”
A long pause. He knows what’s coming. “…Yeah.”
“And you know how I never answer? I always change the subject?”
It is well.
“Well, uh, that’s because I am. Gay, I mean.”
My father nods and shifts in the passenger seat, no doubt stiff from the hours of riding and driving, and probably a bit uncomfortable with his new knowledge. “I’ve wondered for a while. But how do you know? You’ve never had any…gay experiences.”
“I’ve had a girlfriend for six months. You know Roz?”
“Ah. That explains a lot. I had a feeling there was something going on between you two.”
I should have known he knew. I’m not slick by any means and a terrible liar. Not to mention, why would someone go through the struggle of syncing up their TV with someone’s computer a thousand miles away, if not for love? That’s not an easy process by any means.
“How come you never told me?”
“I needed a place to stay and I couldn’t live on my own. Not with everything going on.”
“You thought I’d kick you out?”
“I know how you feel about gay people and it’s your house. I wanted to wait until I was in South Carolina to tell you.”
A smile comes to Dad’s face. “Nah, if you waited until South Carolina, I would have drove down there and kicked your ass.”
I laugh and all the tension disappears. Whatever he thinks, we’re still father and daughter. Everything has to have a smart remark or a joke in there somewhere. Nothing’s ever completely sacred.
DJ, the hero of The Tale of a Faerie Knight is a lot like that. All those months of worry and suspicion gave birth to a character who’s stuck in limbo because she can’t face her family like I couldn’t face my dad. The biggest difference is that she gets to go on an exciting adventure though the Faerie Realm to get her answers and I don’t. She also needed a more difficult road. For one, she lives in a word of magic, secret plots, and mayhem. For another, not everyone’s families are as open and accepting as mine has been.
But we all deserve happy ending and loving families just the same.
“I might not understand all this gay stuff, but you’ve always got a home where ever I am,” Dad says. “You know that now, don’t you?”
“Good. Now pull over. I don’t like how you drive my truck. Gonna get me a ticket.”
I laugh again and pull to the shoulder.
DJ might have inherited more than my fear of coming out. You’ll have to check out The Tale of a Faerie Knight to find out.