StoryCorps’ newest animated short for National Coming Out Day shares the life-changing conversation Patrick Haggarty had with his father in 1959.
As a teenager, Haggerty, now 70, covered his face with glitter for a school assembly performance.
His brother dropped him off at school, then called their father – a dairy farmer in rural Dry Creek, Washington.
When Haggerty saw his father in halls in dirty farming jeans and boots, he hid.
‘It wasn’t because of what I was wearing,’ Haggerty says. ‘It was because of what he was wearing.’
In the car ride home, his father called him out.
‘Look, everybody knows I’m a dairy farmer,’ he said.
‘This is who I am. Now, how ’bout you? When you’re an adult, who are you gonna go out with at night?’
His father then gave him this amazing piece of advice:
‘I’m going to tell you something today, and you might not know what to think of it now, but you’re going to remember it when you’re an adult:
‘Don’t sneak. Because if you sneak, like you did today, it means you think you’re doing the wrong thing.
‘If you run around spending your whole life thinking you’re doing the wrong thing, then you’ll ruin your immortal soul.’
Haggarty says: ‘Of all the things a father in 1959 could have told his gay son, my father tells me to be proud of myself and not sneak.
‘I had the patron saint of dads for sissies,’ he said. ‘I didn’t know it at the time. But I know it now.’
Watch the video below: