moments of pride

The advice this 1950s dairy farmer gave his gay son will make you cry

This year marks the 50th anniversary since the first pride parade following the 1969 riot at New York City’s Stonewall Inn. Since we’re unable to gather in person this June, Queerty is celebrating pride season with our “Moments of Pride” series. We’re looking back through our archives at stories that have moved or inspired us, made us laugh, opened our hearts and minds, or that simply make us proud. Throughout the spring and into summer, we’ll be commenting on these subjects through today’s lens to show just how far we have come in a half-century. Happy pride!

Patrick Haggerty grew up in rural Dry Creek, Washington during the 1950s. His father, Charles Edward Haggerty, was a dairy farmer. When he was a teenager, Patrick starting becoming aware of his sexuality, but he kept it hidden as best he could.

One day, Patrick’s father, sensing his son was gay, sat him down and gave him a piece of advice he still carries with him to this day: “Don’t sneak. Because if you sneak … it means you think you’re doing the wrong thing.”

“Of all the things a father in 1959 could have told his gay son,” Patrick recalled in a 2015 episode of Story Corps, “my father tells me to be proud.”


Read Queerty’s original story.