Gay Author Provides Lesson In Love

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AB: Was the whole process after your mother’s death and “pimping for your father,” as you phrased it, and going on all those dates, was this a second coming of age for you?

BM: It was the first coming of age for me. My father became younger than me in every way – he wanted to go out there and have fun. He was a very true man, a great personality, but he didn’t know how to date, so he was in a vulnerable position and he turns to the single gay son who is not preoccupied with a family and two homes and running a business – a single, gay, writer son. Who better to drag into his search for new love than me? So, it was a first coming of age. I finally, at the age of 45, grew up and said, “Why are you picking on your dad? Why not open your arms to the guy, accept the fact that he loves you, accept the fact that he’s terribly embarrassing and a pretty crappy dresser and, on top of that, a Republican? Why not just love him?”

AB: That’s something that you say in the book – chilling with an older parent isn’t just a responsibility, it’s an opportunity, which I was struck by.

BM: I think it’s true. Eventually everybody has to – usually the first thought you have is “Oy, what if dad dies?” People start having those thoughts in their thirties. I was well into my forties when I had to face the fact that my dad was basically as lonely as a teenager in college, so it was – I can’t believe it took me that long to learn to love my father. Then, once that was in motion, I could open up to be in love myself. I’m basically a self-hating gay, a self-hating Jew who ended up with a man named Ira Silverberg!

AB: But you don’t still describe yourself as self-hating?

BM: Not anymore. My dad helped me through that.