‘My dad once said he’d disown me for being gay, but now he loves me no matter what’

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A gay man has opened up about his traumatic experience coming out to their dad – and how they both learned to love eachother.

New Yorker Cesar Pina recorded his story as part of LGBT media project I’m From Driftwood, an archive that aims to preserve LGBT people’s stories and history, to promote understanding and acceptance.

Mr Pina explained: “About 10 years ago, walking about at a family function around the adults, being a teenager. It was a conversation about children and sex and sexuality came up. And I overheard my father saying, ‘If any one of my kids was gay, I’d disown them’.”

He hid his sexuality from his dad for years, trying to ensure it remained private.

However, all that finally changed earlier this year.

Cesar recalled: “A few months ago, I’m at home and I get a text from my father, it’s to the whole family, and he wants to meet up for a family dinner. And the family dinner happens.

“We’re all sitting at the table and now we’re all about to have this family talk that my father wants us to have.

“So he goes on about how he just wants his current wife and his ex-wife to get along. Not sure how that’s going to work out. He wants us to respect my sister becoming a woman. And then his last point wasn’t even a point, it was just him passing on the talk to me.

“My father looks over to me from the other end of the table and says, ‘Cjay, do you want to say anything to the family?’

“There’s a great pause. It’s literally just me in the spotlight and I say, ‘Okay. Everyone, I’m bi’… and everyone’s expression was just shock.”

Though his family was shocked, his dad didn’t broach the subject again until three weeks later, when he pulled him aside at a family dinner.

Mr Pina explained: “I finished eating, I follow him to his room and we close and lock the door and he goes, ‘I want to apologise for any misconceptions, any bad blood, anything that’s going to give a negative vibe’

“And I told him, ‘I have nothing negative, nothing to settle. I know why you did what you did. I’m just glad I think we can move forward from here.’

“And he tells me, ‘I love all my kids equally. I’m not treating you different. You’re special to me. All my children are. But you, I’ve come to grow with and it’s, you need to see that it’s hard for me. It’s hard as a father. It’s hard as a man.’

“So he did apologise for that. And it’s just, it was shocking to me to see my father just all-out crying saying, ‘I’m sorry, I love you son.’

“And it’s good to see my powerful man of a father to cry on my shoulder. It really, it told me more about who he is. It shows that he has a heart and a soft spot and that he can change.”