Scott’s History, Part 5

22 Feb

The trouble between Scott and his father reached a breaking point at the end of tax season last year when Scott’s brother, Doug, dropped Scott’s taxes off at their father’s. Previously that year his dad had gifted Scott with money to put down on his mortgage, which he did, and money to contribute to St. Jude’s, which he banked and promptly forgot about. When his dad looked at the tax returns, he noticed that Scott did not have a tax credit for charity giving and became incensed. Over the phone and at his house, his father confronted Scott with the line, “There’s a black sheep in every family and you are it.”

Scott was shocked at his father’s reaction, but also embarrassed, because he agreed with his father that he should have sent the money to St. Jude’s. His explanation that he had forgotten about the charity contribution did not sit well with his father. However, when Scott brought back the money with interest and gave it back to him they had their first hug in a lifetime. On the one hand, Scott thought the situation had been resolved, but one the other hand, he had a niggling feeling that there might be a problem. Referring to someone as “the black sheep of the family” was completely out of line, and Scott reminded himself he had had a higher opinion of his father before the troubles began.

As the months wore on, Scott visited his father at the family home, but found the front door locked. and the music turned up full volume. His initial reaction was one of concern–was his father okay? His father had always been a little obsessed with his record collection, but he didn’t usually play his favorites like Rosemary Clooney, Doris Day, and Nat King Cole so loudly. Scott continued to call, but there was no response. Finally, his dad picked up the phone one day and called him every name in the book. This was someone who had always objected to strong language and here he was calling his son filthy names.

In and amongst the name calling, his father referred to the fact that Scott often took the bus downtown to visit the gay bars. He knew that only his sister, Julie, could have bothered to find that out. When he contacted his cousins, who were mutual friends of his and his sister’s, he found out that his sister had followed him downtown one night. He was disgusted with her. It was his decision whether or not to come out to his family, and she had taken that decision out of his hands. Furthermore, she knew how his father would be likely to react, and why he might have avoided coming out to him. His father had often played his children against one another, and she was setting him up to do just that with her and Scott. He thought her behavior was perverse and unkind.

His father also disinherited Scott, which hurt him less than the other things that had transpired, but indicated the depth of unkindness to which his dad had descended. As it stands now, Scott is in communication with Doug and his sister-in-law, but not with his sister and father. He did attend the wedding of one niece recently and will attend the wedding of another niece in June. He didn’t acknowledge his sister at the wedding he attended, and his father didn‘t acknowledge him. Both of these girls are daughters of his sister, but he considers that they had nothing to do with their mother’s decision to “inform” on him to his father. And so it remains.

Scott thought that people would be interested to know the experience of a gay man from his generation, although he knows that there are as many experiences as there are gay men.  He thinks that things might have gone better for him if he had come out earlier, and to a wider group of people, but that is easy to say after the fact.  When I attended the Gay Pride Parade, there was always a huge reaction when the parents walked by, and the events that occurred in Scott’s life are an indication of why.

2 Responses to “Scott’s History, Part 5”

  1. claireaperez June 5, 2015 at 10:56 am #

    well done and even if it took awhile, in the end you triumphed with Lord Byron!

  2. Did you mean this as a response to Non-traditional Student? Thank you for reading it.

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