On NPR’s Morning Edition, anchor Steve Inskeep announced “It's Friday morning, which is when we hear from StoryCorps, which is marking the anniversary of a pivotal moment for gay rights -- the 1969 Stonewall riots – 45 years ago tomorrow, gay protesters clashed with police in New York. Now StoryCorps is launching an initiative to preserve the stories of LGBT people, which is called OutLoud.”
Inskeep turned to the testimony of a seventy-year old homosexual named Patrick Haggerty, who told a story about how he went to high school in rural Washington state with glitter on his face, and his father came to school in dirty farmer clothes. The father was hailed by the son: “I had the patron saint of dads for sissies.”
This is what the father said:
When you're a full grown man, who are you going to go out with at night? And I said, I don't know. And he said, I think you do know and it's not going to be that McLaughlin girl that's been making goo-goo eyes at you but you won't even pick up the damn telephone. Now 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 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. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you're doing the wrong thing then you'll ruin your immortal soul.
And out of all the things a father in 1959 could've told his gay son, my father tells me to be proud of myself and not sneak. My reaction at the time was to get out in a hay field and pretend like I was as much of a man as I could be. And I remember flipping 50 pound bales three feet up into the air going, I'm not a queer. What's he talking about? But he knew where I was headed. And he knew that making me feel bad about it in any way was the wrong thing to do. I had the patron saint of dads for sissies. And no, I didn't know it at the time but I know it now.
Inskeep came back to announce: “The interview is recorded in Seattle for OutLoud. That's StoryCorps initiative to collect LGBT stories. It will be archived at the Library of Congress and you can hear more about Stonewall on the podcast. Get it on iTunes and at npr.org.”
The whole "OutLoud" LGBT-celebrating enterprise is taxpayer-funded through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.