Two years ago when I started to write Gay Like Me I knew I wanted it to end with my prayer for our son. I had one chance to tell him everything I thought he needed to know as he left our home to be an adult in the world. I didn’t want anything left unsaid. As we end this year and are about to start another, I thought it a good time to share with you my prayer for our son and for all children everywhere.
This Parent’s Prayer
I pray your life is full of love. I hope it includes activism. I expect you’ll be of service.
I hope too through your buoyant colors you wear daily that your life will have a vibrancy, especially now while you are young, that mine did not.
I hope you’ll try, and if you fail, try some more.
I wish you to be loved the way I am.
I want you to know the glory is in the doing, not in any reward, financial gain, or accolade.
I want you to aim high, because if you aim for the middle you will find it.
Take time to think: there are no no-brainers.
Crave responsibility; it is where the living is.
Always want the ball.
Be kind. Being kind is like warming up your voice before singing or stretching before an athletic activity. Being kind opens you up to be ready for anything, and being kind to people makes them feel valued. When you are ready for anything, and valuing the people around you, the possibilities of what you can achieve are endless.
Don’t look down on anyone unless it’s to help pick them up.
Strive to be curious, not just capable.
There is not a finite amount of success in the world. Be the student most likely to want everyone to succeed.
In our loaded-for-bear world, where seemingly everyone has become a disciplinarian, teach don’t lecture, guide don’t demean, bolster don’t belittle.
Honor your parents by being yourself and all of yourself, living fully and unapologetically.
Comfort when needed and cause discomfort when required.
Care for and about yourself. Care for your friends and your family. Care for our community.
You are leaving home to join the greatest of odysseys, taking off on a magical and mysterious adventure. You are on the precipice where so many men before you stood. Jump. Jump as high and as far and as wide as you can.
People often ask me if my book is only for the LGBTQ community or for parents who have or think they may have LGBTQ children. It’s not. It’s for anyone who has something special within them that they know is their greatest blessing. This holiday season Gay Like Me is the perfect gift for anyone you know who needs a permission slip to make what they prize most in themselves central in their lives.
Click here to see the updated calendar of events I’m doing for Gay Like Me. I’m delighted to be speaking about the book in New York, DC, East Hampton, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Let me know if you plan to attend any of them so I can be sure to say hello! I look forward to continuing the conversation with you.