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After being immersed in gay culture for two weeks, Ryan attends a support group for parents of gay children. One father tells Ryan about his daughter coming out. "I asked her how she knew," the father says, "and she looked me straight in the eye and she said, 'Dad, how do you know you're heterosexual?' I got it. My truth is that my daughter deserves to be treated with all the same respect and dignity and receive all the same privileges, rights and obligations as her two straight brothers."

"That was one of the more positive experiences I went through," Ryan says. "How he felt towards his [daughter] put me in a position to really think about it. What if my son or daughter was gay? Are you going to sit here and say you don't think they should be able to get married? They shouldn't have the same financial rights everybody else has, the same possibilities, chances or opportunities? To sit there and really think about that, you know, I don't care if my son or daughter is gay. I still want them to have all the same possibilities and opportunities that everybody else is going to have and that I have."

What did Ed learn from the experience? "After the last election," he says, "we were kind of fed this idea that there are blue states and there are red states. While that might be true on a few issues, I think that the real issue is simply people knowing that other people exist. It's a big country; there's lots of room for us. If you just take the time to get to know somebody, … the country looks a lot smaller. It to me is a collection of purple states. … It's not as divided as people think it is."
FROM: Gay for 30 Days
Published on October 20, 2005


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