That time a dairy farmer gave his gay son some important advice

One day, Patrick’s father, sensing his son was gay, sat him down and gave him a piece of advice he still carries with him to this day.
One day, Patrick’s father, sensing his son was gay, sat him down and gave him a piece of advice he still carries with him to this day.Photo: Screenshot

With Pride festivals around the nation canceled or postponed, LGBTQ Nation is bringing the celebration to you with our new series “Flashes of Pride.” We’ll look back at some of our community’s finest moments from the past few years as a reminder that no matter what life throws our way, queer people will fight our way through it and dance when we hit the other side.

Patrick Haggerty grew up in rural Dry Creek, Washington during the 1950s. His father, Charles Edward Haggerty, was a dairy farmer.

When he was a teenager, Patrick starting becoming aware of his sexuality, but he kept it hidden as best he could. His dad, however, had a sense of the situation and tacitly brought up the subject after Patrick hid from him.

Related: Parades might get canceled, but Pride never will be

Patrick’s father sat him down and gave him a piece of advice he still carries with him to this day. Be proud.

“Don’t sneak. Because if you sneak… it means you think you’re doing the wrong thing.”

“Of all the things a father in 1959 could have told his gay son,” Patrick recalls in a video for Story Corps, “my father tells me to be proud of myself and not sneak. I had the patron saint of dads for sissies. No, I didn’t know it at the time, but I know now.”

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