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Is the Whole Family Gay?

 
 
Miller
 
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 06:13 am
A Patrick family coming-out
Lesbian daughter buoyed by parents

By Matt Viser, Globe Staff | June 13, 2008

It was just three weeks after her father, Governor Deval Patrick, had helped keep gay marriage legal in Massachusetts. The family was at their vacation home in the Berkshires, preparing a midafternoon picnic by the pool.

Katherine Patrick walked into the kitchen, told her parents to stop what they were doing, and asked her aunt to leave the room.

"I'm a lesbian," she told them.

Her mother, expecting terrible news, nearly burst out laughing, a sense of relief coming over her.

Her father wrapped her in a bear hug and said, "Well, we love you no matter what."

Katherine Patrick, 18, recounted the experience of coming out to her parents last summer in an article published yesterday in the weekly newspaper Bay Windows, New England's largest newspaper for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. It was the first time she has granted an interview, and her dramatic media debut generated news that quickly shot across the nation on the Internet.

"It's not only something that we accept, but it's something that we're very proud of," Katherine Patrick told Bay Windows. "It's a great aspect of our lives and there's nothing about it that is shameful or that we would want to hide."

After her disclosure, she and the family declined follow-up interview requests. Local and national gay advocates immediately hailed the Patricks' story as a model for how parents should handle similar situations. Several said the news may take on added significance in the black community, where being openly gay often has an added negative stigma.

"This is a very powerful statement and image for the rest of the country to see a very public father embracing his openly lesbian daughter," said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the national organization Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. "Their story will resonate with a lot of families, from Massachusetts to Los Angeles."

The disclosure also provides a rare glimpse into the Patricks' family life. The governor and his wife, Diane, have been intensely private and particularly guarded about their children, Katherine, who graduated in 2007 from St. Andrew's School in Delaware, and Sarah, who recently graduated from New York University. Both daughters were conspicuously missing from his gubernatorial campaign, showing up only a handful of times, at his primary-night gala and on Inauguration Day.

"We live in a fishbowl and to some extent we're dealing with that," Patrick told reporters yesterday in a brief statement. "But we're proud of her, we love her, we support her, and I think that's all that needs to be said."

Patrick and his daughter are planning to march tomorrow in the Boston Pride Parade. They also marched together last year, although at the time the governor did not know that his daughter was just becoming comfortable calling herself a lesbian.

A person briefed by the family said the decision for when and how to make the announcement was entirely Katherine's. The family was not under pressure to go public, although they wanted to make sure it was done on their terms, instead of in a news story that could make it appear they were trying to hide the fact, the source said.

Katherine, who is planning to enroll at Smith College in the fall, also wanted to make the announcement before she left for college.

"She wanted to let people know because her father is obviously in a prominent position," the source said. "She didn't want to make a huge deal about it. But she wanted to let people know."

The governor's office on Monday contacted Laura Kiritsy, the editor of Bay Windows, saying the governor and his daughter wanted to meet with her that evening. Kiritsy said they didn't tell her explicitly what the interview would be about, although she said a source had told her about two weeks earlier that Katherine wanted to announce in Bay Windows that she was a lesbian.

The 45-minute interview took place at the headquarters of MassEquality, a gay advocacy organization where Katherine has been an intern since March. Diane Patrick was also planning to be at the interview, but got stuck in traffic.

"I was just happy for her that she . . . was comfortable with who she was," Diane Patrick later told the paper.

The governor has long been an advocate for the gay community and yesterday's news further cemented his popularity among gay-rights supporters.

"I think it's great," said Marc Solomon, executive director of MassEquality. "I am also so proud of Governor Deval Patrick. He fought his hardest for our community before he knew his daughter was a part of it. He and Diane are the parents that every gay kid dreams of having."

Katherine is the latest in a short line of relatives of elected officials whose sexuality has been brought to the forefront. Vice President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary, who last year had a baby with her partner, became a lightning rod in the 2004 presidential debates. Chrissy Gephardt, daughter of former US representative Dick Gephardt, is a lesbian who came out publicly in 2004, when her father was running for president.

Republican Alan Keyes reportedly threw his daughter out of the house and cut off financial support after she announced in 2005 that she is a lesbian. In a dramatic statement last year, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders tearfully said he could no longer oppose same-sex marriage as he revealed publicly that his daughter is gay.

Deval Patrick told Bay Windows that his first inkling his daughter might be gay came when she started watching a show on Showtime that depicts a close-knit group of lesbians who live in Los Angeles.

"I think when Katherine started to memorize all the episodes of 'The L Word,' there was some hint that maybe she was sending us," Patrick said.

At one point during the interview, the governor started to tear up.

"Don't cry, Dad," Katherine said as she recounted her emotions as he led the fight to kill an antigay marriage amendment last year prior to her revelation. "He's done some good things. I appreciate it. Want a tissue? Oh, God. He's a crier."

"First of all, we've had so many people in our lives whom we love who are gay or lesbian, so that's not that unfamiliar to us," the governor said. "You know, I can still - because we live in Massachusetts - I can still imagine what Katherine's wedding is going to be like."

Then, as he lowered his voice, he added, "How much it's going to cost."

Boston Globe
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,054 • Replies: 19
No top replies

 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 10:39 am
Yes, because men crying is the first sign. I mean, Duh!
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 10:41 am
Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

oh. my. god.
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 11:46 am
Miller have you considered getting a frontal lobotomy? It might help.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 11:51 am
Yes miller, the entire family is gay, because the daughter is.
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 12:11 pm
And they're BLACK!!!!!

Shouldn't the federal authorities get involved with this?!?!?!?!?!????
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 12:23 pm
have you considered the implications ?

MILLER LIVES IN Massachusetts Shocked :wink:
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 12:23 pm
BBB
Just another of Miller's many charms revealed?

BBB
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 12:58 pm
Oh my god.

Gay AND black?

I bet they are getting welfare.

No wonder shes so pissed off all the time

that gob-ment cheese tends to do that to people
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 01:25 pm
shewolf
shewolfnm wrote:
Oh my god.
Gay AND black?
I bet they are getting welfare.
No wonder shes so pissed off all the time
that gob-ment cheese tends to do that to people


Holy moly, Shewolf, which is worse, being gay or being Black?
A Hobson's choice?

BBB
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 01:27 pm
shewolfnm wrote:
Oh my god.

Gay AND black?

I bet they are getting welfare.

No wonder shes so pissed off all the time

that gob-ment cheese tends to do that to people


I actually spent a great deal of time on the gob ment cheese growing up... but through perseverance and hard work was able to turn out straight and white.... let me be an example to you shewolfn, you can do it too.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 01:46 pm
I must have failed terribly some where


no matter what I do.. I am still black Sad
0 Replies
 
Bi-Polar Bear
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 02:50 pm
I love you despite your faults shewolfn....

(((((((((((((((((((((((((((((BEAR HUG))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 03:29 pm
shewolfnm wrote:
I must have failed terribly some where


no matter what I do.. I am still black Sad


Maybe you should write to Michael Jackson for suggestions.
0 Replies
 
Diane
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 07:37 pm
Hey, Miller, my two brothers have mental retardation due to Fragile X Syndrome. One of them is gay. You can imagine what an easy life he has led during his 74 years.

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome isn't genetic, but lots of family members, especially in American Indian communities have it. Yep, the whole family.

How on earth do we all survive? Maybe we shouldn't, being at the bottom of the genetic pool and all.

Don't worry, I don't need an answer, we have been judged enough by many enlightened people over the years, probably many just like you.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 07:47 pm
Green Witch wrote:
shewolfnm wrote:
I must have failed terribly some where


no matter what I do.. I am still black Sad


Maybe you should write to Michael Jackson for suggestions.


****, GW, you are so funny!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Jun, 2008 07:53 pm
I've eaten the cheese.
You all know me, I'm a food noticer.
My husband's parents always picked up the cheese. It was good cheddar, at least then.

Y'know, poor slamming is tacky, but past that, in many ways massively ignorant.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 11:03 am
hamburger wrote:
have you considered the implications ?

MILLER LIVES IN Massachusetts Shocked :wink:


I live in Mass too!

What could be my implications? Maybe I am Gay and Black too and don't even know it!
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 01:34 pm
you do wear a tiara - that's reason enough for suspicion , isn't it ? Laughing
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 16 Jun, 2008 02:44 pm
hamburger wrote:
you do wear a tiara - that's reason enough for suspicion , isn't it ? Laughing


Ya got me there - although I really hate little men that live together
0 Replies
 
 

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