Dear Mom and Dad,
Tomorrow, October 11, 2018 is National Coming Out Day and I encourage the both of you to come out of the closet.
Growing up in Vietnam, I knew I wasn’t comfortable playing soccer or being around “the boys.” I hung out with the girls a little too often and I acted a little too feminine; but you guys never scolded me for doing so. When things became a bit clear in my head, when I knew what I liked and disliked - or shall I say what I would rather prefer - I still wasn’t comfortable talking about it. You never forced me to go either way, sat me down for a talk, sent me to church or camp to get fixed, or told me to get my act together.
At the age of 10, I overheard Dad talking to his best friend about me. He whispered “I don’t know, man, my son might be... but oh well.” That “Oh well” attitude told me that I was loved regardless of how I would turn out. For many years after that, I never felt the need to come out, neither have I asked you for permission on whom to date. I felt that I was enough, that I didn't need to change. I felt that I belonged. I felt that I mattered. I felt respected. I felt that family was where I got to be myself.
You let me grow up to be who I wanted to be. And I was told yesterday that some kids in Vietnam want to grow up to be me ...
So tomorrow is National Coming Out Day. I invite you two to come out and show the world your beautiful true colors. You both painted my life with the overwhelming colors of love, kindness, humor, and acceptance. I am very proud of you guys. Most likely, I won't put you in a home. I promise! Haha !
Nguyen Pham is a volunteer and contributor for Chopsticks Alley. He is one of the the founder of The Light From Within Foundation. Their aim to help the visually impaired individuals improve their quality of life in all aspects.