Dad Speaks Out about Ex-Gays & Much More

Recently Christine Dinsmore interviewed me for a profile piece in the LGBT regional magazine Inside Out Hudson Valley. (You can download a copy of the piece here).

I could not wait to see the piece because for it she interviewed my dad, Pete Toscano. What would he say??? There are some things he doesn’t talk too much about, but somehow he easily opens up to a stranger. He’s been interviewed before for his involvement in the Korean War, and I learned more about his war service from those articles than from anything he ever told us directly.

He is very affirming of me, but even so, I didn’t have a clue of what he might share.

From When a Dos Equis Is More Than a Beer–Peterson Toscano navigates the ex-gay movement

In many ways, Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House is as much a tribute to family as it is a diatribe against the ex-gay movement.

Pete Toscano, who served in both the marines and army, belies the stereotypes of Italian father and soldier. He is proud of his gay son and sees his performances often.

“I think he’s helping a lot of people,” the senior Toscano says. “A lot of people don’t want to come out in the open. Sometimes people hold things inside and it’s a bad situation. Before you know it, they either commit suicide or turn to dope.”

While he supports his son, it’s not without its difficulties.

“It’s a little tough, to tell you the truth,” the 75-year-old father says. “I miss his wife. Because his wife was part of our family. And she was a real wonderful girl.

“And he’s got no children. That’s another part I miss, to carry the Toscano name,” he continues. “But we’re happy with him—very happy with him.”

Dad once again reminds me that when we seek to be something that we are not and put ourselves in roles that we cannot maintain, many people get hurt and the pain lives on long after we put down those false images of ourselves. In the ex-gay world, we see all sorts of casualities.

This post has 8 Comments

  1. CrackerLilo on August 1, 2006 at 12:26 am Reply

    Awwww!!! Your dad sounds so great!!! I’m happy for you both, that he can be proud of you.

  2. Peterson Toscano on August 1, 2006 at 12:28 am Reply

    weird, I was JUST leaving a comment for you when you left this comment for me. Blog love in action!

  3. Diana_CT on August 1, 2006 at 2:02 am Reply

    I always wondered how my father would have taking it if he found out I was trans.

  4. brittanicals on August 1, 2006 at 6:58 am Reply

    Wow, Peterson. Your dad is so honest and loving.

    This brings to mind a conversation I had with my homo-hating mother, regarding my friend Rog. Rog was in town to be with his mom while she went through some of her Chemo and cancer treatment. “So, is he close to his mom?” she asked. Yes, very much so, I said.
    “What about his dad?” Um, no. “Well, that’s what made him gay, you know.”

    Aaaargggg!!! Why can’t it just be that he happens to be gay, he is close to his mom because she is who she is, and he is not close to his dad because of circumstances and personalities?

    Anyway, I’ll have to tell her that I know of a gay man who loves his dad very much, and whoes dad is very happy with him. And I’ll have to learn to ignore her ignorant comments (this conversation in particular turned into a real mess- I told her that homosexuality occurs within nature at a fairly regular interval. She informed me that “nature makes mistakes.” Direct quote).

    I am glad you have your dad, and that he is publically happy with you.

  5. Elliot on August 1, 2006 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Man, Peterson, you sure are lucky to have a dad like that. As you know, mine clearly could use some work. Though he is making some progress, I must say. Somewhat in part because of you, I believe.

    We should talk soon! I miss ya, man!

  6. Joe G. on August 1, 2006 at 6:56 pm Reply

    Peterson, can’t you just get some woman pregnant and make your dad happy? 🙂 Like I’ve said and written before – your dad seems like such a great guy; ya just want to pinch his cheeks.

  7. Jonathan on August 1, 2006 at 11:14 pm Reply

    Thanks Peterson for sharing this. Dads are amazing creatures! Mine is pretty reserved. I treasure hearing him say how proud he is of me and how he accepts me. I know some people are not as lucky as you (and I) have been.

    j.

  8. E on August 2, 2006 at 3:43 pm Reply

    The world could use more dads like that.

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