Patrick to the rescue

Peggy spotted Patrick as soon as he stepped out of the small Arlen airport. He was a good looking young man in his early 20s. He had a head of short black hair and the most adorable brown eyes. He was wearing a black t shirt that showed off his muscular body very well. He walked over to the brown car and she popped the trunk so he could put his luggage in. As he got in the car they both exchanged awkward stares as if they where sizing each other up.
Patrick stared out the window as the brown car pulled up to the one story Texas ranch. It looked just like he remembered it with its perfectly green lawn and such. "Bobby is inside probably watching TV but he is very egar to meet you."

Patrick walked inside as he entered the living room there was Bobby sitting on the couch watching TV as Peggy made the formal announcement.

"Bobby this is your cousin Patrick."

Bobby tuned off the TV turned around and stood up on his knees staring over the couch at Patrick. He stood there in that position for what seemed like minutes studying Patrick as if he was a work of art. Finally he came out from behind the couch and extended his hand. Patrick had not seen Bobby for 8 years and he had grown somewhat. He was still kind of short for his age and a little pudgy.

"Its nice too meet you. Strange you don't look like a hippie."
"Bobby!" Peggy screamed
"What" Bobby answered back? "Dad told me that only no good hippie liberals live in New York."
"I'm sorry Patrick he doesn't normally"
"Its ok Peggy," Patrick said almost laughing. "Contrary to your dads thoughts not everyone who lives in New York is a hippie. Now if you don't mind I would like to talk to you and your mother"
  "This way" Peggy said leading them into the kitchen.

The 3 of them sat down at the kitchen table.

"Now Bobby first of all I want to praise you for coming out to your parents that was very brave."  Bobby blushed and looked down at the floor. "Hey look me in the eye, you should never be embarrassed about being gay it's who you are and there is nothing wrong with it!" Bobby cracked a smile for a second.

"Thanks, if only my dad agreed with you."

"Ah yes your mother told me about his reaction. You see Bobby your dad doesn't understand what being gay really means he bases everything off stereotypes, much like the comment about all New Yorkers being hippies. You followin me so far?"

"Not really"

"Ok when your dad thinks of you as gay he doesn't see you anymore. He thinks that because you are gay that everything you do is suddenly going to change. He thinks of gay and imagines you with purple hair and a pink belly shirt. He imagines that your interests will change and you will not want to do anything you used to do with him anymore he imagines you as a completely different person.

"That's ridiculous why would he think that I would change my whole personality?"

"You see Bobby this is a power of the stereotype. It has convinced him that every gay person is exactly the same. The stereotype has impacted his judgment in a way that he can't tell that being gay is only a part of your personality and doesn't define everything else. So you have to show him you have to show him that just because you are now out doesn't mean that anything else about you is going to necessarily change. What do you and he like to do together?"

"Well we like to shoot guns and watch football."

"That's good let him know that you still want to do those things with him. Make him see that you are still the same old Bobby he has known."

"Well that sounds easy. "

"Well Bobby I hate to tell you it's not but that's where you want to start. It's gonna take time and effort but hopefully your dad will eventually come around. But don't be upset at first if he wants to avoid the subject or avoid you altogether. Its gonna be difficult for both of you but I guarantee you will both get through it. In fact I won't leave here until I am convinced that your relationship with your father is back to normal. Now Bobby I need to talk to your mother alone for a few minutes." Bobby stumbled out of the room towards the den.

"Peggy I hate to tell you this but you are going to have to be the first one to speak to Hank tonight. You are the only one who will be able to reason with him."

"But what would I say"

"You going to have to make it clear that if he loves his son unconditionally that he is going to have to accept him the way he is. Now he is going to put up one hell of a fight but you have to be strong. You cannot back down on your position and you must get him to agree to accept Bobby the way he is"

"I can't Hank never listens to me."

"Listen Peggy you are going to have to do this for Bobby's sake. You know Hank the best and when the time comes you will know what to say. Now I'll take care of Bobby for the night you just focus on convincing Hank.

Patrick walked out of the kitchen looking for Bobby. He walked into Bobby's room where Bobby sat staring at the floor with a depressed look on his face.

"What's on your mind?" Patrick said as he sat down next to him.

"Nothin. It's just all I ever wanted was to make my dad proud of me. But no matter what I do I always seem to let him down."

Patrick put his arm around Bobby. "Listen Bobby you have to be yourself. It isn't fair for you to pretend to like something you don't you just end up making yourself miserable. Be yourself and over time your dad will learn to be proud of you no matter what. Hey guess what I'm taking you somewhere special tonight."

All of assuden Bobby's face lit up. "Is it the zoo? I love the zoo especially the bears they are so soft and cuddly."

"I ain't telling you're just going to have to wait until tonight." With that Patrick jumped on top of Bobby and started tickling him under his arms sending him flying backwards onto the bed in uncontrollable laughter.
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