Bill Dameron – Friend, Philosopher, Guide
Bill is my unseen (so far – fair warning: Boston is not that far away!) mentor and guide. His writings appear on numerous sites. Please look at The Authentic Life (http://living-authentically.blogspot.com). I have been in touch with him and drawn courage and inspiration right from the start of my journey in 2013. My words are inadequate – so let his voice speak. If it has even a tenth of the impact on you that he had (and continues to have) on me, I shall be more than gratified.
Here is the introduction to his blog:
Location Boston, MA, United States
Introduction I migrated from North Carolina and live with my husband in Boston. You’ll find my work in The Huffington Post, The Saranac Review and Blogger. This blog is a collection of personal stories about my husband and our blended family of five children. They are a celebration of what I have found: that living authentically is the only way out. One day I will finish my memoir. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.
Excerpts from our correspondence
The latest exchange
May 31, 2015: me to Bill
To continue our email exchange –
In May 2015, I finished the process of coming out to my family and friends. Most of them supported the decision, but there were some negative voices. I set up a blog called desispeaks.com to tackle mainly LGBT and Disability issues. My coming out story is under PERSONAL.
8 Jun 2015: Bill to me
How wonderful to hear from you again and it sounds like your journey continues.
Your voice is authentic and needed, especially in the Indian community. You are brave and your love for your family shines through.
Forgive my delay in responding to you. I have been working on a memoir, which I think is very close to being complete. (The first draft, anyway). It has been a little consuming of late.
Please keep in touch and let me know how your journey continues. (Of course, I will be keeping up with it in your wonderful blog.)
And here is how it all began:
Dec 12, 2013 – my first contact with Bill
I saw a link to your blog on a support group site – Gay Fathers of Toronto. I shall read your blog posts over the next weeks. Meanwhile, just reaching out to you. I am sure you must have heard from many gay fathers recently. I wonder if any South Asians have reached out.
Regards – Vijay
Below is my “official name”. I am using Vijay, a new name for a new life. It means “victory” in India.
Ramakrishnan “RV” Viswanathan
12 Dec 2013: Bill to me
Thank you so much for writing to me!
I do know how difficult it can be in India for LGBT individuals and you are so brave for coming out to your kids. I hope that it went well and that they accepted you. I will never forget the day I came out to my two children. It was one of the most difficult days of my life. Fortunately it all worked out. My youngest daughter and Paul’s son live in our place in Maine, so we see them every weekend.
I have not had any South Asians reach out to me from the post, though I have spoken with quite a few and it does seem that it might be very difficult to be authentic in their culture. Do you have a good support group?
I really love the name that you have chosen for your new life. It is so fitting.
Dec 14, 2013: Me to Bill
Thanks so much for your prompt response.
Just got some bad news from India. The Supreme Court there has upheld a law dating back to 1860 (when Britain ruled India) that bans gay sex. An offence carries a life sentence.
I have 2 kids, now 27 and 23. My daughter lives and works in India, my son lives here with me. My daughter married a Canadian guy and they are both now in India. I told my kids last year face to face since I did not want them to hear family gossip from other places. My inspiration was a meeting arranged by Gay Fathers of Toronto with an author named Alison Wearing. Alison has written a book named “Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter“. She is strongly of the view that children of gay parents deserve to know and that kids can usually accept and not get traumatized.
PS: I am sending you separately a petition about the Indian situation. It would be great if you sign it and circulate it.
15 Dec 2013: Bill to me
I did hear about the law in India and what a travesty that is. A big step back.
I have heard of the book you mentioned, but have not read it. I will have to put it on my list. I hope that your children did accept your coming out. I do believe that children should know. By keeping it a secret, it is the same as saying that there is something wrong with it and that could not be further from the truth.
Of course I will sign the petition!
I look forward to continuing the association.