It’s a familiar scenario.
“We’ve been in the closet for a long time, so I’ve been looking at the landscape a little bit more,” says Michael “Mike” Parson, a man in his mid-30s who is raising his two sons in the Dallas suburb of McKinney.
“I feel like it’s my responsibility to take them into the world, so to speak, and make sure they understand how to be comfortable and how to act and feel comfortable in their own skin.”
Parson’s son, Tyler, is 5 and his daughter, Hannah, is 9.
Their parents were married in a traditional marriage, but after Tyler was born in 2015, Parson and his wife were able to divorce.
“It was really hard, but I did what I felt was right,” Parson says.
“My wife and I didn’t want to take the kids on a trip with me.
We were going to be with him for six weeks, but we decided to give him the opportunity to make a decision about where he wanted to go to school, and we’re still trying to figure that out.”
Parsons son is also a musician, so Parson is aware that his family has been “living in the shadows” since he was a child.
But Parson was never afraid to openly talk about his family’s LGBT experience.
“They know me, and they’re really supportive of me and my story,” he says.
He’s also an avid hunter.
“When I was younger, I was like, ‘Oh my god, if I go hunting, I’m going to get shot.
I’m gonna get shot,'” Parson recalls.
“But as an adult, I realized, ‘This isn’t gonna happen to me.
“The last year or so has been pretty difficult,” Parsson says. “
“[I’m] just really happy for my son. “
The last year or so has been pretty difficult,” Parsson says.
“[I’m] just really happy for my son.
He is a beautiful little boy.
He has a very bright future.”
The family has made regular trips to the mall, and he is always curious to meet people of different sexual orientations.
“As a family, we’re kind of a queer family,” Parnssons daughter says.
And Parson sees himself as a role model, one who has made a positive impact on his family.
“There’s definitely an acceptance of my son,” Parksons daughter explains.
“He’s just a happy kid, he’s smart, he likes going to the movies.
I don’t think that’s ever been a thing for him.”
And Parssons family has also become more accepting of the transgender community, as well.
“Being a dad and a father figure, I think, is a lot more than just being a dad to your kids,” Pascarsons daughter continues.
“If you’re a father, you want your kids to be safe, to be happy.
And you want them to have a sense of belonging.”
Parnson’s son and Hannah are just getting started in their journey to adulthood.
“For my son, he has a long way to go,” Parkssons daughters says.
But their journey is far from over.
“You don’t just have to wait until you’ve been through it,” Paksons daughter adds.
“Sometimes it can be very difficult.
You don’t know how to deal with it.”
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