Hello, my name is Cesar Pina and I’m from Brooklyn, New York.
About 10 years ago, walking about at a family function around the adults, being a teenager. It was a conversation about children and sex and sexuality came up. And I overheard my father saying, “If any one of my kids was gay, I’d disown them.”
About 10 years later, I’m in the car with my father going to his mother’s house. He stops the car, turns over to me and says, “I have one question for you and it’s only one answer I want, yes or no.”
And immediately I put my guards up because I kind of know what this is about. And he asks, “Are you gay?”
Reluctantly I say “no” because really it wasn’t the right question. So a few seconds pass and he just says, “Okay” and takes that as it is.
A few months ago, I’m at home and I get a text from my father, it’s to the whole family, and he wants to meet up for a family dinner. And the family dinner happens. We’re all sitting at the table and now we’re all about to have this family talk that my father wants us to have. So he goes on about how he just wants his current wife and his ex-wife to get along. Not sure how that’s going to work out. He wants us to respect my sister becoming a woman. And then his last point wasn’t even a point, it was just him passing on the talk to me.
My father looks over to me from the other end of the table and says, “Cjay, do you want to say anything to the family?”
There’s a great pause. It’s literally just me in the spotlight and I say, “Okay. Everyone, I’m bi.”
And everyone’s expression was just shock. And no one really knew what to say. After everyone was just like, “Oh, so it is true. What do we say? How do we talk to him now?”
I was like, “Nothing changes, guys. I’ve been your brother, I’ve been your son, for the past 23 years. I’ve done nothing wrong. So this should not change who I’ve been all along.”
So after the family dinner, three weeks later was our 4th of July BBQ at my dad’s house. And everyone is eating, laughing, having fun, including me. And he calls me to his room and says, “Cjay, we need to talk.”
So I’m guessing at this point it’s time to pick up the pieces from last time.
I finished eating, I follow him to his room and we close and lock the door and he goes, “I want to apologize for any misconceptions, any bad blood, anything that’s going to give a negative vibe to this family function.”
And I told him, “I have nothing negative, nothing to settle. I know why you did what you did. I’m just glad I think we can move forward from here.”
And he tells me, “I love all my kids equally. I’m not treating you different. You’re special to me. All my children are. But you, I’ve come to grow with and it’s, you need to see that it’s hard for me. It’s hard as a father. It’s hard as a man.”
I’m like, “I do see that. But again, it was not your business to put out there.”
So he did apologize for that. And it’s just, it was shocking to me to see my father just all-out crying saying, “I’m sorry, I love you son.”
And it’s good to see my powerful man of a father to cry on my shoulder. It really, it told me more about who he is. It shows that he has a heart and a soft spot and that he can change.