Today’s Video Story was collected on the 50-state Story Tour. Check out the blog where you can follow us on our adventure. If you haven’t submitted a story yet to IFD, or if you want to submit another one, I’d love to read and publish it. Write one up and send it in.
My name’s Nathaniel Phillips and I’m from Las Vegas, Nevada. All throughout high school I was out and open. I’ve always been out in public, just never at home. Neither of my parent’s really raised me – it’s my grandma I consider my mom. So my dad was very rarely ever around. But he always had this weird pride in me – like living through me. He would always say – my last name is Phillips – “Yeah, you’re a Phillips, you’re a Phillips, you’re a good kid.” And he would always – when everyone was around – he would show me off. But he doesn’t deserve that – he’s never done anything for me. He bought me nice shoes one year – but that’s about it. My father, he didn’t know of course. He would not have approved of it – or whatever. Actually when I told my grandma – my father had passed away – and she said kind of silly but it was actually really really hurtful, cause my father, he was cremated. His urn was in our living room and she said, “If your father’s urn falls over and crashes on the floor, we’ll all know why.” And she kind of laughed about it. But that was probably one of the worst things she could have said, because it’s not funny to think my father’s falling over in his grave just because his son is gay. I always remember him telling me, or asking me “Hey Nate, do you like girls?” I’m like, “Yeah, I like girls.” He’s like “Do you like boys?” And I’m like, “Boys are cool too.” I never understood what he was really asking. But he would tell me – “No, you’re not supposed to like boys. You’re not supposed to. It’s not cool.” So I don’t know, maybe he had an inkling that I was gay growing up or something but he just would not have been cool with it. But my grandma, she’s worried because she always here’s stuff in the news about hate crime or these suicides that have happened recently. And I’m pretty skinny, she always thinks I’m going to get hurt or someone’s going to take advantage so she’d rather pretend that I’m not gay. And kind of create this false sense of security in her mind that I’m just a normal kid and something like that will never happen to me. She still loves me but she won’t ever admit it or accept it. Which doesn’t make sense because I am. It’s not something you have to accept or not – it’s just reality.