I’m From Summit, NJ.

by jake sakowski

I was 19 years old when I finally gathered the courage to dump everything on my parents at once. I had a feeling they would either send me to Christian Camp or accept me as best they could.

“A prostitute, what about one of those?” my father negotiated.

“For me or for you?” I asked. Neither of them found this question entertaining.

“For you,” he begged, “You’ve gotta be sure with something like this. Jesus Jake, we’ll get you the most attractive woman money can buy.”

My mother stood up from the couch and moved across the living room.

“No one has to know,” she added, glancing at the bottles in the wine cabinet beside her. I studied her intentions as my father continued. I recall the comfort her decision to drink lent me.

“That wouldn’t work,” I stressed. “A prostitute is not going to fix things.”

My father seemed to know better, apparently. He pushed on, “Well that’s just crazy. You wouldn’t know if you like chocolate if all you ever had was vanilla.”

“I know what you’re getting at here, Dad, but someone’s taste for a dessert cannot be compared to their sexual orientation.”

“Well how do you know if you’ve never tried?” he kept on.

“How do you know you don’t like men if you’ve never tried?” my mother asked him flatly.

Their eyes met and they both looked down to the ground with defeated expressions. My father was clearly disgusted, but I did not ask at what. There was a lot of unspoken history revealed in that moment which I shudder to ever know. I could tell he never thought he’d actually imagine himself with another man and that the mere mention of it had been emasculating to him.

I’m lucky to have the parents that accept me for who I am. I accept them for all the things I know and hope they keep hidden.


  1. I am speechless

  2. “There was a lot of unspoken history revealed in that moment which I shudder to ever know.”

    Are you suggesting they already suspected but were in denial or hoping their suspicions were wrong?

  3. I read it as I do so many discussions of sexuality today. When people claim being gay is a choice, I suspect they are rarely claiming it is a choice that they themselves could make. Mom was simply debunking this “logic” and shattering the glass ceiling that anti-gay people tend to put on the debate – which is why Jake can be thankful to have parents who were able to do that quickly and efficiently with little or no hooker involvement.

  4. No Marquise,

    The unspoken history is between the parents. Their son was not the first gay person they knew – something seems likely happened in the past, and his mothers question to jakes father was a reference to it.

    What the event was, even Jake doesnt really want to know – there are too many possiblities. Our parents are parents first, people next.

    Jake is brave, and as he says he’s lucky to have the parents he does.

  5. Wonderful story! Amazing!

    I’m glad that you have found happiness!

    Best of luck!

  6. I keep coming back to read this story. Every time I read it, I enjoy it more.

    My sister is currently living in Summit, NJ, and she’s a total B****… Its good to hear something positive from somewhere that I have found to be hell… Not because I don’t love Summit, I do. I think its a beautiful town. But because the devil lives there.

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