Episode #18 Pride: How To Be a Proud Parent with Jay Fishman

6.25.19

The Road to Self Love Pride Edition is sponsored in part by
Tablet Hotels

Ring, Ring.
I’d practiced this conversation a bunch in my head and I knew he’s say yes. It would go something like this. “Hey Dad, I’m going to New York for Pride and I thought you’d like to join me. It will be fun.”
Ring, Ring. 
My heart started racing. Why was I so nervous? “Just ask him to come, Paul” I thought, “it will be fine.” 
Ring, Ring.
You’ve reached Jay Fishman’s voicemail.
“Hey Dad, call me back, I’ve got a fun father-son trip idea!”

7 years ago I came out to my parents. Via email. I think I still have it, but I’ll spare you that awkward moment. In fact, that wasn’t really the first time I came out- but really, that was the time that it stuck. The first time I came out was nearly 10 years ago and I was in the car with my Dad, I had made a big deal about wanting to talk to him and he asked me if I would go on a ride with him. It was totally anticlimactic and he wasn’t surprised. I really wanted him to be surprised.

Now, for some reason, even though I was still the same human it’s almost like my parents and I had to go through a relearning process. We had to relearn how to communicate, relearn boundaries and relearn how to be a family. Yes, in reality nothing really changed, but at the end of the day we still had to work at our relationship.

It’s important to know that New York City is not only where my Dad was born and raised, but where I lived for nearly 6 years before the city chewed me up and spit me out. It is where I lived at the time I came out, both times, and it is where I had my heart broken by a boy for the first time. My Dad was always the one who was on the other end of the phone giving me advice when I dated women, but for some reason the change of a gender managed to put pause on that piece of our relationship. Don’t get me wrong, my parents are and always were very supportive of me, but there was still this shift that I couldn’t seem to understand.

Fast forward to now, it’s 2019, I just celebrated my one year wedding anniversary with the man of my dreams, and my Dad and I have really built our relationship back to where it was. For some reason though, I thought it would be fun to bring my father with me to Pride in New York City. And not just any pride, this was the 50th anniversary of Stonewall- a violent social uprising that marked the first steps towards LGBTQ+ Civil rights in this country. I mean, doesn’t it just sound like a dream of a father-son trip?

Eventually I was able to get confirmation from my Dad that he was all in for our trip to NYC. I was billing it as an opportunity to explore LGBTQ+ history together and also record an episode of my podcast The Road to Self Love. When I finally got confirmation for the trip I turned to the Tablet app to find a hotel for us. I have been a Tablet PLUS member for nearly a year and love that you can pay the same price you would for a base level room and get an upgrade. I also am not a fan of an 11am checkout and most PLUS hotels have a guaranteed 2pm checkout! That’s basically like getting an extra day for free.

photo by Raven Adams

This was the first time that I was taking care of the travel arrangements fully and using Tablet gave me the opportunity to not break the bank and still get a room that was nice. I decided on 11 Howard in SoHo and loved arriving to a room with a view, and also one of the most comfortable hotel beds I’ve ever slept on. Seriously, the bed was so good. This hotel also included a $50 food and beverage credit so I was able to not only treat my Dad to the hotel stay, but to lunch too!

Since I wanted to give him the full taste of Pride we took a walking tour of LGBTQ+ History that started and ended at Stonewall- which was not only impactful for my Dad but really inspiring for me. I am so grateful for my LGBTQ+ family that came before me and paved the way for the rights and freedoms that I have today. I think that the most potent part of the tour, however, was at the beginning when the tour guide asked each of us to share what we are proud of. Most people said things like, I’m proud to be able to be married, I’m proud that I just came out, but I got to say that I’m proud to be here with my Father. Not everyone is as lucky as I am to have such supportive parents. I am fully aware that it is a blessing and this moment at the beginning of the tour really solidified that for me. The entire group made a noise that cannot be described other than one of pure heart warming elation. My Dad was officially winning the best Dad award at that very moment.

After the tour Dad thanked me multiple times for taking him on it. It was really such a perfect moment of our trip. In fact, I’d have to say that this was the best trip to New York City I’ve ever been on. I’m really honored to share this episode of The Road to Self Love with you, it’s raw, real and most importantly paints a vivid picture of what it’s like to be a parent of a member of the LGBTQ+ community. I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear from you if you listen! Leave a comment here or send me a message on Instagram.

Stay tuned for a Behind the Scenes video of our trip to New York coming soon!


This episode was made possible in part by Tablet Hotels
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