I can remember the day he was born or at least I have a collage of feelings and images that have melded into memory. It was a warm September day and I was out on my bike along with much of the neighborhood. We were all tooling up and down Crabtree Lane, crisscrossing between driveways and each other. The sun was high in the bluest of Autumn skies when my father came driving home, top down in his red convertible, the blaring orchestral music filling the whole of us. Before that day our family was comprised of 3 boys and 2 girls, and I wished for months with fervent prayer to even the teams. I can still picture my father stepping out of his car, beaming with news of the latest son. I turned my wheels fast and headed down the block in defeat, but that sorrow was short lived, because when the bundle did finally arrive home, I was taken in by a kindred spirit.
#tbt to when we were flying along RT 70 West passing miles of cornfields in Kansas and careening around and over and through the Colorado Rockies and then sweeping across the magnificence of Utah. We drove to California on a trip of a lifetime starting in Vermont. Sounds crazy, right?
This past week brought a sobering with the quiet words of Dylan Farrow, the daughter of Woody Allen. Some critics like to throw “adopted” in front of that familial title, as if that makes the charge of sexual abuse somehow more palatable. But it pisses me off. Family is family, no matter how it is constructed; and as GLBT people all over the world fight for their claim to use the word, I have no patience for those who are dismissive of such ties.
Although Ms. Farrow made headlines at a young age during an ugly and public split between her parents, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, and the accusations that her father sexually molested her, she never spoke publicly about the abuse, until last week, in an open letter to the New York Times. Along with an account of molestation, she shared how her life unfolded afterwards:
“Woody Allen was never convicted of any crime. That he got away with what he did to me haunted me as I grew up. I was stricken with guilt that I had allowed him to be near other little girls. I was terrified of being touched by men. I developed an eating disorder. I began cutting myself. That torment was made worse by Hollywood” (Farrow).