Life in the Rapp family.
She was confused and hurt and saddened, as I was by her reaction. I spent the next seven years trying different ways to get her to understand and accept and love me as I am. Mostly, I attempted to share with her my relationships with my boyfriends I've had since I came out to her: Keith, Peter, Gabriel, and my current boyfriend, Josh.
This quest for her understanding became terribly urgent when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1995. On my visits home in the last months of her life, I talked about Josh more and more each visit, and she became more and more receptive to hearing about him and about the two of us together. If she hadn't been bedridden, he would have come home for a visit.
My mom passed away in May of this year, and I will always be comforted by her words that she shared with me during one of my last visits: "I used to think there was something wrong with your sexuality, but I know now that it's no different than the color of your eyes or your height or your voice. It's just the way you are."
ANTHONY: Did you know I was bisexual before I told you?
How did you really feel when I told you?
First of all, OK, and not surprised, because of who you are: bright and sensitive, being around show-business people for so very long. Being around creative types. And from my own experience of being around gay men when I was younger, teaching ballroom dancing, I found them to be delightful men. We had enlightening conversations about that lifestyle. Plus, I had a couple of personal encounters after that that weren't unpleasant. I was approached myself, and I wasn't interested at the time, but I left the possibility open. And that's the background that I came to when you told me. I think I still wanted to hold out the possibility that you'd have children someday. I wanted to be a grandfather.
Do you know that that is very much a possibility?
From my conversations with you, you mean? It still is a possibility to you, I gather, from what you have told me.
Who was the first person you talked to about my sexuality?
I think I mentioned it to [my wife] Sandra.
Did you feel responsible?
Yeah, I think in a positive way. I've always encouraged you to express yourself. I always felt it was OK to pursue happiness in relationships however or wherever or with whomever that path took you.
How do you feel about me today?
I love you very much. I'm grateful that you share your current love relationship with me. Your humanness, especially seeing [Josh] at your mother's funeral. He's part of the family. It's no different than if you had brought a young lady that you were very committed to.
Born: October 26, 1971, Chicago
Raised: Joliet, Ill.
Age when you came out to self and parents: 19
Occupation: actor, writer director, photographer
Favorite Broadway show: Angels in America
Born: November 8, 1940, Chicago
Occupation: computer specialist for the Department of Veterans Affairs
Favorite Broadway show: "Without question, it's Rent."
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|Title Annotation:||Our Parents - gays whose parents support them; 'Rent' star Anthony Rapp interviews his dad|
|Publication:||The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)|
|Article Type:||Cover Story|
|Date:||Oct 28, 1997|
|Previous Article:||Our parents.|
|Next Article:||Life in the Turner family.|