This article originally appeared on Role Reboot and was republished here with full permission.
Genetic Sexual Attraction (GSA). There wasn’t a word for it back when I first met my father, Jackson.
Until very recently, memories of our first in-person meeting have always filled me with shame. It doesn’t matter that we had zero inappropriate physical contact or that I was only 21-years-old.
Finding my father was my big dream, my favourite fantasy, and my life-goal since I found out in early grade-school that I had a missing parent.
When I was very young, I would ask my mother who my father was, and she would answer, “you don’t have one.” But when I reached grade-school, the other kids who knew the facts of life pushed the point, telling me that it really does take two people to make a baby.
Finally, my mother admitted that I had a father, but told me that he was not around because he didn’t love me. While mostly true, I can hardly think of a worse explanation. It certainly created a deep need to find my biological father, to prove that I was wanted.
Finding him was an overwhelming feat back in the days before the Internet. But one Tuesday morning, three days before Valentine’s day, I picked up my phone and heard a deep voice with a cowboy twang say, “This is Jackson. Am I talking to Lynn?”
I was overwhelmed with a sense of joy, consumed by a sense of homecoming.
We started by talking on the phone. Jackson spent more than a $100 in quarters talking to me from pay phones in the days after we first met.
There is something pretty heady and amazing about being met by a person who says, “I love you unconditionally. Now tell me all of your stories, and I will not judge you. I may not be able to make it all better, but I will at least tell you that I wish I could.”
That is really probably the best scenario for how a stranger-parent can meet a child. And I will always be grateful that my bio-father met me that way.