The following blog post is by Paul Perry, who joined COLAGE’s
board of directors in 2010 and is pursuing his doctorate in
Educational Leadership at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
In honor of National Adoption Month, he shares his story as an
I took home a word.
At 5 years old, I took home that word. Bouncing along down the
street with my Batman backpack, inside it my Ninja Turtles
lunchbox, inside that my X-men thermos. I wasn’t supposed to have
to deal with that word. I watched the look of pain wash over my
father’s face when I told him. He had heard it many times before
in many other places. But his fervent wish was for such a word to
never be directed at his beloved child.
After all, I was already a very unlikely child. Born to a
drug-addicted mother who was pregnant with me while she was in
prison, I was saved by her inability to feed her addiction behind
bars. She had already been through five abortions and the doctors
did not think her womb could support life. But I was a “fighting
fetus.” I was determined to get born! Once I was, I was adopted
by my father and his partner. Their families shunned me initially
because of my race and difficult background. My father thought
about how—with a story like that—I had enough challenges in
store for me, and he did not want me to have to answer for his
sexuality too. Deep down though, the pit in his stomach told him
that it was inevitable.
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