It may not be an Emmy

Sixteen years ago, I had grand dreams of being married with kids in a beautiful home with dogs. I still have the floor plans of the dream house that I wanted to share with my spouse and kids. I had my dogs picked out, named my children, and after I accepted my Emmy for "Best Guest Performance" on Friends, we would settle in for a quiet life. In my seventeen year old brain, life was going to be perfect.

Then my twenties happened. I fought a war within myself. For most of my adult years, I battled my attraction to women. I didn't want to be gay. Being gay would ruin my image of my perfect life and after the one boy that I had every fallen in love with chose another woman, I gave up the dream of that beautiful house and those beautiful children.

Last week, my girlfriend and I were in the car. After a few thoughtful moments, she said, "If we have a boy, we should name him Jackson. We could call him Jack." She then went on to say how the 6 year old would love to have a little brother named Jack.

All of those years ago, when I named my children, Jackson was my little boy's name. "Jackson" is a family name and in my dreams, I always called out to Jack to come to the kitchen for his daily snack. There is no way my girlfriend could have known this was the name I had chosen. I never talked with her about it. When I told her that I had always thought I would name a boy "Jackson," the smile on her face warmed my heart in such a way that I have no words.

My life is changing in a big way. In a way that I had given up hoping for. Now, dreams that had faded into the depths of my mind are beginning to resurface. I dream of a beautiful home, with my beautiful wife and our beautiful children. And our dogs and cats and birds. I dream of a nice, quiet life that isn't without the little adventures that we like to take. I realize now that being gay didn't ruin that perfect image. Denying who I really was did. Though now that I think about it, it wasn't really ruined. It was just put on hold while I figured out, accepted, and loved who I really am.

And that's the best prize of all.

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