By: Joey Uva
I am extremely close to my younger brother; he is my idea of a perfect father. My brother has been married for over twenty years, and has a wonderful wife and four great children. My partner Trevor and I share in the joys of being uncles. My brother’s love, involvement and constant support of his children has always been an inspiration to me.
I came out to my brother about seventeen years ago. My brother wasn’t disapproving nor did he seem extremely happy that I had come out; I thought maybe it was just the shock of it all. I did know that my brother loved me just the same and wanted his children to be close to their uncle.
It wasn’t until a few years after I came out that I realized my brother had a dream he had not shared with me. I had traveled to my brother’s house in Macon, Georgia, where he was stationed on the Air Force base there. After arriving, I got caught up with my brother, sister-in-law and kids as we normally do when we get to spend time together. The next day my brother and I were sitting in the living room, he turned to me and said “I have never been disappointed in you being gay but I have been disappointed”. As my brother paused, I had no idea what was coming next… my brother then said, “I have always had a dream that we would all have children, our children would get to play together and get to know each other in a way that we never had a chance to in our family when we were young”. Hearing my brother say this was bitter sweet. On one hand he had a beautiful family dream and on the other he somehow felt that my being straight or gay meant all or nothing. What my brother did not know was that I had the same dream but until I knew how to accomplish my dream, I could not express it. Looking back, I find it sort of sad that I even had to keep my dreams to myself because I didn’t know back then how I would accomplish them.
Over ten years later, when I found out that I was going to be a father, my younger brother was the first person I called. I was overjoyed, I don’t think there was a word that could have described my happiness. Sharing this news with my brother was not only confirming that my dream would now be a reality but had somehow sparked his dream back to life.
Today when my daughter Grace is with her six year old cousin Alora, they hold hands when they walk down the street and must sit together when they eat, they have an incredible bond. On a recent visit, they both came to me and requested to sleep in Grace’s bed together, a request that I hesitated in allowing as I thought, “Oh lord, they’ll be up all night”, but nope, fast asleep they went.
We are a family. Our road to get here may have been different or less taken but still a family it has made. My brother had dreams of a big family and I had dreams of a family, gay or straight, we had one dream.