You can argue that it's a different world now than the one when Matthew Shepard was killed, but there is a subtle difference between tolerance and acceptance. It's the distance between moving into the cul-de-sac and having your next door neighbor trust you to keep an eye on her preschool daughter for a few minutes while she runs out to the post office. It's the chasm between being invited to a colleague's wedding with your same-sex partner and being able to slow-dance without the other guests whispering.
I mean, is 'fat' really the worst thing a human being can be? Is 'fat' worse than 'vindictive', 'jealous', 'shallow', 'vain', 'boring' or 'cruel'? Not to me I'd rather [my daughters] were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny - a thousand things, before 'thin'. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons.
It's one of the worst-kept secrets of family life that all parents have a preferred son or daughter, and the rules for acknowledging it are the same everywhere: The favored kids recognize their status and keep quiet about it - the better to preserve the good thing they've got going and to keep their siblings off their back.
Why does a dad matter so much to a daughter, in particular? A dad is the one who teaches a daughter what a male is all about. It's the first man in her life--the first man she loves, the first male she tries to please, the first man who says no to her, the first man to discipline her. In effect, he sets her up for success or failure with the opposite sex. Not only that, but she takes cues from how Dad treats Mom as she grows up about what to expect as a woman who is in a relationship with a man. So Dad sets up his daughter's marriage relationship too.
I wonder how, among the Fremont, mothers and daughters shared their world. Did they walk side by side along the lake edge? What stories did they tell while weaving strips of bulrush into baskets? How did daughters bury their mothers and exercise their grief? What were the secret rituals of women? I feel certain they must have been tied to birds.
I had to get some things right in my personal life. And once I got my family on the same page, to understand who I am and what I do for a living, I asked my oldest daughter, 'What do you think about Daddy coming back?' And she said, 'I didn't think you were done. I want you to win the Super Bowl. '