Garry Brown always thought he would be a dad someday. But as a 56-year-old gay man, he believed that dream wasn’t destined to come true. But when his sister passed away in January, Brown became an instant dad to his nephew, Matt. The boy’s father had also passed away.
“I’m it,” Brown says. “There is no one else to take care of my nephew.”
One of Brown’s first decisions was to allow Matt, who was entering sixth grade, to have a cell phone. He decided that Matt having a phone would make Brown feel safer in the event of a school shooting or other incident.
“Some of these discussions are incredibly difficult,” Brown says.
Brown says he wants to be honest with Matt about everything. And he knows that includes “the sex discussion.” Like most parents, he says he’s a little uncomfortable with the idea, but he knows that conversation needs to happen.
Brown and Matt are working on healing after Matt’s mother’s death. They took a road trip through the Midwest this summer, and they’re connecting.
“I know everybody thinks that their kid is the greatest. Having hard conversations with him [is] that much easier because he’s so great,” Brown says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.