RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
This next story from StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative may sound familiar to many families. Deidra Robinson and her father, William Watford III, were extremely close until she told him she was gay. They came to StoryCorps in Homewood, Ala., to talk about that particular moment.
DEIDRA ROBINSON: I looked at you, and I said do you want to hear it? Do you remember what you told me?
WILLIAM WATFORD III: No.
ROBINSON: He was like, no, I don't want to hear it.
WATFORD: You know, you were my first girl. And then when you hit me with that gay thing, it kind of, like, threw me for a whammy. I wasn't ready for that.
ROBINSON: Two years we didn't talk - two-and-a-half years.
ROBINSON: I'm a daddy's girl, and I missed just talking to you. I missed your stupid jokes, like, the weird sayings you say.
WATFORD: I never told you a stupid joke.
WATFORD: (Laughter) Yeah, well. The kind of relationship me and you used to have, you know, I missed that. That's what tore my heart out.
ROBINSON: So it tore your heart out that I was gay?
WATFORD: Yeah, but I done grown a whole lot since then, sweetie.
ROBINSON: You have. You absolutely have.
WATFORD: I'm just glad we got a relationship where we communicate now like we used to. If I wanted my baby back, just had to come on back and accept what you was.
ROBINSON: So now that it's over, do you have to deal with having to listen to people saying things to you about the fact that I'm a lesbian?
WATFORD: No because they know that I would chop them up, chew them up and spit them out. 'Cause don't come at me acting crazy about my kids.
ROBINSON: We've done a complete 180. We're vacationing together. You call my wife almost every day, like you think that's your friend.
WATFORD: She is my friend.
ROBINSON: We need you. This family needs you.
WATFORD: I'm just being Granddaddy, that's all. So I've just got to do what I'm supposed to do and play my role.
ROBINSON: So we're back to where we used to be I think.
WATFORD: Yep. It's better than it was. It's like a weight been lifted off of me.
MARTIN: Deidra Robinson with her father, William Watford III, in Homewood, Ala. This interview was recorded for StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative to collect stories from the LGBTQ community. Their conversation will be archived at the Library of Congress. Hear more OutlLoud stories on the StoryCorp podcast. Get it on iTunes and at npr.org.
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