My Dad will be 64 this autumn. My Dad is a die-hard Republican. My Dad was a Southern Baptist pastor for nearly 30 years. And my Dad is a Sherlock fan.
He’s always had TV shows he enjoyed (I grew up on Star Trek.. it was kind of Our Thing), but he’s mostly a passive fan. The kind who is willing to wait patiently until the next season of something airs and suddenly remembers, two hours prior, that today’s the day.
So when my Dad called me a couple weeks ago, voice a little tremulous, begging me to send him a link whereby he could stream Sherlock series 3 and bypass the PBS waiting period, I happily sent him the best one I’d found. He didn’t want to wait, he wanted to watch it NOW, and I could respect him for that. It was a pleasant surprise, him loving the show so much he had to watch it NOW.
Today, I finally got the chance to ask him about it.
I was bouncing on my toes, excited to be fangirling about my fave show with my own father. “What did you think, Dad?”
I didn’t expect him to get a little choked up. His next words blew my mind.
He said, “Sweetie, I’m old. Set in my ways. I was taught, and adhered to, a certain way that people should be with each other. I preached it, and I voted in light of it, and I taught it to you and your sister. But I watched this show. And I watched these two men fall in love with each other. And the only thing I could think was, ‘These two souls are meant to be together’. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson are… soulmates. Over my years as a pastor, I’ve seen couples get married.. And couples get divorced.. It happens. But I’ve never seen two people who were more perfectly designed to fit together, and it broke my heart to see it not happen for them. I’m sorry I’ve been such an ass.”
Given that it was a brave moment, I blurted out, “Dad, I’m bisexual.”
And he turned to me and smiled, tears in his eyes, and said, “Just… be happy.”
Don’t fret that the press “has yet to discover” the “subtext” inherent in Sherlock. Don’t fret that the creators and the actors still deny it. Because if my Dad can see it, then it’s crystal clear. My almost-64-yr-old-Dad ships Johnlock. My SOUTHERN BAPTIST PASTOR Dad ships Johnlock.
To the point that he internalized change in his thinking about same-sex relationships, and happily accepted my (rather abrupt) coming out.
Keep the faith.
This ship has sailed; and my Dad, of ALL people, is right on fucking board.