I know there are many whose parents may not be supportive about their child being 2SLBGTQ+, but I hope my story gives readers a sense of hope or a moment of joy. My name is Maurie Sherman. I go by “Damnit Maurie” on The Roz & Mocha Show on Toronto’s KiSS 92.5. As I’m one of a very few out and proud personalities on Canadian morning radio, the role comes with naturally sharing a lot from my personal life with millions of Canadians. I often talk about my husband, Matthew, our relationship, and of course, my supportive family.
While I have a platform to discuss my identity publicly, my dad, Frank, wasn’t so supportive when I first came out of the closet. I think the reasons for that that fell under lack of knowledge at the time. But he’s grown over the years to be the most loving and supportive dad, and even better, he’s obsessed with my husband. He’s become the best father-in-law around. It has given me great joy to watch Matthew and my family bond over the years.
Considering our history, when my dad called me up last week and asked me if I could come over and hoist the Pride flag in his backyard with him, I was immediately brought to tears. For him to not just to accept that he has a gay, married son but also to want to wave the flag proudly in support is a big deal. Unconditional love and support is the biggest gift a 2SLBGTQ+ person could ask for. I was overcome with emotion at his request! Of all of the wonderful Pride memories I’ve accumulated over the years — including marching in the parade and interviewing some incredible spectators from around the world — my father’s invitation to fly the Pride flag will be my new favorite memory.
Maurie Sherman and his dad, Frank
When I arrived to make this memory with my dad, he slowly raised the flag high into the air, shouting several times, “Happy Pride, Toronto!” It felt to me like I imagine others might have felt witnessing Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the moon. It was that boundless. Needless to say, I was so proud of my dad for this one giant step for gay kind. I could also tell that he was genuinely proud of the moment as well. It shows incredible progress between a father and son — we’ve come a long way — in the simple act of raising a Pride flag. The act, of course, comes with tremendous recognition, acceptance, and support.
I hope this photo of a proud dad and his gay son raising the Pride flag to kick off Pride Month brings others as much joy as it brought me.
Dad, I am so proud of you for accepting me for who I am and for welcoming Matthew as part of the family with you, Kyle, Daniel, and Donna.
Thank you for making unconditional love and acceptance a priority. You’re an incredible dad. Love, your proud son!
Maurie Sherman is the senior producer and entertainment reporter for The Roz and Mocha Show on Toronto’s number 1 hit music station, KiSS 92.5 FM. He is also a fixture in Toronto’s entertainment scene with his trademarked “Headcam” gracing the red carpets of the Toronto International Film Festival, Much Music Video Awards, Juno Awards, Canada’s Walk of Fame, and more. Follow him on Twitter at @DamnitMaurie.