Dad was none other than Joe Schola Junior, an ultra-conservative religious icon. Every Sunday morning, thousands of viewers tuned in to the Joe Schola Show on television or the Joe Schola Hour on Christian radio stations to hear Fox News-approved rhetoric about homosexuality ushering in the Apocalypse and free-thinking females destroying the family. The same terrible talking points were used by televangelists long before I was born. That such hateful rhetoric always has an audience dismayed me. My father and I disagreed on nearly everything, but I never spoke out except to occasionally tell him to dial back the fire and brimstone. I said people would either be turned off by always being told they're going to hell or scared to hear what he had to say.
I couldn't bring myself to tell my father that the son he pinned all his
hopes on was gay. In spite of everything, I loved my dad. Also, I thought
praying hard enough would wash away my attraction to other men and make me
interested in women instead.