Grace shares that her parents were 'maybe some of the last people I came out to,' given her father's position in the church.
Grace Baldridge was always scared of coming out given her father's association with the church. Recently, however, she shared the happiness she felt when she was able to come out to him. On TikTok, she shares that she wishes she could tell her younger self that one day, her father would wake up at 3:30 a.m. to go pick up her wife with her. The wholesome video captioned "Thanks Dad," showcases Grace's dad keeping a Pride flag in the car "just in case."
The story ended up going viral with the relationship between daughter and father moving many to tears. On Good Morning America, Grace and her father, Reverand Kempton Baldridge, talked of their relationship and how Grace came out to him. "In my case, I am so fortunate that it has changed overwhelmingly for the better. It’s the sense of relief that I can finally be who I am, express myself in a way that is true to me. And it’s gotten us so much closer," Grace told GMA. Reverand Kempton would certainly inspire many. He said, "When you have an unexpected blessing, like two wonderful women living their lives to the fullest, and to see them being who they were meant to be and living their best life. How can anyone be anything but joyful?"
Grace shares that her parents were "maybe some of the last people I came out to," given her father's positioning in the church. She emphasized that it wasn't her father she feared homophobia from, but a general sense of rejection from others. "I would see it reinforced in other church activities. It was never from my dad, but I did start to believe that he must agree with these teachings because we’re going to these events."
She came out to her dad when he was about to visit her at college where she was living with her partner, now her wife, who she didn't want to introduce as just "a friend." She said, "I was like, 'I’m just going to introduce this person to you this weekend. And she’s very special to me. And she is my girlfriend.'"
Grace shares that the best part of her coming out to her father was that he did not make a huge deal out of it. "To my dad’s credit, I think you (Kempton) were probably the easiest person I ever came out to. It’s like I hung up the phone and I was like, 'did I just come out to dad?' Because you (Kempton) were like, 'oh, like, excited to meet her.' 'can’t wait to see her'. It wasn’t even this big conversation. I think we ended up talking about other things and the logistics of your travel and whatever, I almost want to confirm I was like, 'you heard ‘gay’ right?'"
Hi! So it's my Dad's birthday! Here's a photo of the legendary priest himself with my Mom and their dog, Manu. Named after @manuginobili. pic.twitter.com/1SVOXsbBGz— Semler (@gracebaldridge) August 15, 2017
Kempton explains why he reacted that way, saying, "See, you remember it as coming out. I remember it more, you’re telling me that someone loves you and because I love you. That’s what I remember. Less about coming out than somebody loves me. So, how can I do anything but rejoice that you found somebody whose love you just couldn’t keep inside anymore?"
Grace, clearly moved by what her father said, holds back tears and said, "Aw, that's really sweet dad."
Kempton adds on, advising people to let others know you love and accept them. He said, "Life is way too short to lose a single day of expressing your love and letting the people who need to have your love know that you love them and accept them. There really is no time to waste. Life is too precious. Each day is a gift. God forbid that Grace and her brother ever doubt how much their parents love them for who they are. Without condition, without question."