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“If my dad were more emotionally vulnerable at times, it would have drawn me closer. If he said I love you more often and allowed me to see him during his vulnerable moments, it would have taught me that it’s okay to let your guard down with the people who love and need to feel loved by you. I needed him to take the armor off sometimes.”

- Joe

“From childhood into my young adult life, I had never been hugged by my dad. We always shook hands. I only imagined, as a teenager and through my young adult years, what it would have been like to be hugged by him. We were business partners and there were always handshakes. I wish my dad hugged me when I was growing up.”

- Rudy

“I needed my dad to tell me that I was okay as I was—sensitive and effeminate. I wanted him to tell me that I was going to be alright, that I could face the challenges in front of me. I think he wanted to and maybe even tried to say those things. But it was hard for him to be direct in the way that I needed it.”

- Michael-Ray

“I wish my dad would have loved us enough to take care of his health. I wish he would have thought to himself ‘I want to be here for my family so I’ll do whatever it takes."

- Daniel

“My father loved being my father. He reveled in it. As a result, I loved being his son and flourished in his love and attention. He made my childhood fun, an adventure that would carry me throughout my life.”

- Ernest

"I wanted my dad to be emotionally invested in learning about me. I think part of parenting is becoming a student of your child. It’s saying, ‘What brings you joy and delight? And how can I engage in that with you?’ That’s what I wanted: for him to be curious about me."

- Jorge

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