At her beach house in the Outer Banks, my older half-sister and I cooked up huge seafood dishes to catch her two kids and their school of friends. After dinner, we released them to the teen parties that began at sunset out on the beach while we lounged on the deck and drank bottles of wine and listened to music under the stars.
         One night, we were listening to Joni Mitchell or Carol King. My nephew turned to his friend from a few houses down the beach.
         “That’s my uncle’s music,” he said. “He likes whiny women that sing about love and guys and stuff.” My sister didn’t notice, refusing to hear what she didn’t want to hear.
         The next night the kids invited me to their bonfire.
         “Sorry, Mom. Parents aren’t allowed.” How can you turn down an invitation like that? One kid lent me his guitar, and I played a few tunes for them, and toward the end of “Woodstock” a baritone voice joined mine. It was coming from an older guy with a chiseled face and glasses, standing at the edge of the firelight.
         We finished singing and my nephew put his arm around me and said, “This is my uncle,” to the man, and to me, “This is Cathy’s dad. His boyfriend just left him.”
         Oh, I thought, there’s hope yet for the South.

R R Angell’s (he/him) work has appeared in Gargoyle, The Baltimore ReviewAsimov’s Science Fiction, and Interzone among others, and many anthologies. His first virtual reality novel, Best Game Ever, was selected for the GLBTQ Pride Bundle in 2020. A Clarion West grad and SFWA active member, his work has been translated into French and Chinese.