Rory Feek's struggle with accepting his daughter's sexuality, "My job is to love her even when it’s hard”
Feek lost his wife and musical partner, Joey, back in March last year. Soon after, his daughter, Hopie, came out to him as gay, something that he has had a hard time accepting.
Country singer-songwriter Rory Feek has been trying his hardest to adjust to his new role as a single father; and it hasn't exactly been easy, especially with his daughter, Hopie, coming out to him.
In a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning, the authour of the soon-to-be-arriving book 'Once Upon a Farm: Lessons in Growing Love, Life and Hope on a New Frontier', revealed that just days after the passing of his wife and musical partner, Joey Feek, he could tell that Hopie had something burning to tell him.
“I said, ‘Just tell me, Hopie,’” Feek, 53, says in the released preview of the interview. “And she went on to tell me that her friend Wendy was more than her friend, that Wendy and [she] had been dating for almost a year. And that she was in love.” Hopie — who lost her step-mother to a battle with cancer - is now engaged to Wendy.
Hopie is Feek's daughter from a previous relationship and has a sister, Heidi. They were born before Feek had met his late wife, with whom he had a 4-year-old daughter Indiana, who was born with Down syndrome.
Hopie was afraid of being judged by her father after telling him of her relationship, and she also wondered if he would still love her.
“And my first reaction, honestly, was I don’t know,” Feek said. “Because my conservative Christian faith that saved me — the first reaction is that challenges that immensely.” Continuing, he said: “Am I supposed to shun my child now and say, ‘No, you can’t be in my life until you come around to thinking like I’m thinking?’”
In the duration of the interview, Hopie also mentioned the "panic" she could observe on her father's face; at the same time she understood where he was coming from. Yet, whilst struggling with accepting his daughter's sexuality, Feek also said that he came to understand that his only job here is “to love her.”
“The only thing I try to keep in mind is it’s her life, it’s her choice, it’s her faith,” he explained. “And my job is to love her even when it’s hard.”
In an interview with People magazine back in August 2016 - which was exactly six months after the death of her stepmother in March of that year — Hopie shared the impact Joey had on her life. “She was the first woman I could actually look up to,” Hopie shared.
As for Feek, he has also shared with the same outlet before that he's “like to think that Joey is proud” of how he’s doing as a single father.
“I’d like to think that Joey is proud of how I’m doing – how we’re all doing, especially Indiana,” Feek had said. “She took so much pride in the work of being a mama to Indy, and I find myself thinking of her every day, all day long in the time that Indy and I spend together and the things we do, wondering how she would handle this, or do that.”
“I remember how present Joey was and am trying to be that way too,” he added. The CBS Sunday Morning interview will be airing on Sunday, 9:00 am ET on CBS.