Richie Jackson

This Parent’s Prayer

This is my prayer for my children and for all our children. Share it with your friends and family over the holidays. Sending love and best wishes for a Happy New Year.

I pray your life is full of love. I hope it includes activism. I expect you’ll be of service.

I hope you’ll try, and if you fail, try some more.
I wish you to be loved the way I am.
I want you to know the glory is in the doing, not in any reward, financial gain, or accolade.

I want you to aim high, because if you aim for the middle you will find it.
Take time to think: there are no no-brainers. Crave responsibility; it is where the living is.
Always want the ball.

Be kind. Being kind is like warming up your voice before singing or stretching before an athletic activity. Being kind opens you up to be ready for anything, and being kind to people makes them feel valued. When you are ready for anything, and valuing the people around you, the possibilities of what you can achieve are endless.

Don’t look down on anyone unless it’s to help pick them up.
Strive to be curious, not just capable.
There is not a finite amount of success in the world.
Be the student most likely to want everyone to succeed.

In our loaded-for-bear world, where seemingly everyone has become a disciplinarian, teach don’t lecture, guide don’t demean, bolster don’t belittle.
Honor your parents by being yourself and all of yourself, living fully and unapologetically.
Comfort when needed and cause discomfort when required.
Care for and about yourself. Care for your friends and your family.
Care for our community.

Jump. Jump as high and as far and as wide as you can.



  • Richie Jackson is the author of the book Gay Like Me published by HarperCollins, an opinion columnist for The Advocate, and an award-winning Broadway, television, and film producer who produced the Tony Award-nominated Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song on Broadway and executive produced Showtime’s Nurse Jackie (Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for “Best Comedy Series”) for seven seasons. As an alumnus of NYU, he endows a program at his alma mater to train the next generation of LGBTQ+ activists called the Richie Jackson LGBTQ+ Service Fellows. He and his husband, Jordan Roth, were honored with The Trevor Project’s Trevor Hero Award. They are the proud parents of two extraordinary sons.