How one Prudential employee is learning to support his teen’s journey.
By Kara Corridan
In the summer of 2021, Brad Caprari worried his teenager Julia might be pregnant.
Julia had been behaving erratically and was increasingly withdrawn. And while Caprari and his wife were concerned, they assumed it was related to the challenges of the pandemic and spending most of the school year learning online.
But soon Julia would be leaving for her freshman year of college, and Brad and his wife were no closer to understanding what was causing their child so much anguish. He thought of everything Julia might not want to tell them. “I had to ask: ‘Are you pregnant? Have you committed a crime? Have you hurt somebody?’” he recalls.
The conversation was wrenching. Julia was shaking and crying, and finally logged on to the college portal and showed Brad and his wife the screen. Julia’s name had been changed to Jay, and Jay’s pronouns were they/them.
“I had been thinking of all these worst-case scenarios, and [this] was just not a worst-case scenario in my mind,” Caprari says. He immediately hugged Jay and said he loved them and wanted them to be happy. “You could just feel a lot of that tension leave their body.”
Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day in the U.S., and in the video above, Caprari, a vice president in Prudential’s Planning and Analysis, Finance and Actuarial Community, recounts the journey he and his family continue to navigate. What he wants people to know above all else: “No matter how much you convey openness and acceptance, it’s still an extremely scary proposition for your child to actually come out. It was shocking how much fear and anxiety my child had over telling me, when I felt as though I had been doing all the right things.”
Caprari has relied on Prudential’s PRIDE business resource group for LGBTQ+ community members and their allies to help him assist Jay through their journey as best he can. Jay is happier and more positive, he reports. “Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, but we’re working hard and making good progress.”