As it is Father’s Day, I am reminded of my father and fathers all over the world. I am also reminded of JC Penny’s advertisement incorporating two gay dads and gay dads all over the world. Father’s Day and my dad’s birthday are always two difficult days for me. When I was ten, my dad physically abused me. This is what started my journey of understanding and accepting myself as a gay man. This one event changed my whole life in many different ways. It lead me to seek, what I thought at the time, to be a father’s love in other men in my life. Only later in life would I come to understand that I was looking for another man to be with. There were three men that I tried to find a father’s love in. I refer to them as my “victims”. Maybe I will expound on them more in a future post. I have forgiven my father for the abuse but it lead to much hurt and pain. It lead me to look elsewhere for love and acceptance. When I did not receive the love I wanted and desperately needed, I would cause self harm upon myself. I would cut myself or starve myself to drowned out the pain of my relationships. My parents found out about my cutting from the scars and sent me to Christian therapy. I was just starting high school. I thought of myself as a nothing, just full of all of these problems. Since it was Christian therapy, they would have never told me that I was gay though it would have helped me to know who I was and start my healing process. Looking back, it just seemed like a no brainer. That was the reason I was having trouble with all of these guy relationships in my life. All of this was caused by being physically abused by my father one time.
It shows how important a father is in the life of their child. We see more and more in our society the lack of fathers in the lives of children. This is hurting our society. It is hurting both boys and girls but in different ways. I do not believe in the Christian psychology that a man is gay because of an overbearing mother and a distant father. Sure, I have both of those but God would have made me gay even if that were not the case in my life. He has a wonderful plan and calling for my life – no matter what my sexual orientation is. Before any couple thinks about having and raising kids, they need to both be willing to be there for the child and know that they are able to support it. For those who do not have fathers, let us be willing to be there for those that need that. Many gay men have not had fathers that they have wanted or they have not even had any father figure at all in their lives. Everyone needs a positive male role model in their lives. Let us as gay men be open and willing to be there for kids who do not have a dad and our fellow gay brothers who have not had good experiences with their dads. Though we may be in a relationship with another man romantically, we should still be reaching out to other men as brothers and helping them through the struggles of their lives. Let us also evaluate our own lives so that we can be the best role models we can be. Is there anything in our lives that we are doing that we do not want to pass on to the next generation? the next generation of gay men? Whatever it is we should stop doing it ourselves. Children and people in general learn from example. Straight women look for husbands that are like their fathers because that is what has been shown to them no matter if it was a good example or a bad one. Women get into abusive relationships because that is all they know though and it is not all their fault.
Currently, my dad has put up a wall between him and I by believing that I am straight when we have talked multiple times that I am gay. He thinks I am deceived. He believes in the traditional view of the Bible that condemns being gay and acting on it. Since the Bible condemns gay sex, he thinks I can change. He has told me that he sees me as straight even though I have always been different than my two brothers. Since he feels that the Bible is clear on the topic of gay, he is unwilling to look into other views. He chooses ignorance over looking into other ideas because he loves his son. Throughout the Bible, we are taught to live in truth. The truth is that I am gay whether he can accept that or not. His beliefs call me a lair and minimizes all of the pain and hardship I have gone though because I am gay. No matter how nice he will act, it is all fake because I know what he believes. His love is conditional. My father has also shown his love through buying us things (I am the oldest of five children). Every time we go out to do errands, he usually buys us a beverage. At the end of the day though it is not about what a father gave his son in a material sense, it matters what time he spent with him. Was he there for me? “Sometimes but mostly not” would be my answer. When we look back on our lives, the only thing that will matter is the relationships we had. Though I have come to the conclusion that my dad can not ever fill all of my needs of a father, I have just grown to accept that. My earthly father fails me but my Heavenly Father does not. He loves me unconditionally and is always there for me. No matter what life may throw at me, He is there.
To the gay men in the world who are also fathers, my heart goes out to you. As people try to say gay men and lesbians cannot be fathers and mothers simply because of their sexual orientation, their parenthood is under attack. No matter who raises a child, they are their parents and their mother or father. It is not any different because of a person’s sexual orientation. Though it is a tough road, stand strong. From my life experiences, I do not desire to have kids so when I came to the conclusion I was gay, I had no issue with that. I did not want to have kids and screw up on them as bad as my dad screwed up on me. I wanted better for them but did not feel that I could be that better they needed. My goal has always been to save another man from the hate and hurt that people try to push onto gay people. I want to love my husband wholeheartedly – no regrets. I am not totally canceling out the thought of kids but I would rather be married to my husband and to my work of helping other gay men.
To all of the fathers: Happy Father’s Day! To all of the gay dads: a special Happy Father’s Day! May the next year of parenthood be successful and bring many blessings.