Granted, I am not now, nor have I ever been a parent; gay since birth, I’ve never once dipped into the Lady Pond, though one time, a tad drunk, okay a lot drunk, I made out with my friend Maria in a deli, but that’s another story for another day.
I’m talking parents today; mine were pretty good. Not the best, but then whose parents are? They do what they can with what they know and what they’re given. But, as a young queerling coming out, I couldn’t have had better parents.
I say, “I’m gay.” They say, “We love you.” And when Carlos and I got married, and the judge asked if we’d like to be referred to as “husband and husband” or “spouse and spouse” we said, “We’re husbands,” and my Dad loved that; he loves that we were able to say it so freely and so easily.
Sadly, not all parents, or fathers, are like mine.
A young man named Tyler recently came out and the response from his parent, his father, is one of the vilest things I’ve ever read:
"You embarrass me from all the people I knew. I'm going to puke. Whatever you do it reflects on me. People will ridicule me, insult me, and I might turn out to be a criminal. I have enough of all this b******t."
First off, Dad, and I hesitate to call you that because you are so not a father, this isn’t about you, and what your friends think of you. It’s about your son coming to terms with his sexual orientation, a hard enough decision, but one which you make that much worse by your reaction.
"You are trying to ruin me. This is worse than death."
Wow. To say that you’d actually rather be dead than have a gay son … I can’t with that. I can’t fathom a father saying that. I can understand a father saying, Let me process this. I wasn’t expecting this. This is new to me. But death?
"You f**k!!! We took care of you since you were a baby. We loved you, took care of you when you’re sick. Lost many days and nights in all your fifteen years. Now this is what we get in return, shame and embarrassment."
And there we have the loving language of a father to his son. But the most disgusting thing of all? This father didn’t even say those things to his son; he posted them on his son’s Facebook page for all to see.
Tyler, who moved into his aunt’s home after coming out, and suffering his father’s wrath, has not spoken to his father since their conservation, but he says his mother and sisters are accepting.
I’d say this to Tyler: that man is not a father. That is not parental love, or unconditional love. That is selfishness; that is ego. He’s more concerned about what people might think of ‘him’ than he is of how hard it was for you to come out, how hard it was for you to make that decision.
And know that there are others out there who are accepting and understanding and loving and welcoming. I know it might be hard to walk away from your father and I hope that one day he might change, that he might understand that your being gay has nothing to do with him, but until then, know that there is a family out there that loves you, accepts you, welcomes you.