Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Thoughts on being a gay dad

I picked my son up today and headed over to the park close by his school. I bought him a kite for Easter and this is really the first time we are getting to fly it. Needless to say he wasn't that interested...

"daddy, i'm bored..."

So I put the kite up and we start walking around the creek that runs through the park. As we cross back and fourth walking over the sleepery rocks samuel is tightly holding my hand not wanting to fall. Usually I am pretty careful about these things, but not so much today.

Samuel slipped...and I slipped right in after him. He was neck deep in the gross green muck and I was kneeling in the same mess. I was grossed out..he was grossed out. It wasn't pretty.

I have mentioned before that I am pretty much black or white when it comes to my opinion of things (hence the name of my blog). But there are a few things that leave me thinking...and thinking...and thinking some more.

For example...

The death penalty - no clue where I stand
Stem cell research - clue
At what point and how do I tell my son that his daddy is gay - I haven't gotten the slightest idea.

I try really hard to be a good dad.

I was talking to a good friend the other day and he asked me what I thought about being a dad. I told him that it was really hard to explain. I told him that I never thought I could love samuel as much as I do. Just being able to raise him...and him look up to me the way he does is unexplainable.

My biggest fear about being a gay dad is that when samuel does find out he will look at me different.

Each night (the nights I have samuel) we pray together, I lay him in bed kiss him good night and remind him every.single.time. that there is nothing he could ever do that would make me love him less. nothing.

My heavenly father has taught me to lead with love...sounds like a good place to start.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Samuel is lucky to have you for a dad!

Amy P.

Anonymous said...

Speaking from my experience with my sons, it’s not so much an issue of “Dad” or “Gay Dad.” I am really no different as a father “gay” as I was “straight.” I don’t parent differently. I don’t love more. I’m still the same impatient, overzealous, biggestfanever parent I always was.

For me, it’s been an issue of “Authentic Dad” or “Dishonest Dad.” All these years telling my sons they were “fearfully and wonderfully made" and yet I never believed it about myself. They are smart. And they KNOW when something is a lie.

I believe that “gay” is just one facet of my identity and that there are much more important characteristics. Like, am I Loving Dad? Kind and Patient Dad? Do I model what it’s like to be fair, honest, and true? Do I reassure them that they are beautiful creations? Do my actions reinforce all of this and model to them how they will be good friends, fathers, and partners?

Upon reflection, I guess one thing has changed: maybe I do love them MORE afterall. You see, for years I had the same fear: “will they accept me???” Their love has answered that with a resounding “absolutely!” I’m not saying it’s been easy but they realized that I was still the same loving, over-protective, controlling, caring, persistent father and they have loved and accepted me unconditionally. Those characteristics—despite my imperfections--had already defined me.

So I would encourage you to strive to continue to be authentic. And I admonish you to enjoy every attempt at flying kites (successful or not haha)…walking together along the stream…falling into the muck (literally and metaphorically)…because it is just such times that will both build your relationship and--when the hugs around the neck come less frequently and he no longer wants to hold your hand—that will sustain it.


Work With What You've Got said...

You? Are a GREAT dad.

Dannybrou said...

Erin and Amy - Thank you.

tdub - thank you for what you have said. I respect you greatly...we are walking the same path. I am just a couple of miles back. ;)

You are right...'gay' is just one facet about who I am. It doesn't define me as a father. I will strive to continue to be authentic. That is my goal and a reason I wanted to start this blog and to be open with everyone.

Anonymous said...

I think children are amazingly loving. And you are fortunate that your child is growing up when he is.

A good friend of mine came out after 20 years of marriage, while his daughters were in middle school and high school. Maybe it's just that they were much older than your son is, but they were incredibly supportive of their father.

The oldest one is the first one to have said to him, "I'm proud of you" in regards to coming out.

Children love far more openly and honestly than we can. The parent-child bond is amazing.

Anonymous said...

I imagine you're already aware of this, but for perspectives on the question of discussing being gay with your son, and similar questions, there are many good books about LGBT parents and families - you can search Amazon for titles; there are also many LGBT parent organizations, such as the Gay and Lesbian Parents Association, based in SF, various chapters of Rainbow Families around the country, the Our Family Coalition, and others. There's an LGBT parents magazine, several great documentary films on the subject, and other websites written by and for LGBT parents.

Anonymous said...

This made me cry. How beautiful.
And who says gay people can't be parents?

-aspiring gay dad someday.