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Stolen Fatherhood

05 May

May 2014 marks approximately two years since I publicly came out of the closet and began to live my authentic, God-given life as a gay man.  The past two years have been tumultuous and peaceful at the same time.  As I reflect over the past two years, I can report some good progress as well as some not-so-good progress.  Progress isn’t always positive, but its progress nonetheless.

My relationship with my three siblings is nonexistent. My relationship with the “church” is just about nonexistent. Strange being that I committed my entire life to church ministry at one time.  Let me be clear… when you “cross” the “church,” there is no longer mercy and grace.  That is replaced with judgement and “loving the sinner and HATING the sin.” [my emphasis on hating]  Ironic that the “cross” teaches just the opposite of that.  I have severed ties with people who continue to propagate that homosexuality is a choice and that I am less-than.  I will not tolerate that type of bigotry from a Facebook friend or a personal friend.  If you don’t stand against it, you stand for it by default.

I can get along just fine without that garbage.  Believe as you wish, but when you publicly align yourself with people and “ministries” who pretend to be an authority on a subject that they know nothing about, I take it as a personal slam and disrespect toward me, my children and those in my “community.” I will rise up and defend.  On a brighter note, my relationship with my parents is positively progressing.  In my ever so humble opinion, I would not say that they “support” me, I do know that they love and respect me. I intentionally keep that relationship as “surface” as possible.  I am simply not ready, nor do I see the need to go deeper at this point.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again…  my parents did the BEST with what they had, and when they knew better, they did better.  I am in a happy place with them.

My former wife and I continue our great friendship.  After all, she is the only woman who I have ever loved.  July 18th will always have a special place on my calendar.  She is the one who had to bear my “coming out” all alone.  She and I have been through a lot over the past 17 years and I could not ask for a better friend.  She is magnificent!  I am ever indebted to her for all that she means to me and for all that she is

Today I decided to meet my daughters at school for lunch.  The are 8 and 11 respectively.  I did not announce that I would be joining them, so it was a surprise for them.  It made my heart so happy that they ran up to me with a huge hug and a kiss… ON THE LIPS too!  They are not shy about how much they love their daddy.  Upon leaving the school for lunch, I began to reflect.  This is only the second time that I have joined them for lunch.  It made me sad.

It made me sad because living in the closet robbed me of my role as a father.  How is that?  I’m so glad that you asked. For the first 9 years of being a father I felt completely undeserving.  I was ashamed of who I was and was certain that if my children knew who I truly was, that they too would be ashamed of me.  I was deeply fearful that if their friends and parents caught on to the fact that their father was gay that my children would be rejected by their friends and parents.  So, I stayed away.  I stayed away from birthday parties, school events and other social events.  I knew that I had some “gay” behaviors and eventually people would become suspect of me and my sexual orientation. A was called gay, faggot, queer and princess to my face and behind my back all my life.  So being deemed a gay father would just be too much.  All I wanted to do was protect myself and my children from having as “sissy” father.  I wanted my kids to be able to say, “My dad is bigger than your dad” and “My dad can kick your dads butt.”  You know how it goes when you’re in school. It just never worked out like that for me. I felt inadequate because I wasn’t “manly” enough.

So when they ran to me in the lunch room today and jumped into my arms and gave me a big, juicy, sloppy wet kiss, I learned a powerful lesson.  They don’t give a crap that their daddy is attracted to men.  They don’t care that their dad is gay.  What they care about is that I show up.  That I love them unconditionally.  That I hug them and hold them when they are in need.  That I’m real, honest, authentic and loving.  My oldest even proudly introduced me to her classmate whose parents are a same-sex couple. It helped to heal my heart just a little bit more.

So no more hiding from the other parents, I am worthy to be called father, daddy and parent.  Those stolen years are in the past!  NO MORE!  I am SUPER-DAD…  and if you don’t believe me, just ask my two daughters.

Now I’m going out to buy me a cape, spandex and sneakers.

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3 Comments

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Journey to Authenticity

 

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3 responses to “Stolen Fatherhood

  1. samesides

    May 5, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    Chet-

    Yes! You are at that point where you can be who you are… a truthful and honest parent. Your kids love you no matter what, dude, and today proved it. I can’t wait for the future when you get even more and more comfortable with it. Because as you do, others will follow along. We make these things so big in our own heads (and they are a big thing), but when we start being okay with it, we start to see that others really are, too. Devon and Felipe and I sit together, hang as a family at school and sporting events, and most people are like “Wow! Those are some good people!” It took a few years to get there, and it really does keep getting better.

    And those who aren’t have their own issues, which aren’t yours, to deal with.

    Proud of you… and your spandex.

    Emily

     
  2. Judi

    May 5, 2014 at 7:14 PM

    This blog made my heart Sooo Happy. I love that you are ok with the relationship with your parents… I love how you have always loved Christa… Most of All I Love your relationship with your beautiful daughters❤️ Chet, I have always and still know you are the Best Daddy any child could have. You will always Love, Support and forever be their Loving Daddy. LV U❤️ my Chosen Brother❤️

     
  3. Rod W

    May 6, 2014 at 6:03 AM

    Chet, I almost feel there are parallels between you finding your self sexually and me finding myself spiritually. When I came out as a doubter, agnostic, then Buddhist, and whatever I am now it was so very hard to cut the cord with my childhood beliefs. I would say one of the key differences in our journey is the conservative church is probably way more compassionate and accepting of me than you. My daughter who is a conservative evangelical loves and respects my spirituality (kids are great). One of the things that is so frustrating is that Christians often trivialize my spiritual path. I like you spent years at CBC studying for the ministry, years seeking and studying after CBC. Probably to this day I spend more time reading the bible and scholarly works about it than many pastors, yet am treated like my beliefs and my views on scripture are a whim I came up with while daydreaming yesterday.
    I am so happy for your courage and happiness. Through this you get to find out who the true followers of Christ are. A very quick litmus test about love isn’t it. I bet your family hasn’t ostracized the gluttons and back biters who call themselves Christians. I hope your faith continues to grow as you find out what authentic followers of Christ act like. It’s hard letting go of preconceptions no matter how messed up they are, especially when the majority lives in delusion.
    You are one of my heroes keep moving forward as you quest for truth. Let love be your litmus test!
    Sorry this is jumbled but I really wanted to preach but instead hit a few scattered highlights.

     

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