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.