“F*** Off, Homo Boy!”

I’m interrupting the sequence of ‘alliterative’ post titles I was enjoying because something has happened which really p***es me off.

My 11yo son Leo, potentially brilliant acrobat and seriously fit dude, approached a group of girls at his school which included the one he rather fancies, when one of her ‘friends’ yelled the offensive phrase at him at the top of her voice. Now Leo has a gay dad (me) and a lesbian mum (Clare) and shares his time between us with his (effective) sister Jaymee (product of my partner Dave and Clare’s partner Karen). OK, that’s a bit complicated, but my point is that Leo (and indeed Jaymee too) is ‘straight’ as they come. Now this stupid girl (and possibly more of them) assumes that Leo must be gay because he is my son. Result, tears of embarrasment from him, rescued by his brilliant best mate Chris, who brought him home to me with his arm firmly around Leo’s shoulder. Me on phone to school, complaining that this sort of behaviour should not have to be tolerated. Response, from this bible-belt and essentially homophobic State enterprise, grudging.

31480_502916516412636_1292319623_nThis little list is not entirely relevant for Leo’s age, but contains some sensible advice. Leo knows precisely what his parents are, and is proud to be both ‘unusual’ and a member of our performing group. Indeed, he and Jaymee will be joining us at the weekend for our two-day charitable ‘gig’ in the shopping mall, showing off his acrobatic skills with us. I think that I was able to reassure him that he is someone special, loved by the ‘family’ and by his many friends. Full marks to his brilliant young ‘weights mate’ Chris too, for standing by him and taking care of him. I’ve been sure to speak to Chris’s father Steve on that issue – the whole family is brilliant. Leo is lucky to have such a caring friend, and he knows it, too. Leo and Chris are very close: but gay? No way!

This is not the first time,when he was ‘banned’ from the property of another close friend, near to Karen and Clare’s place where he mostly lives. Because of his mum’s sexuality, and mine. That, I think, has grudgingly and slowly been overcome. It’s not fair for a kid to have to put up with this stuff.

Should I take the blame (with Clare?). Should we not have ‘done the deed’ which she so desperately wanted, to spare him this sort of thing? But Leo is a normal, straight, boy, and surely entitled to a normal school life without this kind of stuff? Clare and I had one of those ‘we’re to blame’ conversations, and ended up feeling as miserable as Leo had done.

In the end, it was Leo himself who snapped out of it. ‘Let’s lift some weights, Dad… and will you help me with that new balance position with Jaymee…?’ Yeah, if in doubt, work out your stresses with a workout! Here’s a particularly good one, in this classic picture, for chest, shoulders and arms: move the pegs up one at a time and pull yourself up. A bit like climbing out of well… a bit like I feel right now…


If we’re going for classic pix today, here’s another – a classic ‘banana-back’ handstand, but a good effort nonetheless…


I’ve tried to remind Leo that what is important is having good, supportive friends, and having fun. If others don’t like it, tough. He knows well enough that for Dave and I it’s “all boys together”. Yes, I suppose our getting naked so frequently in his presence might be seen as corrupting him, but boys have been doing that together for donkey’s years…


I suppose that some of our acrobatic training in our private space might just fuel those homophobic feelings in others, especially with a suggestive (and frankly peculiar) position from the top guy here…


…if he is going into a handstand, he definitely needs his hands above the base’s hips… but it’s a question of what you choose to read into what you see. Is this following picture suggestive? You decide.


That could be Leo and Chris, a dozen times a week.

Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbCover 3 ThumbIn these three volumes, I have poured out my true feelings for Dave (and our other gay and straight friends): I hope it comes across as ‘proud to be gay’ as well as ‘proud to have such fantastic friends’. I have been totally frank about the anguish and emotion Dave and I went through before to committing to the ‘act’ that would become our wonderful, straight, Jaymee and Leo, and the joy they brought to us in those first early years. Click covers for more information. I don’t regret a thing about that… but now, exposing Leo (and possibly Jaymee too) to this bitter, homophobic rubbish… I cannot feel good about that. Did we make a terrible misjudgment?

Oh well. In whatever we gays enjoy our ‘togetherness’, be it wrestling…




..or just mucking around…


…none of these things are exclusively ‘gay’, and I know that Leo and Chris (and others!) will be doing them too. And Leo, loved son and best friend alongside Dave, when you find the right girl, as you surely will, I’ll be right there for you with encouragement and support.

So, forget the stupid girls in school with their misjudged anti-gay nonsense. Get out there with your mates, in the gym where you belong, and enjoy life!


About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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