Just as younger brothers want to be like their older brothers (picture, left), many only sons want to be like their dad. As a gay man, I am blessed to have a fantastic son who shares many of the same interests I do – sport and fitness, especially weights and acrobatics, and showing off in public, just for starters. Of course, I love him to bits, along with his lesbian mum who so sweetly persuaded me back in 2000 to ‘do the necessary’ to fulfil her dream of becoming a mum. Likewise, Dave has a similar intensely loving relationship with his daughter, conceived under similar circumstances with my lesbian’s partner. It’s all described in my first two books (on the right) – especially the agonising we went through, and perhaps the one serious row Dave and I have ever had.
So, I was speechless yesterday when a straight friend suddenly said to me, about son Leo, “I suppose you’re disappointed he’s not gay?” Huh? He may be 50% me (or my genes, at least) but he’s his own man and, as the gay community has striven hard to get across, being gay is NOT hereditary. Leo is an amazing gymnast and acrobat (will be far better than I ever was), takes his training and workouts extremely seriously, enjoys doing them naked if he and his close friend Chris can get away with it, and always wants to be shirtless and barefoot BUT, GAY HE IS NOT, and Chris neither. In fact I sometimes think his entire workout and performing ethic is designed to produce body and skills which will pull the girls! Chris also. And, for the record, Dave’s Jaymee is as much interested in the boys as the majority of healthy straight young 12-year-old girls.
Actually, it was the word ‘disappointed’ that really got to me, as though it was a given that gay people somehow would hope to spread ‘gayness’ (I almost wrote ‘spread the affliction’, which is how a lot of folks see it). Why should I be ‘disappointed’ in my son’s sexuality? I know that a lot of people are ‘disappointed’ when they find out that their kids are gay, and I suppose the remark grew from that. They sometimes think – ‘no grandchildren then’ (my mum did, and now she adores her grandson, so there!): I hope to be similarly blessed with grandchildren when Leo grows older and gets his act together. Why should I not?
My son, of course, has my total support. And, if he was to have grown up gay, so be it. At least I would have understood, and he certainly would have had VERY understanding parents to come out to.
The person (lady) is still my friend, but from my reaction, I hope that perhaps she will stop and think next time before saying something so… so WHAT? I’m not sure what word should follow… odd? rude? thoughtless? stupid? unthinking?
I’m afraid that I ranted on about it in bed last night (Dave wasn’t around when it happened), and he had to work real hard to make me forget it
Dave completed ‘the treatment’ by being a sweet workout buddy this morning…
…and a few hours gymnastics coaching this afternoon and evening will definitely set me up straight again (a job definitely designed with me in mind!)…
OK: rant over, and few more fit boys to pass the time before I leave for the gymnastics centre (or ‘center’ as I must reluctantly spell it since I am a Brit at large in the USA):
I suppose my friend might have had another question – am I disappointed that I am gay? I think that the books make it clear that, aside from the act of coming out (and ‘fessing up about being a father-to-be, which was worse), it’s been a dream. In fact, it’s been beautiful to live alongside Dave and to share everything with him – even the bad times, as described in the third (and final!) book about us, on the left. Any further books, and there is one brewing in my head, will NOT be about us, under any circumstances. It is probably time for us to ‘go to ground’, and enjoy being the (extended) family that we are.
And to have fun.