Hey there Guys. Today I came across an interesting article in the New York Times. The author, Frank Bruni discusses how for many years his father had been uncomfortable with his homosexuality.
FOR a long while, my father’s way of coping was to walk quietly from the room. He doesn’t remember this. I do. I can still see it, still feel the pinch in my chest when the word “gay” came up — perhaps in reference to some event in the news, or perhaps in reference to me — and he’d wordlessly take his leave of whatever conversation my mother and my siblings and I were having. He’d drift away, not in disgust but in discomfort, not in a huff but in a whisper. I saw a lot of his back.
I can remember the early years of my gay life and a similar situation with my Dad. My father is a great man however in the early stages he did find my homosexuality challenging. He naturally had worries about HIV/AIDS and I think my endless nights at clubs had him worried about my future.
Over time however there was a change. To this day I don’t know what prompted this change however I am externally grateful that it happened. My Dad came to accept that I am gay and reached out to learn and understand more about homosexuality.
But at some point Dad, like America, changed. I don’t mean he grew weepy, huggy. I mean he traveled from what seemed to me a pained acquiescence to a different, happier, better place. He found peace enough with who I am to insist on introducing my partner, Tom, to his friends at the golf club. Peace enough to compliment me on articles of mine that use the same three-letter word that once chased him off. Peace enough to sit down with me over lunch last week and chart his journey, which I’d never summoned the courage to ask him about before.
Sadly not everyone has cool parents like mine of Frank. There are many who have sadly been rejected simply for being true to themselves.
I think Christmas is a challenging time for many people, not just those who are gay. Sadly there are many families that have been torn apart due to clashes or culture, lack of understanding of what being gay means, and unfortunately for some it’s out and out homophobia.
During your holiday break I urge you have a think about your friends and consider lending a hand to anyone that is having a tough time with families. Do you know of anyone that might appreciate a hug or phone call? Perhaps an invite to lunch? Let your friends know that Christmas does not have to be a lonely time of the year.
My local bear group has a special boxing day bears event which is hugely popular. For me it’s a great chance to be free and let my hair down after time spent listening to the same stories I heard last year.
While I’m not a religious person I do see Christmas as a great time to sit back and reflect on my year. I’m thrilled to say that 2012 has been an amazing year, And I have to thank you for being part of it. Over the next few days I’m going to relax and enjoy just being with my partner and dogs as well as my great mother in law. No plans, just rest, games and perhaps a tiny slither of plum pudding.
How are you going to spend your christmas day? Leave a comment I’d love to hear from you.
Yours in great health.
Dr George Photo Credit: Ben Wiseman