On gay fathers, insight from the straight-partner point of view is very different than from the child’s point of view. A mother-son dialogue from The Gay Dad Project.
The Gay Dad Project aims to explore families—and the complex relationships within these families—where one parent is gay and one parent is straight. Amie Shea, Erin Margolin, and Jared Karol all share the experience of having had a dad come out as gay. They have all found comfort in sharing their stories with one another, and in knowing that they are not alone.
These are letters between Jared Karol and his mother, Jane Hance. This post was previously published on The Gay Dad Project.
Read more about the Letters here.
March 17, 2012
Hope you’re doing well. Just wanted to say that if you wanted to write me any more letters, on any topic, I’d welcome them.
Also, if I were to write you a letter, we could post that and your response on my blog.
Let me know what you think.
March 17, 2012
Absolutely. You write, I’ll respond. And if something inspires me, I’ll write again.
Actually, I’ve been struggling with how much of the things we would both enjoy discussing I’d prefer to keep private … not everything should be shared publicly. For instance, I’ve been following the gay dad discussion and it has really stirred up thoughts and feelings that were present at that time. Insight from the straight-partner point of view is very different than from the child’s point of view. This is a topic I think you and I should discuss sometime, I’m just not sure if it should be in a public forum.
Keep in mind that I have never been anti-gay. But having to live in this reality is totally different, as you have been discussing from the child’s point of view. When your dad first told me he was gay my life was seriously and forever altered even though we had already called it quits.
And because I had this reality forced on me at such a young age—22—it dramatically affected my growth into adulthood, as it did yours. My life was altered both as a single woman looking for a man to share her life with, and as a mother whose son would now have to grow up with the reality of having a gay dad. And then as the mother of another son who’s brother not only had a different dad, but a gay dad.
Seems pretty straight forward (excuse the pun) but is anything but that when you get deeper into the story. I haven’t quite gotten that whole discussion gelled in my mind, or what angle to approach it from because every angle leads in a whole new direction. And I’m coming to places in each direction that I’m not sure I care to share with the world.
This reality, I suppose—the reality of how much to share—is in itself a discussion that can be shared. So you may share this letter. :)
Read Jared’s reply here.
Image of couple taking own photograph courtesy of Shutterstock