Gay Dad Aftermath

12 May

Letterbalm Gay Father with Teenage SonDear LetterBalm: I’m 15 years old. After my mom and dad divorced, my dad started dating men. He talked with me about how he always felt attracted to guys, even before he married my mom, and how this makes no difference in how much he loves me as his son. I’m cool with it, and his new boyfriend seems to be an O.K. person. I live with my mom, but I spend some weekends and school-night dinners with my dad. My parents are much happier now, and both of them are involved in my schoolwork, sports teams, etc. My problem is that I haven’t told any friends about my dad. Kids at school can be really harsh, and I don’t want them mocking me. I’m worried that my dad will show up at school events with his boyfriend. I don’t know what to do about this, and it’s majorly stressing me out.

–Don’t Want to Lie

You’re a very mature 15-year-old to have such a good grasp of your parents’ marriage and your dad’s subsequent decision to live an authentic life. Bravo to your dad and mom, too. Take stock of the pluses in your life: Your solid relationship with your parents, their investiture in your life, their new happiness and honesty as human beings. These things should give you strength as you face your friends and classmates. Remember, too, that confidence and calmness disarm bullies and ridiculers – if you don’t react, their mockery dies away, and eventually you cease to interest them. Ms. L.B. hopes you’ve talked with your parents and a trusted school counselor or teacher to help you be more comfortable. She also suggests you tell your closest friend first if you think he’ll understand. (Talk with him privately away from school.) You owe no one a detailed explanation; practice a few brief phrases in front of a mirror:

  • You need to know that my dad and his boyfriend will be coming to the games. My dad is gay. I found out after my parents got divorced. It’s cool. My mom and dad are much happier now.
  • My dad is gay. He talked to me when he and my mom were getting a divorce. He said being gay doesn’t have anything to do with how much he loves me as his son, and I believe him.
  • My dad is so much happier now that he has come out as gay. That’s good enough for me.
  • My dad is gay, but that doesn’t make any difference that he’s my father. He’s a great guy, and I’m happy that he’s decided to be true to himself.
  • This is my family business, and I won’t be talking about it anymore. Deal with it.

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