Archive for the ‘children’ tag
Fantastic blog post on Big Gayborhood about being closeted at work and how those stupid comments can affect you so much, and about how we worry that our children will pay for our honesty. Read on…
A year ago, I was working in a child care center in a very small town. At a staff meeting, a colleague said, “This small town is not ready for gay marriage.” Bear in mind that I am a Canadian, living and working in Ontario, where same-sex marriage has been legal for a number of years, so it is inevitable that this teacher will encounter a child of same-sex parents at some point in her career.
In fact, she already had the child of a lesbian in her care, and didn’t even know it. She was my daughter’s preschool teacher.
I should have spoken up. I should have asked, “How do you know there isn’t a child in your room who is in that situation right now?” I should have defended my child and the life I was beginning to live. Instead, I was silent. It was easy enough for me to hide my sexual orientation, I was single at the time, and my internalized homophobia created shame, when I should have been defending my right to raise my child with another woman, if I so chose.
I was acutely uncomfortable with my working situation after that comment was made. Not only did I feel unsafe about coming out to my colleagues, I really felt as though my daughter would be treated differently if the teacher became aware of our situation. Whether or not any small town is ready, teachers need to be prepared to set aside their own biases in order to truly love and accept the differences of all the children in their care. It is essential to preserve a child’s self-esteem, to educate, and to teach love and inclusion over hate.
read the rest at Our Big Gayborhood.
The Irish Times’ Brian O’Connell writes about gay fathers:
I am 51 and if ever there were a case of life beginning at 40, it would apply to me. The strong message given out when I was growing up was if you have any feelings of attraction to the same sex, it is a phase and you grow out of it. I went down the traditional route, got married at 26 and started a family two years after.
By the time I was 30, I had two daughters. It became apparent, I suppose, about 10 years into the marriage there was something fundamentally not right. I didn’t have the same sort of feelings I previously did. You could say I was living in denial.
It wasn’t until six months before my 40th birthday the light was switched on and everything fitted into place, and I came out. It is pretty late by present-day standards. At that point, my youngest daughter would have been about nine and my oldest was 12.
My biggest fear was in terms of how they would react to me. I didn’t have any particular concerns in terms of access to the children initially.
That became an issue at a later time. We were concerned that my youngest daughter would hear at school, so we decided we would tell her. We had a very positive reaction from her. She would have been 10 at the time.
The biggest challenge I had, throughout the girls’ teenage years, was a stipulation that my ex-wife made as part of our divorce settlement in 2002. On weekends, when the girls were staying with me, I was not allowed to be in the company of any gay friends or partners. I was very unhappy with this, but I basically caved in. That agreement was meant to remain in place until they were 18, but it fizzled out when they were about 16.
Once I introduced the girls to a partner of mine. I was in a relationship with a guy for about three years and in the second year I brought the girls to meet him for coffee in an airport. After the coffee he went off and I brought the girls back to my place. My ex-wife found out, and I was in court soon after where I was told if it persisted, I would be facing serious consequences.
That has changed now and I would not accept those conditions again. It is something I have regretted, but at the time I just wanted a resolution and to move on. In a scenario like mine, I think my message is to get very good legal advice and to listen to that advice. I didn’t listen to my advice. My solicitor had issues and he said you will live to regret it, but I wanted closure.
I have a wonderful relationship with my kids. One of them lives in an apartment over my bar and the other pops in all the time. I think that if deep down a father feels he has a good relationship with his children he should trust that. Children are amazingly empathetic when push comes to shove.
(h/t to @unamullally for tweeting this)
That summer was particularly rough for me. I had begun to accept the fact that I was attracted to men and started exploring that aspect of my sexuality. It was also the same summer that I had my heterosexual relapse with Gloria.
I was working for Applebee’s restaurant at this point in my life. I bartended most nights, but also waited tables.
During weeks that I did not have custody of Zoe, I would work pretty much all day long. I would go in and work the lunch shift, maybe take an hour long break and then work the closing shift. If you have ever waited tables or bartended before, you know the lifestyle I am talking about.
On nights that I had Zoe I would hurry home to pick her up from the sitter and on nights that I didn’t have her I would go out with friends that I worked with and we would hit the local watering spot.
One Thursday evening, I neither had Zoe nor went out with my work friends. This would be the night in which I would first meet my internet crush Chad…