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Communication with straight fathers...

What do you and your father talk about? Does your father know you’re gay? Is he comfortable hearing about that aspect of your life? Does he ask about your partner/love life? Does he avoid the topic? I never had a relationship with my father, so I’m very curious (jealous?) about what it was like for other gay men who had actively involved fathers.

by Anonymousreply 21September 18, 2023 5:52 PM

Yes, he knows I’m gay. I’m single and not looking so we don’t talk about dating or sex. We talk about our hobbies. He’s currently trying to get me into cycling. We also talk about whatever old movies I’ve recently watched. And his siblings’ lives and what’s going on with them. And my job sometimes. That’s about it, honestly.

by Anonymousreply 1September 17, 2023 9:13 PM

Oh, and also who currently owes him money.

by Anonymousreply 2September 17, 2023 9:14 PM

How old are you, R1? Are you the only son?

by Anonymousreply 3September 17, 2023 9:55 PM

I realize my story is atypical, but my father was actually *elated* to find out I was gay! I didn't come out till my mid-twenties, but also never dated women before then (and yes, I'm a gold-star gay). He was worried about my *lack* of a romantic life – though to be fair, I was obviously hooking up quite a bit by then – and I decided it was silly to remain closeted after I started dating someone seriously. So I told my parents and they loved the guy I was dating.

Yes, I know I lucked out and am extremely grateful to have liberal, accepting parents – especially after finding out how many other gay people I know had truly horrific childhoods, everything from being kicked out of the house at 15 to conversion therapy.

by Anonymousreply 4September 17, 2023 10:03 PM

R3 I’m 36. I was the spoiled youngest kid. I had an older brother (who hated me) who my father was always particularly hard on, but he died in an accident when I was 19. I don’t like to think about the guilt my dad must feel. We have never discussed it.

by Anonymousreply 5September 17, 2023 10:17 PM

My dad has known I was gay since I was a teenager (he found gay porn searches on the family computer—he never confronted me about it, but I found out from my mother years later that it had happened). Guilty as charged. I am single right now so there's nothing to talk about relationship-wise, but, like with most I think, we talk about common interests and hobbies. We both play music and have bonded over that for many years. Like most men (especially straight ones), my dad is not someone who talks about his feelings, but I accept it for what it is. We get along pretty well and he's never had any problems with my sexuality (he's from California and his sister was a lesbian, so he's always been pretty open-minded—my mother was the homophobic one of the two, but she's since corrected herself).

by Anonymousreply 6September 17, 2023 10:22 PM

Why are you a bottom??!!

Why not??

by Anonymousreply 7September 17, 2023 10:23 PM

Years ago, told my mother first & then told her I was going to write a letter to my stern, demanding father. She intercepted the letter, asking me to wait until after the holiday season. When the holiday season came & went & she still wouldn’t give him the letter, & asked for more time (I thought that she might want to wait until Sadie Hawkins Day came & went.) Eventually, after much pressure, she gave him my letter. He responded by leaving a somewhat supportive message on my answering machine to the effect that he doesn’t like hypocrites (so he didn’t want me to be one). The subject never came up again. Both of my parent are now deceased.

by Anonymousreply 8September 17, 2023 11:03 PM

it's really a joy reading happy stories from the younger generations. I know most of you recognize how fortunate you are.

by Anonymousreply 9September 17, 2023 11:13 PM

Let’s keep the stories going, fellas!

by Anonymousreply 10September 18, 2023 2:07 PM

My whole immediate family supported me when I came out at 19 (not a day goes by that I don't acknowledge my luck) but my father has been my most vocal supporter. He was a truck driver, and now works full time with the union, took on the mantle of family "patriarch" after my grandfather died. People fall over themselves with compliments and respect when he walks in the room. He's by far the most liberal of his generation of friends and family, and is not afraid to shut down any criticism of me or general Republican stupidity. He's spent his life creating a reputation for himself which has allowed him to change several people's minds because they know the kind of person he is and take what he has to say seriously.

As far as what we talk about-- music, movies, the "old days," pop culture, family drama past and present, clothes. As tough and macho as he presents himself, my father is also surprisingly sensitive and is the one responsible for my exposure to so much "gay" media. He loves the Great American Songbook, Bette Midler, etc. Even his dislikes are gay-- can't stand Barbra Streisand, for example. He's very vain and a fashion plate, spends more time thinking about what he's going to wear than I do. Half of our conversations are him describing what he and other guests wore to various events down to the smallest detail. He's not perfect, but he's hilarious, fascinating, and full of love, and I love him.

by Anonymousreply 11September 18, 2023 4:09 PM

I haven't spoken to my father in six months. I'm 30 and he's 70 and very homophobic. Sadly, I have several siblings and will have to see him at several important events in the next few months. After that, who knows how long it'll be again. I don't care. He has been a terrible father to us all -- though my siblings way of coping is, by and large, to pretend otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 12September 18, 2023 4:30 PM

I don’t bother with my father. Gave up on him long ago.

by Anonymousreply 13September 18, 2023 4:32 PM

*siblings' way of coping

(My way of coping was to develop a mild case of OCD!)

by Anonymousreply 14September 18, 2023 4:41 PM

r12 and 13- speaking as an eldergay, I can say from personal experience., cutting out contact from poisonous family members is a good thing. I have yet to hear from an old person who was glad they maintained contact with a toxic family member.

by Anonymousreply 15September 18, 2023 4:56 PM

[quote]Communication with straight fathers...

is best kept to a minimum.

by Anonymousreply 16September 18, 2023 5:04 PM

Thank you for that, R15.

by Anonymousreply 17September 18, 2023 5:16 PM

I came out to my father in the late 1980s, and he was surprisingly cool about it. He had only two concerns about my life: one that I was using condoms and two was whether I would transition or do drag. Similar to others who grew up in the Depression, he conflated the LGB with the T (as well as drag with gender identity). He met my first partner in 1990, but did not like him. Not because it underscored my gayness -- he thought that partner was a narcissistic jerk. Dad turned out being right on the nose there. Dad died before he met anyone else I dated.

I left home for college physically and emotionally, so I never really had deep conversations with my parents as an adult.

by Anonymousreply 18September 18, 2023 5:32 PM

I "came out" -- though never officially in by pretending to date girls or be interested in them -- in 1980 by casually mentioning that I had been to a gay bar and enjoyed the crowd. Lots of siblings, and many of them were older brothers (two jocks, a Marine, and a mechanic). Never really a problem. My father was not distant but he worked the second shift so I didn't see him until the weekends. Smart man, kindly, generous spirit. When AIDS reared its ugly head, my father said to me, "You be careful. There's something awful going around." It actually took me a while to understand what he meant as I wasn't conscious of it yet, and it hadn't reached my circle the way it would in 1-2 years (and then it was dreadful).

There was a period 3-4 years before he died that he and I would go to dinner or just talk on the phone. We never talked about dating or finding the "someone" but I was always open about having an active social life -- which was true, but hooking up was only a small part of it. He died in 1993 and I miss him very much. He would love the man I've been with for 30 years now (they missed each other by a whisker) and I can only imagine the stimulating conversations they would have had.

by Anonymousreply 19September 18, 2023 5:50 PM

My dad was the high school and college football star and a Navy veteran. I never lived up to his jock standards. I was more into reading books and he always blamed my mom for coddling me and "holding me back" athletically. We usually talk about family, hometown gossip, sports, and politics.

My parents are divorced. When I was a teenager I got caught with gay porn. My dad thought it was a phase because I was "raised to know better." I'm in my mid-20's and in law school, so he doesn't expect me to date. I had a close female friend who ended up moving away. I think my dad thought we were dating.

I think it would really hurt him when I come out, but I know he will still love me. He will probably add me on the praying list at church. I won't hold it against him because I know he is doing it out of love. He will always be there for me.

I also wouldn't make a big long social media post and "embarrass the family."

by Anonymousreply 20September 18, 2023 5:50 PM

My dad would blame it on my mother for coddling and holding me back athletically on why I'm gay. Not my fault, but hers. I was just the product.

by Anonymousreply 21September 18, 2023 5:52 PM
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