I have known that I need to write this blog post for awhile.
It has just been a hard one to write. There’s a lot of history in this post. There’s people’s hearts and lives I care for in this post.
Last week Trisha and Justin at RefineUs wrote a post called Judgmental People Make Me Sad that crawled all-kinds-of-up-under-my-skin. For days.
A good kind of crawling.
You know what I’m sayin?
I have worked hard to push myself into the realm of consistent transparency… and reading this post convicted me that what follows is a part of my story I haven’t shared yet. A part that has had a tremendous impact on who I am, and who I am becoming.
I will be discussing this, blogging about this, working this through in my blog posts this week.
I am the child of a homosexual father.
Ugh. That sounds so clinical.
My daddy is gay.
Eesh. That just sounds ghetto.
My dad is my dad. How he might be labeled by society doesn’t change a thing about how I feel about him.
Now, that may make a few others look at me a bit cross-eyed, but that’s ok. I have a great set of parents that I am super proud of.
I’m glad I have the exact set of FOUR parents that I have.
And it has made the last thirty-nine years of my life interesting, that’s fo sho!
So… where do we go from here? How about to the questions that are formulating in all your brains right now!
Oh, and in case you are wondering why all of these stories seem to have come tumbling out of me this last several months… I’ll be talking about that this Wednesday on Day 3 of this series. Now on to the questions…
1 – What is it like having a gay father?
The same as having any other kind of a father.
Dads are as unique as the summer sunshine peeking its nose out all around the world. My dad has strengths just like any other person, and weaknesses. We have had good times and bad. We have laughed and cried together. But in the end, we are family, and family is precious.
I will be discussing this more on Day 3.
2 – How exactly did you – ah – come to be here on the earth if your dad is gay?
Well… lemme take you back to the birds and the bees, mmm’kay? My dad and mom were married for over ten years and it was during that time they had me. Dad remembers it like it was yesterday and typically proceeds to tell every new boyfriend alllll about my birth.
My only relief from this extremely embarrassing story? Marriage to John. Although, now dad has a whole ‘nother arsenal of stories.
So does mom.
Anyway, how the whole “sex” thing happened I think we all know. And they are my parents, so I won’t go into detail.
Perhaps the real question is..
3 – Did your dad know if he was gay when he married your mom?
I am not sure. We’ve talked a little about it.
Mom says she knew – before they got divorced – and I think dad knew deep down too. I know back in the day when I was born (that would be the 70′s) it was socially acceptable to get married, have kids, and live your life. Homosexuality did not figure into the equation.
So, dad got married to mom, and here I am!
4 – How does your evangelical Christianity and the reality of having a gay father mesh?
I am not going to lie. Not well.
The most difficult conversations, reactions, and judgment I have received is from the Christian community. Tune in to Day Two to read more about this.
Christianity is all up in arms about the “issue” of homosexuality, but to me, its not an issue, its my dad.
Homosexuality has a face. I see it every time I look at my sweet father.
I spent a lot of years hurting over things other Christians said about homosexuality. Some of the most heinous gay jokes I have heard are not from the secular community, they are from Christ followers.
It’s pretty bad.
But it happens. And it is a part of my life. It’s also a part of my dad’s life.
Despite the occasional bumps, this is still the community I choose to be a part of because for all of our flaws… in a pinch… it is Christ followers who ante up to the plate when I am in need.
People are people, we all have our hangups, areas that make us uncomfortable, areas we want to distance from, and sometimes our need to feel comfortable in our own surroundings causes us to say some pretty strange things to people around us, even unintentionally.
People need to feel safe, and this is one of those things that tends to knock people out of their safety zone.
I get that.
5 – So you said “four” parents… explain:
My dad and his partner have been together thirty-two years.
If John and I are together for thirty two years, he will be seventy six! I will be… well… older.
My mom and step-dad got married when I was pre-teen, so I have a long history with all of them. I am the person I am because of the influence of each one of them, and I can’t imagine my life without even one of them in the exact form that they are currently in.
All mushed together in one big happy dysfunctional glob. Just kidding
6 – Theologically, do you think your dad’s homosexuality is a sin?
This is the question I always get asked when people find out I’m a follower of Christ and my dad is gay.
Seriously folks, I am not an expert on sin. God is. Furthermore, there are far too many of us Christians walking around saying, “I think… I think….I think…”
It’s not about what I think, its about Who I know.
Forgive me if I’m presumptuous, but Christianity is about Who we know, is it not?
Besides, I fully trust that God has all of the answers, so I don’t need to.
Do I think God made a mistake in giving me the exact father I have right now, unequivocally NO. God is sovereign and the last time I checked, God does not make mistakes. Nothing in my fathers or my life has suprised God, He knew every millisecond of both of our lives, before we took our first breath. (Psalm 139)
But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth be silent before him… Hab 2.20
7 – Genetically, do you think your dad was born gay, or he made a choice?
The maddest I have ever been is when Newsweek magazine came out with an article on February 24, 1992 stating that “Homosexuality is Genetic.”
It infuriated me.
Whether homosexuality is genetic or whether it is by choice should not impact our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors toward others. God has created each one of us in His image. That fact alone qualifies each person on this planet as deserving of respect and kindness. Whether a person is ontologically gay (by genetics) or gay by “training” (nurture) should not alter our behavior towards anyone in that community.
See, the imago Dei gives every single one of us worth and value because it is bestowed on us by the Creator Himself. The fact that we are all created in the image of God needs to be first and foremost in our hearts as we choose to interact with others.
Not what we think others are or are not. Not an evaluation of someone as having tainted, disrupted, or stained that image or not. Not what our opinions, our feelings, our prejudices are.
Compassion is a direct result of the realization of the inherent worth and value of every living person. Having the life experiences that I have had with my dad has grown my compassion and taught me mercy.
Dad says he has learned the same things as a direct result of what he has experienced.
And compassion – it’s worth it.
Having the exact dad God has blessed me with – he’s worth it too.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.