Saturday, January 26, 2013

Out gay parents having out gay children

From my column:

In David Leavitt’s 1986 novel “The Lost Language of Cranes,” there is a mutual “coming out” story: both father and son come out as gay men. Actually, the son lives out his sexuality and his sexual orientation quite easily, and convincingly, from the very start of his own sexual awakening. Meanwhile, his dad (married to a woman) is slow to leave the confines of the gay closet, seeking sex and intimacy in the shadowy dark corners of modern society. I read the book after the birth of my son in 1992, and later watched the film based upon the book, and I feared that I would be the gay dad who was reluctant to come out of the closet. Unconsciously, this storyline was always in my mind when I considered my choice — and timing — of coming out of my gay closet.
In recent years, I have enjoyed conversations with not only gay dads and lesbian moms, but other gay young men and lesbian young women whose mom or dad, or moms and dads, are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, or intersex (LGBTQI).
Most older gay dads and lesbian moms express how reluctant they were to come out of the closet at the time, and how hard it was. This was because most of us were married, once upon a time, and in straight relationships — whether we knew we were gay or lesbian at the time of our weddings or realized our sexual orientation later in life — and the challenge of coming out would bear a physical, relational, emotional, spiritual, and financial cost.

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