January 22, 2012

Gay fathers coming out of the woodwork

We've seem to have had a rash of gay dads who've joined the Utah Gay Fathers group lately. Not sure if it is one of those: "I'll just wait and do this after the holidays" thing but it seems that there are a few who are either coming out to themselves, maybe trying to figure out how is their coming out going to affect their families and such. Some are still married, some are going through separations or just newly divorced.

I have said it before that anytime I hear about a new guy going through the process I have a twinge of PTSD kind of reliving my own experience, but lately things have gotten better for me. I think that the old addage of "time heals everything" really is true. Still as I see more guys take the leap from being married to accepting themselves, coming out and whatever their lives mean from there I can't help but think how many more are out there who are still living in angst.

To anyone going through any of these steps, even if it is just discovering who you are I'll write a couple of points that may be helpful. They're in other blogs and lists so they're nothing new, yet it feels like these points needs to be repeated over and over again. They also don't only apply to gay fathers, I think they're good for anyone coming out or going through almost any kind of transition:

1. You're not alone-- I remember feeling that I was the only gay person who was married in the entire world. There are literal networks around that can make you feel included and that you matter--find one. The gay dad's group I participate in is not a public group for various reasons but there are lots of guys still in the closet and all other steps that a certain amount of anonimity is still needed for them and it also allows for some rants and issues that can't be expressed in the open. 

2. You're not a monster-- It think it has become more mainstream to come out. Sure, not everyone is going to like it, accept you with open arms and march with you at the next Pride parade, but I believe there's a certain amount of empathy and understanding from people in regards to being gay and coming out. I have not had any kind of negative experience coming out, even as an adult, having been married and having kids--sure I've heard rumors through the grapevine but nothing face-to-face. Better yet if individuals fear that their families won't accept them, it may only be the difference between knowing someone gay and not being aware of how many of "us" are out there.

3. Find a tribe-- Find someone you can talk to, confide in. Someone you can be vulnerable with and that will hold you when you need it. Someone that will allow you to scream when you feel like doing it and that will help you move through the process. Find friends that will allow you to grow and help you out of your cocoon. For some reason a lot of people think that all that gay guys do is hook-up and hunt for their next sexual conquest. This could not be further from the truth but because that seems to be the notion, a lot of guys coming out feel like that's the only thing they're supposed to do and while there's a place for that "gay adolescent" stage it doesn't have to be the only thing in a person's life. Most cities have sports, gardening, cooking, brown bag and other interest groups that will provide you with a social outlet-- get out of your shell and find them. Don't be the person who only has gay friends--don't forget your straight ones--who else is going to give them style advice? :-)

4. Man up-- Own up to the possible "mistakes" that you've made, the relationships you've affected, the people that in some way or another you may have "lied to" even if it was just to survive. Hindsight is always 20/20 but think of the things you couldn't have learned otherwise, the relationships you've had and yeah even the blessing of being a father to children if you have them--. But once you've apologized and owned up, move on. Do the manly thing and take care of your ex and the kids financially (get divorced and set your obligations--child support/alimony--in writing as fast as possible), be fair but also make sure you can still survive and as much as you can, don't dwell on your mistakes and don't make any excuses. Don't allow people to use you for guilt or give them entitlement over your life, your money or any aspect of your person.

5. Live your life. Show people that being gay is only part of who you are. You may be a son, brother, father, husband, employee, boss, church leader, a neighbor, a friend--whatever it may be, but being gay is not THE ONLY thing about you. Sure, it may drive a lot of what you say, think and do; but by all means it shouldn't be the only driving force. Still move on with your life and show yourself and everyone that you still have to put on your gay underwear and gay pants one leg at a time! Don't make rash decisions, you don't have to dissolve your life, your employment, even your married life if that's not in the works, but feel the freedom of accepting yourself and knowing what works for you.

I'm sure there are lots of other things that could be said about this, but if I think about it more I won't ever get this posted, so here are just some thoughts, take them for what they're worth, I'm not licensed, trained or paid for any of it. I just have a big mouth and a not-so-humble opinion! :-)

January 11, 2012

Salt Lake is the Gayest City!!

Congratulations Salt Lake City!!

If you haven't read the article, here it is. The criteria is kind of weird but hey I'm sure that Utah's tourism board will gladly take the attention that this is getting. Other organizations may not be so amused (if I were they I would definitely spin it in the direction of saying: "See? We're gay friendly in spite of requiring people to believe otherwise").

Times must be changing, in my non-scientific opinion, but I believe so much more can/should be done. We were sitting among friends a couple of nights ago and someone brought up the fact that a lot of Mormon families feel the conflict between loving their religion vs loving their gay children, cousins, friends. I suppose it might take some time, serious thought and perhaps even personal struggle but in the end LOVE has got to win--it has to, family and love have to trump policies instituted by a bunch of retired men running a corporation.

I have seen this kind of love being put into practice over and over and yeah while I don't expect families to drape themselves in a rainbow flag and march at the next Pride, at the very least they're being loving and accepting of their gay relatives, their partners and allowing them to be part of their lives. Again, love has to be the factor here.

January 01, 2012


I'm not much of a 
New Years' resolution kind of guy;
but this 2112

I want to do some of the following:

Something New
Something Unexpected
Something Scary
Something Magical

Don't quite know what all of that means;

 I'll have to keep an eye 
for the right opportunities
seize them!!
That's all