I am 50 years old, I am not gay, but I have a 25-year-old gay son and I would like to share my experience with other parents. I must tell you that I have been a regular reader of your sites and that your sites have been very useful for me the last two years. But let’s start from the beginning.
I was born in ‘68, I married young, in ‘90, my parents thought it was too early but I wanted to do it because I wanted to live with my wife and I never regretted that choice because my wife is a person who loves me really. My son, who I will call Diego here, was born in ‘92, when I was 24 and was a very young dad. As a child Diego was a very lively and curious of everything, he felt very much the puppy of dad and mom. I have beautiful memories of that period (6-10 years). Growing up he proved to be good at school and very responsible, at 14 he had the keys to the house. There has always been a good dialogue between us. My wife has never been a mother-hen and has tried from 14 years on, to put him in contact with sports so that he could be with other guys.
At 14, Diego was already very tall and played basketball at a good level, took his teammates home, invited them to lunch, my wife and I cooked and the atmosphere was very pleasant. Things have gone on like this until the age of 17. My son had never brought a girl home and had never talked about girls. At home we never talked seriously about sex. Diego saw me and his mother watching TV in the evening, hugging each other and it was completely natural for him. It had sometimes happened to talk a bit about some television broadcast that alluded to homosexuality. Both my wife and I have stressed that each is what he/she is and that only unintelligent people can have prejudices in this field.
I would like to clarify that our attitudes were not “politically correct” attitudes assumed because those who are on the left think like that. In my youth I had a gay friend a lot older than me, maybe he was in love with me, who was a second father to me, if he had not been there I don’t know what I would have done but I think I would have run a lot of risks and very serious. My wife also met him and was very impressed. I make it short, for me homophobia doesn’t exist at all because it would be the most radical contradiction of my life and my experience.
So Diego, at home, never breathed a homophobic atmosphere. However, when he was 17 years old, my wife and I began to ask ourselves questions, we were not biased towards homosexuality, but having an only child and knowing that he is gay is not a very easy thing to accept, at least because one asks himself how to behave in order to be a parent in the best way. We had noticed that Diego was very often with a guy whom I will call Dany, they were inseparable. Dany came home. Diego and Dany (“D & D” so they called themselves) went to the camping together and spent their Christmas and Easter holidays around Italy. Diego was happy and it could be seen. My wife and I never intruded, but we understood that there was something more than just a friendship between them. But Diego had not mentioned anything to us and we didn’t really feel like asking questions about it.
Dany was drawing very well, his drawings were real works of art, and slowly our house was full of Dany’s drawings. Meanwhile, Diego was 18 years old. The birthday party had not been an invasion of friends, like that of the 17, but had been all centered on a trip (Saturday and Sunday) with Dany. Sometimes Diego stayed at Dany’s house, we said nothing but in the background, however, we had some concerns, not for homosexuality but for the possible health risks and we also felt a bit of anxiety. I thought I couldn’t do without it and I decided to talk to Diego. We went out together one afternoon and went to the city park and I said to him: “I and your mother are fine with Dany, but we have some health concerns …” He looked at me straight in the eyes and said: “We did the test both … and anyway he had never been with anyone else, neither me.”
I asked him: “But Dany’s parents know how things really are?” and he replied: “No! And that’s the biggest problem, because they are not like you and mom … well, Dany fears them.” We talked a lot about this, Diego was really worried. Dany would have cut the bridges with his family, but it would have been a trauma for him. Talking with my son not only reassured me but made me realize that I have a golden son and that I can consider myself a happy father. At home I told my wife about my conversation with Diego and she looked at me puzzled and told me: “But you think we can do something for these guys?” she was referring to getting in touch with Dany’s family and exploring the situation a little. I told her that it was not only Diego but above all Dany who needed to be heard.
One day when the guys came home, Diego started the question, Dany already knew that we knew. But Dany was very hesitant, because nobody suspected anything at home. Basically none of us four had clear ideas. The guys had to finish the last year of high school and then they would go to university, obviously together and in another city, they would both do engineering and would even take a single apartment together. But the rock of Dany’s family remained an unsolved problem. The following year the guys went to the university, and as expected they shared a small apartment, we paid half of the expenses and Danny’s family the other half. Things seemed to go well, the guys were happy, and then Dany had the ill-fated idea of speaking clearly with his parents and from there the disaster started.
They threatened him, in practice they threatened to disinherit him, and it was not a trivial thing because it’s a family that’s doing well economically. I made clear to Dany that in any case the share of inheritance that was due to him no one could have taken it away, but he didn’t even listen to me, he wanted to cut the bridges with his family, evidently after the discourse of clarification, he must have been treated badly. The family has stopped paying tuition fees and the amount for the apartment to force Dany to come back home, Dany wanted to leave the university and get to work but we convinced him that it would be madness and that he would also have done a serious damage to Diego, because studying together they obtained excellent results, and he let himself be convinced. We paid all the expenses, which were not really a big deal after all. But Dany felt embarrassed about this and we didn’t know what to do to put Dany in a good mood.
Fortunately, then the guys were very busy in the study and these problems went into the second line. Every week or me or my wife were traveling to the guys’ house to bring them already cooked meals for the week, so that they didn’t waste time on these things. My wife washed and ironed so that the clothes were always in order, in short, we didn’t leave them alone and now they both graduated brilliantly and began to work, still small things, but this way they make themselves known and the prospects are widen. Unfortunately, Dany’s parents are gone, it seems incredible but that’s right, they are completely disinterested in their son, I never thought you could get that much, but that’s what happened. Dany has not seen them for years, and then now lives with Diego in the city where they studied and I think they have no desire to come back to the city of origin.
We visit them more or less a weekend a month and they welcome us with enthusiasm. Dany is very embittered by his parents’ behavior but now he has lost the hope that he can change something. Project, Diego and Dany also know you and you talked with them (first with Diego and then with Dany, after about a month, more or less a year ago), you are doing a very useful job! I would love that many parents would open their eyes and put aside prejudices because for a gay son to see that parents try to force his freedom and then disappear when they realize that their son has his own world, it means losing most of the positive vision of life.
Dany had found Diego and then he found us and all in all, for him the situation was not destructive, but if he had been alone he would have been forced to give up his studies and he would have had a violent resentment inside him, and all this absolutely without any serious reason. I have a gay son but he is a happy guy, neither I nor my wife have fears for his future, because he managed to achieve what he wanted and now he is an adult man we are proud of, he has a guy who loves and he loves him and he will not remain alone. I wonder how it is possible that even in the twenty-first century there are parents who are so out of the world that they think they can abandon their son because he is gay. All this is really absurd!
If you want, you can participate in the discussion of this post open on the Gay Project Forum: http://gayprojectforum.altervista.org/T-gay-guys-and-homophobic-parents