In Part 1 of my article on bi-sexual fathers, I will be discussing the effects of being a bi-sexual father has on the children involved in their lives. I will also be discussing a few of the issues gay fathers often face including stigmas, myths and prejudices in our society. In Part 2 of my article, I will be interviewing a young man who has recently made an unremarkable journey in his life, realizing and coming to terms with the fact that he is bi-sexual. He is a young father of two and an amazing, gifted young man.
In America, it wasn’t until the 1990′s that the gay community made a major appearance in our society. Before then, gay men and lesbian women stayed “in the closet” because of the stigmas that society placed upon them. Courts were reluctant to place children in the care of their father if he was gay even though research had shown that being gay had little or no effect on the development of a child’s identity. Today, a lot has changed. More and more gay men are adopting children and are even using surrogate mothers to have biological children. There are thousands of gay men who have stepped up to the plate and are fostering children as well.
Unfortunately, a lot of people still feel that having a gay parent alienates a child’s ability to have a productive social experience and life. However, as reported in USA Today, research has shown that gay parents who are open with their children about their sexual orientation, who exhibit mentally healthy behavior and provide supportive communities for their kids, tend to have the most resilient youngsters.
In the past, society pretty much ran homosexual or bi-sexual people through the wringer and placed unfair stereotypes upon them. For example, one standing myth that has frequently reared its ugly head is that if a man is gay, he has to be a child molester because of his same sex attraction even though all the evidence, research and statistics prove that most crimes committed against children are committed by heterosexuals. Another myth is the one in which I discussed above. If you are a gay man, you will produce gay children. Absolutely false. There is a fabulous book that I am reading entitled Gay Fathers written by Robert Barrett and Bryan Robinson. In the book, the authors list these additional myths about gay fathers:
· Disturbed parental relationships myth: Homosexuals, including gay fathers, have disturbed parental relationships (i.e., cold, rejecting fathers and emotionally smothering mothers);
· Harassment exposure myth: Gay fathers expose their children to harassment and embarrassment because of societal disapproval;
· Sex-fiend myth: The main goal in life for a gay father is primarily that of sexual gratification.
These are just a few of the myths listed in the book, but some of the most stunning in my opinion. The truth of the matter is just as there are great heterosexual fathers, there are also great fathers that happen to be either bi-sexual or homosexual as well. Just like there are bad heterosexual fathers, I am sure there are some homosexual fathers that fall into that same category. Passing judgment on a gay man’s ability to be a good father just because he is gay or bi-sexual is not only unfair, but despicable.
In all types of families, children will have different experiences. Children who have gay fathers will excel in life with the same opportunities that a child from a nuclear family will have. Actually, children who have a gay or lesbian parent usually end up being more socially aware as teenagers and young adults. They become more socially conscientious to the needs of people who are disadvantaged due to unfair prejudices, stereotypes and stigmas. A child raised in an alternative marriage environment can be just as emotionally stable as a child who is raised by his mother and father in a traditional marriage. As long as there is a supportive and loving environment, any child will excel.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article. If you are a family in need of help on this topic, I highly suggest you pick up a copy of Gay Fathers by Messrs. Barret and Robinson at your local library. It is an amazing, encouraging book and one that I will read again.
Peace & Blessings,