04 December 2009

The Talk With Dad, Part Three

The conversation continues. Dad's in regular font, I'm in italics.

I'm curious about a couple things. Why did the gay community in California try to get a law passed that psychologists could not teach or offer as an option returning to a more traditional lifestyle when talking with their clients?

You mentioned that in your e-mail and I went looking for any record I could find of that. I asked my friends. Nobody had heard of such a thing. Would you please find it? Because I tried and there was nothing.

Yeah, it happened. And it got killed in the Legislature.

Please find it.

OK, I'll try. The other question is what about your kids, short term and long term?

The kids know about me.

[long silence ensues]

What do you think about that?

I think it's fine.

[another long silence]

Let me tell you the story of when they first confronted this issue. I was not out to them. I was driving them to school and we passed an LDS chapel. This was before the election, and there were people outside the chapel waving Yes on 8 signs. [Young daughter] turned to me and said Daddy, what's Proposition 8? She knew nothing about this, I'd never mentioned this subject to either one of them. So I explained it in as objective and simple terms as I could, here's what it is, why it's there, supporters say this, opponents say this, President Monson said he'd like everyone to support it and he's said we're free to make our own choices. What do you think? She thought for a minute, and her first reaction was "how does two guys getting married hurt somebody else's marriage?"

Hurt somebody else's marriage?


How does two guys getting married hurt somebody else's marriage. What did you say?

I said "what do you think?" And again, I had never discussed this with them, this was purely her own thought. She said "I think you should be able to marry who you want."

Hmm. [another long silence, and then he dropped the subject].


Anonymous said...

"Out of the mouth of babes"...

I am glad the both of you are conversing about this tough subject. And, I am hoping his heart will continued to be softened, if not by what you say, then by his grandchildren.

Love and respect, always, to you and yours.

J G-W said...

It's such a simple question. "How does two guys getting married hurt somebody else's marriage?"

Why can't we ever get a straight answer to that question?

The best I've been able to decipher from the answers that we do get is... Having two guys have the option to marry makes it less easy to coerce them to marry women.

Romulus said...

Wonderful end to the conversation!

MoHoHawaii said...

Thanks for this series of posts, even if they are painful to read.

I like Dan Savage's advice about coming out to parents who are religious conservatives. His says that after you come out your parents should get one year to react badly, make anti-gay arguments and ask offensive questions motivated by prejudice. During this year you work with them patiently. They get a free ride.

After the year is finished, it's up to them to decide what their relationship with you will be. You live with dignity, hoping they will join you.

I like Dan's approach on this one. If you take the high road (as you are with your dad), there's a chance for a positive outcome. It sometimes takes extra time for parents to wrap their minds around this, and we shouldn't expect it to happen immediately.

I don't know if I'm imagining it, but it seems that your dad's attitude might be starting to change.

I wish you and your dad the best in this difficult journey. I have a lot of sympathy for the difficulty of his position. His world is being turned upside down. I'm sure he loves you a lot and is now greatly conflicted.

(P.S. Check out the link to Dan Savage's video clip if you haven't already seen it. The story he tells about his first boyfriend's father is amazing.)

Joe Conflict said...

You make me wonder when I will need to have this conversation with my mother. I'm sure it will happen at some point.

Gay Mormon said...

Talk about "From the Mouths of Babes. . ." Wouldn't the world be a better place if the Children taught Sunday School!

TGD said...

Logic and reason. It's a beautiful thing. I wish I had had more of that when I was young.