Fathers’ Day 2013

Happy Fathers Day to my Dad. I have learned so much from this man, and I love him for all that he has done and sacrificed for his family. As he gets on in years, I worry about how much time I will have left with him, but I hope to make the most of the days, weeks, and years we have left.

Three articles on Father’s Day

The Deseret News had three articles that caught my eye today. I couldn’t help but share my thoughts on the various topics.

Does anyone really not believe in the importance of fathers?

The first article, In our opinion: Why fathers matter, reminds us of how important fathers are in our lives. I agree with the basic ideas that were mentioned in this article, but I couldn’t help but think about the hidden agenda of the editorial board‘s words. As SCOTUS is coming close to declaring their opinions on Proposition 8 and DOMA, this article is one more reminder that the editorial board and the owners of the newspaper are against the legalization of gay marriage.

Their real message comes in the opening sentence; “As parts of our society attempt to redefine what a family is, the concept of Father’s Day may appear to some as a quaint holdover from a simpler time.” It’s insulting to claim that proponents of gay marriage don’t care or recognize the importance to fathers. I agree that stable fathers and mothers in the home are important to a child’s emotional, spiritual, and physical development. What I wonder about is if one father in the home can be so good for a child’s healthy growth, couldn’t two fathers be even better? What if those two fathers made sure the children had a regular female, motherly figure in their children’s lives? That would be an even stronger benefit to the children, wouldn’t it?

News Flash! Most Men Aspire to be fathers.

I have always wanted to be a father, but the reality is that opportunity has probably passed me by. It’s a loss that I feel every day of my life. I am reminded of what I do not have every day at work and every weekend at church. It almost feels like I am mourning for the family that I never had a real chance of having.

Are gays and lesbians really less religious?

I couldn’t help but question this article, which shows how much less religious the lgbtq population is. I still consider myself quite religious, and I still attend church every Sunday. I know other gay and lesbian friends who do the same thing. The truth is, we aren’t as open about our orientation, so our numbers weren’t likely counted in the poll.

I know there have been many times when I have been tempted to just give up and leave my church. Every Sunday I hear somebody make an uninformed and somewhat hateful comments about those radical gays who want to ruin families. I haven’t given up yet, but I can understand why so many others have. What this poll did not cover was how many of those who claim to not be religious came from a religious background. I think the numbers would be alarming, and churches need to know what their congregations are doing to lose such an important number of members.

Revisiting my thoughts on Fathers’ Day

Perhaps you noticed my differing use or absence of he apostrophe when mentioning today’s holiday. It was a conscious effort on my part. I used the plural possessive some times because the day belongs to all fathers across the nation. I used the singular possessive, because I think the day can be extremely personal for each father enjoying his day with his children. Finally, I used the plural Fathers Day because it is a day for us all to honor the great fathers in our lives. Thoughts?

Visit last year’s blog post to see my thoughts about the day. I think I feel an even stronger yearning to be a father this year. I can’t mourn what I don’t have, and I will enjoy my day with my own father, mother, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. I will cherish that time with them, but a little bit of me will feel alone while there.

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Father’s Day as a Gay LDS Man

I always dreamed of being a father. This time of year, when we celebrate fatherhood, I feel the emptiness that comes from that unfulfilled dream.

I remember getting together with a cousin and friends when we were young. We would usually play outside, but when the weather was bad, we would pull out the board game Life and play for hours. If I remember correctly, the player who ended with the best career and the most money wins, but our challenge was to see who could end up with the most children.

We enhanced the games by giving the children names, personalities, talents, and future careers. I still remember the family of traveling acrobats I created. The twins Bridget and Bart were a little bit rebellious and became attorneys. That, however, didn’t match my cousin’s family of fourteen that ran a resort hotel on their own private island.

I recall writing a paper in high school about where I expected to be in twenty years. I wrote about being a successful advertising executive and father of three children. My twin boys, Zachary and Ian, and daughter, Dahlia, were all very successful in school. Zachary and Ian were state-champion swimmers, and Dahlia excelled in music.

The one component missing in all of those dreams was always a wife. I guess I knew that marriage to a woman was never meant to be a part of my future, yet somehow I thought that I could still be a father. I never dreamed that being a father with another man would ever be a possibility.

Father’s Day was especially difficult as a single man in the LDS church. Sure, I enjoyed the stories people told honoring their own fathers, and I appreciated the sacrifices and love I have felt from my dad. Unfortunately, it was also one of the many days that our church services made me feel lonelier than ever, and I always felt like I was doomed to decades more of this life of loneliness.

Occasionally, a well-meaning ward member would come to me and tell me that I needed to get on the ball and find a young woman so that I could start a family of my own. Others were not as kind. I have heard more than one person say that single men my age have nobody but themselves to blame for not being married, and we are not being obedient to the counsel of our leaders by remaining single.

Secretly, I knew I was honoring the guidance of my leaders by remaining single. You see, I had already been counseled not to marry to try and cure my sexual orientation. My leaders also asked me not to let others know of my same-sex attraction, because they thought it would be too much of a distraction in the ward. Of course, I was also expected not to date or have any sort of romantic or sexual relationship with another man. I couldn’t help but think that staying an active member of the LDS church guaranteed me a life on my own; a life without the companionship of a partner and children.

My dreams have changed a little now. I still want to be a father, but the way I become one may be different than I had imagined in the past. I look at some of my gay friends who are fathers, and I see the joy their children bring them. I still want that. Perhaps I will eventually find a partner who has children, and I will get to share that experience with him. Until then, I will be the best uncle I can be to my wonderful nieces and nephews.