My father came out to me.

The day after Thanksgiving, my father came to my apartment unannounced. He does not do this, ever. He suggested we have coffee. I hadn’t showered yet and didn’t want to go out in public. I asked him if he’d like to come in, and he did.

He came out to me as a homosexual.

I was not expecting this. I had never suspected anything. He acted as though his coming out might tarnish my memories of him (untrue). He wasn’t apologetic, but he seemed worried that this might significantly change my image of him (not true). He was sixty-two years old at the time.

Has this happened to anyone else?

No…but I hope you put him at ease?

Coming out to family is scary. You don’t know what they might think.

Damn…I can’t imagine what it would be like, living the majority of one’s life denying one’s true nature. Hopefully your support and love will buoy him and strengthen him for the inevitable backlash from some relatives and friends.

Well, not my dad, but yes one of my peripheral friends came out to me. He’d apparently been nervous about how I’d react (WTF?), so I told him that his gaiety didn’t change my friendship of him in the slightest.

I must ask, though: Is your dad still married to your mom?

My wife has several times suggested to me that my father (who just celebrated his 97th birthday) might be gay. If he is, he’s never come out. I don’t think he is, but (on the other hand) I don’t think you can put people’s sexuality into neatly labelled compartments.

HeyHomie: nope, they devorced ten years ago.

gaffa: I got the impression from him that I was one of the last few people he knew whom he had not come out to. He said they would ask him things like “are you out to your kids?” and he would tell them that he wasn’t.

I found out a bunch of years later that my mother’s “best friend” was, uh, more than just a friend. (The relationship was in the '60s and I found out about this when I was in college, about 10 years later, mid '70s, a time when bisexuality was way less mainstream than it is now.) This took place via a phone call, since I was in Calif. and my mother was in D.C., and it certainly knocked me for a loop. There was a whole lot more to the soap opera than that – apparently one of my [bipolar] mother’s numerous suicide attempts was part of a pact with the friend, etc. …

I’m sorry, what was the question, again?

Yeah – finding out that a parent has a sex life that not only doesn’t involve your other parent but involves nontraditional attachments can be pretty fucking overwhelming.

In my sophomore year of college, I got a phone call from Mom. (Folks have been divorced since I was five.)

“So, now that you and your brother are older, I think I might start dating again… And… sometimes it might be men and sometimes it might be women.”

Mom was so relieved that I didn’t freak out–apparently my brother got the same impression. I mean, c’mon, Mom, you raised us, what did you expect–we were just going to magically turn into homophobes? :stuck_out_tongue:

If you don’t mind my asking, had you ever suspected this? Or did it make any elements of his life or friendships make more sense?

I’ve written before about “queer paw-paws”, the barely closeted older gay men who seem to be among the most promiscuous- in spirit if not in capability- on Earth. They disgust me (not the fact they’re old and gay or even that they married [not surprising for those who were of age before the 70s when gay rights began making a bit more visibility] but the fact they want to have their love-sausage and eat it too- i.e. they want the social acceptability of being a married straight guy with kids/grandkids but the sex-with-guys gratification of homos). I applaud men like your dad who actually realize the “it’s not a dress rehearsal” concept and embrace their sexuality rather than hide behind a wife and unexplained cash withdrawals in their late middle age.

Are your parents still in contact? How is your mom reacting?

Not my parents, but my “other mom” (e.g., my best friend’s mom, who helped raise me).

She’d been divorced for some time, so that wasn’t an issue. She waited till the kids all graduated from college and were completely moved out to break the news. I think the only reason she did was because she wanted to move her then-current girlfriend in.

I was fine with it, best friend was OK with it (once over the shock). But BF’s brother had an absolute cow. He eventually got over it and all was well.

She’s been with her current partner for ten or fifteen years now.

My only thought at the time was “ooooohhhhhhhhhhhh, that explains all the flannel-shirt, comfortable-shoes women that she hung out with. Doh!”. It’s funny how oblivious we can be. :smiley:

The Bith Shuffle, your poor father! Imagine how long he’d been avoiding that. Yay for him, that he finally worked up the courage to tell you. And yay for you, that he could without it being a problem. It is a bit of a shock, particularly after that long.

As a gay male I can’t understand why gay people choose holiday time to come out. I am all for people not hiding in the closet, but I say for the sake of everyone, don’t do it on a holiday or a special day to someone else. Coming out is special enough that it deserves it’s own time. And if it does go bad it’ll be forever associated with the holidays.

The holidays are tense enough without adding more tension (perceived or real) to them

If you’ve been in the closet 30 or more years you can stay in there a few more days :slight_smile:

It’d be weird but that’s mainly because my parents always were a bit more open about how great their sex-life was than I really wanted to hear.

It would be a shocker to me, not because I care that much one way or the other but because it would be something that throws into question my ability to assess my Father’s personality.

I had suspected my friend Mike was gay… but he had a girlfriend and they were trying to make a go of it. For him though, it seemed really forced. He was never really comfortable when she was around. He was naturally flamboyant and he smothered that persona when she was around. They eventually broke up, and he even tried to kiss me once… late night, too much beer, just one of those oddball things. We pretended it never happened, and got back to the business of being friends.

He got fidgety and for about a week, drove me crazy. We went out for dinner one night, and he could barely sit still… When we got back to the house, he dramatically announced he had something to tell me. By this time, I’m very concerned that he’s going to tell me he has some terminal affliction, and that he only has 6 months to live. He starts chattering and talking in circles about his ex and the problems they had and his childhood and his grandmother and on and on and on…

I finally told him, “Get to the f**king point already!!”

He finally tells me he’s gay. And he has the most worrisome expression on his face, like he’s afraid I’m going to slap him and start screaming and calling him names.

I told him I’d suspected as much and that I didn’t care and it wouldn’t change my friendship with him. He said he told me first, because he was hoping I’d be OK with it, and that he needed someone that was going to be on his side when he told everyone else. Someone he could turn to who wouldn’t judge him when everyone else did. We both cried that day, for different reasons. He eventually came out to his family and the rest of his friends. Some took it well, others didn’t. He eventually moved away, as Montana is not a real hotbed of social connections for a gay 24yo guy, according to him. Last I knew, he has a partner and they were looking into adoption.

Your father trusted you with a very big part of his life. I can’t imagine what it’s like to hold something like that to yourself for so long.

Yes. Do it in August. Its hot and there are no holidays. August sucks, might as well do something interesting during it.

When I came out to my mom, in an effort to make me feel accepted, she gave me the run down on all the gay activity my various immediate relatives got up to over the years. The real shocker was my grandfather. I didn’t hear about any of this until well after both grandparents were dead, but when my mom was a kid, they’d often get into huge fights (they were both heavy drinkers) and my dad would storm out and not come back until the next day. My mom strongly suspects that he was going down to waterfront bars and cruising for guys. I never asked what evidence she based this conclusion on, largely because I was afraid she’d tell me, and I already knew way more about my grandfather’s sex life then I ever wanted to know.

In the same conversation, my mom told me that she’d dated a girl in college.

In hindsight, while I repsect my mom’s efforts to make me feel accepted, I think a screaming “How could you do this to me?!?” freak out would have been less traumatic.

Miller, pardon me while I laugh at your pain. That’s kind of hilarious.

Maybe all the donning of gay apparel loosens doubts?

My mom never really came out to the family as in a special moment. She just took off with her girlfriend and moved across the country. When we were startled and a bit put out she got angry and blamed it all on us being homophobes. Nope, mom, we really didn’t care one way or the other, we were just kind of hurt that you moved across the country without talking to us about it or giving us an address. Much misunderstanding and never really resolved. She still thinks we care about her sexuality and we still don’t.

A lifetime of being who he truly was not. I’m sure there are regrets, but you (and any other sibling of yours) are not one of them.

I read just the thread title to Mr. S, and his only comment was, “Better than having your father come ON to you.” :eek:

I’m glad for your dad. Better late than never . . .