What would you think if I told you he drove six hours each way every Friday night to sit in the stands and support his son who never made it off the sidelines?
What if I told you he learned military lingo, base names, and deployment details so he could relate to his oldest son, the Marine?
What if I told you his marriage dissolved while his boys were young teens, but he chose to pay the mortgage on the house for six more years so his boys did not have to move homes?
What if I told you he returned to do the yard work and house maintenance for years because he wanted to honor his commitment to take care of his family?
What if I told you he now pays college tuition so his youngest son can fulfill his dream of being a computer programmer?
What if I told you he supported his ex-wife’s new marriage and makes every attempt to be kind to her new husband?
What if I told you he is now in a long-term committed relationship with someone who welcomes his kids into their home without question?
What if I told you all that? What sort of father does that description paint?
A dedicated father who would do anything to raise his children well? A man who believes in a commitment and the importance of family?
Yes. All of this and more.
Now what if I told you he is gay?
Does that change anything? Does that change the type of parent this man is? Does that change your opinion of him?
Does that change his commitment, his dedication, or his love?
No. Of course not.
This man is a fabulous father. This man is my friend. And this man has faced criticism, judgment, and near banishment since revealing his sexuality seven years ago. Throughout all of it, he held his head high and supported his sons. While his friends and family spent time judging and criticizing, he spent time raising productive children who will contribute to society and be successful adults. No holidays, birthdays, ball games, or band concerts were missed. He refused to let others dictate the type of father he was allowed to be.
A good father is a good father, no matter who he sleeps with at night.
A child is a child. A parent is a parent. Sexuality should play no role in this relationship.
We have made strides in acceptance, but we have a long way to go and anything short of this acceptance only harms families in the long run.
So judge not. Accept on.