HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ME


Yes, I am a father, and will always be a father even though I do not celebrate this special day. A friend intimated that there is a special kind of hurt when she said that I must have some way of dealing with this occasion, of coping with the loss of my relationship with my children. She is right.

She also wondered aloud what feelings my children experienced on this day. They must think about it – think about me, right? I don’t know, but I appreciated her conclusion that she would pray for them. I will too.

Many people feel a sort of angst when I tell them about this circumstance, about how my children could not make the transition with me from man to woman. Out of concern for me, they are often perturbed with the negative reaction of my children to my gender transition. My children have completely rejected me and think of me as dead. We have not spoken in nearly seven years.

It is harsh, but they are not entirely to blame. Their self-centered reaction is a reflection of their self-centered father. It is a function of the way they were raised, for children learn what they live.
Parents are responsible, at least in part, for the character defects of their children. Teach your children well.

So, my way of coping with the loss of familial association (as we lawyers would put it) on Father’s Day is one of understanding, responsibility and compassion. It must also be one of humility and acceptance. With humility serenity is certain to follow.

I am posting this blog because, not only many trans people, but I suspect many of the LGB folks as well, have a similar experience when they come out to their grown children. Well, not the Ls on Father’s day, but there is Mother’s Day too. The simple fact is that some children do reject their parent’s attempts to become authentic.

I suppose there is some stage of grief in which a person becomes philosophical about their loss, but I do wonder about the state of “familial association” in the LGBT universe. Do people have a natural inclination to resist change in the ones we love? I mean there is a whole childhood wrapped up in parents remaining the same – forever. Is not much of a young adult’s security attached to the stability, such as it is, of their parents? We like our parents the way they are, however they are. It is what we know. When they go changing stuff it shakes up our world. Sure, there are some who are mature and secure enough to focus altruistically on another’s health and wholeness, but many of us often focus on own feelings and needs first. Especially if you are self centered like me.

But, I have changed. Well, duh-uh! I have changed inside too. I now understand that my self centeredness is a character defect that I can grow beyond. In stead of drowning in self pity over the loss of my children, I can focus on their health and happiness. I can be happy for their happiness. I can be proud that they have their own lives, filled with the things that young people do and have. They have relationships and work and play. They are okay, and just as I am responsible in part for their character defects, I too can take some ownership in their successes.

And when Father’s Day is done I can wish me a Happy Father’s Day.

2 comments on “HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ME

  1. Danny says:

    You are an amazing human being….Perhaps in due time your children will come to see the real world for what it is, REAL. They will no doubt encounter friends that are different from them and realize they are still great people. You don’t say how old they are ( or were when you were all separated ) I was fortunate when I came out to my 3 children 7 years ago, ( Now 30 , 33 & 36 OMG ! ) My marriage to their Mother had ended years before and after they were all adults. For reasons other than anything to do with me being Gay. ( I waited 4 years for Her to return to the marriage ) They simply wished me happiness and they Love Flint ! I am Blessed in this manner. Fathers Day for me has always been bitter sweet as I never had one and always did my very best to be the best Dad I could be. That in it self isn’t always easy because Dad always had to lay down the law as Mom let things slid. In the end I have their respect and Love. I will think of you this Father’s Day and all the other Fathers less fortunate than myself…Huggs, Danny

  2. Bobbie Zenker says:

    Thanks Danny!

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