Father Figure

Posted on July 20, 2010


Father Figure
By Robert Moore

When you think of a Father, you see a man with hairy arms, broad chest and grease on his hands. Or perhaps you see him as a well dressed man who spends most of his time in the office, suit, tie, and the whole nine yards. Perhaps you see a father as a nerdy educator who wears glasses and is socially illiterate, or a geek who can fix a computer but can’t change the oil in his car. No matter what you see a father as, you see him through the eyes of stereotypes.

The traditional father figure, whether he listens, loves, comforts, protects or provides, is an ingrained ideal of the male role in the family structure. This type of father can come in any number of packages and sometimes the true nature of a father may not be evident from the surface. Take the hairy, broad chested father who may have never read a book in his life but sees the humanity of the world through the eyes of opera. A stormy, husky figure that moves at night with elegance and grace behind closed doors, bathing in the silence between breaths, hammers and clatters away the silence during the afternoon rush of life. A man who smells of arias covered in axel grease.

Or the educator, who spends his days teaching to many who never want to learn but silently yearns to set sail across the ocean, free of the restraints of land in search of knowledge outside of bounded volumes of others experiences. No matter what you see on the outside, you may never know what the true person is behind the social role.

I am a father of three beautiful children, all of which are now over the age of 18 and I am fortunate enough to now have a grandson. I have been married for 25 years to a woman who becomes closer to me each day. I am also gay. Actually, I am a bisexual man who could have fallen in love with either a man or a woman and stumbled upon my soul mate while not even looking for her. She knows I am bisexual and has grown to love me all the more for it. She may love me, my mother may love me but as far as the rest of the world, where do I fit in?

Being bisexual, though I can fit into any situation, be comfortable in any environment and can sometimes be too comfortable with my sexuality, I have a hard time finding a place where I can be myself and be accepted for it. When I am in the heterosexual world, I look so much like a hetero that no one suspects I may be looking at the guy instead of his girlfriend. When I am in the homosexual world, I look like the guy who just wants to hang out with gay people because they are the coolest people in the world, but will never be included. When the hetero’s find out I am bisexual, they label me as gay (it’s just gross for a dude to even think of another dude that way), when the homo’s find out I am bisexual, they label me as straight (because I cannot make up my mind), either way I am seen as not like either of them.

Recently, my wife confided in one of her gay friends that I was bisexual, he was shocked. I wondered to myself and then spoke about it aloud to my wife how I couldn’t believe he was so shocked. Look at all the signals I was putting out there. From the style of music, the love of gay dance clubs, Project Runway for God’s sake, the extreme comfort level with being very close to another man, how could anyone not pickup on what I was not saying. She told me that when people look at me, they see a man, married to a woman with three kids, this means you are straight. “When they see you, they see what they want to see, not what they should be seeing, the real you. I see the real you and I love you for it.”

So is this what the straight community is so upset about? When they say, “You can be who ever you want to be, just don’t try to shove it down my throat,” are they saying they can really see us and there is no more pretending about who they want to believe we are, but are faced with the reality that we are not like them? I think so. It is Sesame Street all over again, you remember the song. “One of these things is not like the others; one of these things doesn’t belong.” To me, this song makes no sense. I see everyone belonging, everyone being who they really are and being accepted for it. Perhaps this is where the Gay Agenda charade came from. If they can see us then we must be moving into formation and preparing to wage war. The straight community has been at war with us since they found out we existed so it is natural that we would think the same.

Regardless, we all have something to hide, something to protect for fear of rejection. Gay, straight, bi, trans we all need to be who we are on the outside who we are on the inside and this idea scares the hell out of us. We only expose small portions of who we are to a very select few and if by some miracle, we find someone to love and be loved in return, then and only then will we begin to peel back the layers and expose the fragile, delicate parts of our soul to be caressed and adored.

Did I mention that I also am a Christian, so therefore I am going to hell, regardless of my marriage or children…. but that’s another story.

Robert Moore is a Life Coach, Counselor and father of three. He has been married to his lovely wife for 25 years who gets into heaven free for putting up with him. He has written for OIA (Out in Asheville) and Stereotype, LGBT newspapers in Western North Carolina and has assisted on the production of a gay TV show profiling the Trans community. He is currently working on his master’s degree in Psychology and is producing commercials for internet consumption.