Columnists » Ask Phyllis

Will Father Accept His Gay Son?

by Phyllis Steinberg
Friday Mar 11, 2011

Dear Phyllis,

I love and admire my dad. But, I feel I am not the man he is. I am 19-years-old. Although I came out to my mother, I just can't bring myself to come out to my father. I am afraid that I will let him down. Meanwhile, my mom says she does not like to keep secrets from her husband (my dad) and she is sure Dad will be okay with my being gay. I don't want to put my mom in an awkward position with my dad, but I just don't want to disappoint my father.


Dear Marty,

It's a darn shame that society has caused hurt and self doubt for so many innocent people just because they are gay. Marty, what do you think it takes to be a man? A man is someone with a sense of honor, humility, and respect for others; someone who is self-confident and conducts himself responsibly. Do you think when someone says, "Man up!" they mean, "Don't be gay?" Or are they actually saying, "Have courage! Stand up! Do the right thing!"? Sexual orientation does not limit or define you as a man. Those characteristics that you admire in your dad he most likely instilled in you.

As for your mother, forcing her to keep a secret from your dad is placing an unfair pressure on her relationship with her husband. Your mom is in a position to know how your dad would feel about your being gay. And, if sometime in the future your dad does find out that you are gay, he may feel hurt that you felt you could not be open with him about your sexual orientation. I suggest you face your fears and come out to Dad. The concern you have for your father's feelings indicates to me that you may be more of a man than you realize.

Good luck to you,


Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook