03 March 2015
My father chose to stand against homosexuality rather than loving his daughter unconditionally.
About a year ago, I had a conversation with my dad about my sexuality. He knew I was gay, but was choosing to sort of ignore it since I wasn't dating anyone. When I started dating Bo, I talked to him about it, reminding him that this is a fundamental part of who I am. That he can't ignore it because I'm in a relationship.
I told him that I didn't want to make him uncomfortable, so I would let him decide how to proceed with our father-daughter relationship. He told me he didn't want to lose me or the munchkins, but kept reaffirming his belief that "Biblically, it's wrong."
And I backed off.
Over the past year, we haven't really talked. He called on my birthday (though we didn't really chat) and each of the munchkins' birthdays. I texted him a couple of times and got minimal responses. Overall, it was clear to me that he had made his decision.
He decided that it was more important for him to stand against homosexuality according to his church's interpretation of the Bible than to love his daughter unconditionally.
I wasn't surprised, but it was still hard.
On his birthday, which was toward the end of February, I sent him a text that said, simply, "Happy Birthday." He thanked me and asked how work was going.* I didn't respond for lots of reasons. Mostly because it irritated me greatly that the one question he asked had no emotional link. He didn't ask how I am, how his grandchildren are, how life is going, or anything like that. He asked how work is going. So I didn't respond.
On Sunday, I got another text from him saying "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit."
For those who don't know, this expression is a family tradition on the first of every month. You tell people "Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit," and if they say it back, it means you won't have an argument with that person for that month. It's always been a fun little family thing we do, trying to be the first to say it to others.
I didn't respond to this text, either.
I believe in my heart that the only reason he texted me was because I sent him the birthday text. He assumed that because I texted him on his birthday, he can pretend that everything is fine between us, and that we can go back to the way things were before.
I know that my dad will not change his opinion of me. He believes I've chosen this lifestyle and that it's wrong. He believes that my choice to be gay is similar to his other kids choosing to live with their boy/girlfriends out of wedlock. He has shown over the past year that he is not willing to make any effort to maintain contact or have a real relationship with me and the munchkins.
As a result, I have decided that it's finally time to break away from the uncertainty of my relationship with my father, and to walk away.
This decision is about me, not him.
For too long, I've kept hoping that he'd come around or change his mind or be different, and that we could have a real relationship. And that he could have a real relationship with the munchkins.
But I know he won't. He believes what he believes, and nothing is going to change that.
And I don't want that kind of person in my life or around my kids.
I don't want them to have a relationship with a man who believes their mom is going to hell because of something beyond her control. Because of his narrow-minded beliefs. Because it's easier for him to believe that than to think for himself and stand for love and equality and justice and peace.
He would rather stand against homosexuality than love me unconditionally.
That's his decision. But it's not okay with me.
So in the next few weeks I will be taking the time to have a long conversation with him about it, and to finally, and with finality, break ties with him in order to move on with my life in a healthy, happy way.
He is my father, and I love him as my father, but I can't continue to have someone in my life who isn't willing to make any kind of effort to be in my life, even for the sake of the munchkins.
It's a hard decision, and it will be hard for a long time. But I believe it is the best decision, and it's been made.
*I could write an entire post about how, for my father, this was not him "reaching out," but simply his way of being able to convince himself that he did try to talk to me. But that would be better for another time.