A time of reflection…
By Jorge Diaz, MSW, Clinical Social Worker, Jorgeadiaz2010@gmail.com
The month of June is full of mix emotions depending on how you view it. To start, we are midpoint through the year. Those New Year’s resolution should be accomplished, right!? Or maybe those 10 pounds you were going to shed are still there. It’s also the month where we celebrate and remember the 49 lives loss in the hands of hate and homophobia at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The world joined and mourned with the Latino LGBT community during this difficult time. Ironically, through our sadness and pain we must also continue with our fight and remain united and visible. With that said, ring in the Gay Pride festivities from New York, Los Angeles to San Francisco.
To wrap up the festivities, we also celebrate Father’s day. For some, it’s just another ordinary day with nothing or no one to celebrate. It’s very unfortunate how many gay and bisexual men have no father figure or simply have no relationship with their fathers and while others have a father present, it’s an unhealthy or a non-existing relationship. Often times we focus on family rejection rather than celebrating those fathers whom do love and accept their son. I would like to take this moment and celebrate those fathers that were able to defeat the shame and stigma associated with having an LGBT child? Bravo to Latino fathers who were able to dominate cultural and religious beliefs or family traditions and ideas. I guess the concept of loving your son regardless of his sexual orientation is more powerful than any idea or belief for some fathers. I often ask myself if fathers whom reject their son understand the damage they cause in their child’s self-esteem and perception of self? If only fathers could understand how important and valuable they are in our upbringing and understanding of this complex journey as boys and young men. Homophobia and rejection can lead to a massacre where innocent lives are lost or it can simply destroy the self-esteem and path to self-love of an innocent young boy or man in the hands of a father.
This topic was difficult and confusing at one point in my life. It took me 15 years to embark on my journey of forgiveness and I was finally able to forgive him for abandoning me. I have learned that divorce isn’t just between mom and dad; a divorce is sometimes between a parent and children. I have been blessed to be raised by the partner my mother chose. He was at one point referred to as “step-dad” but over the years, he has become simply DAD. Hate and resentment is tough to process and while I understand that forgiveness is not possible for all-the journey of forgiveness is unique and overwhelming but only you can take that next step….